Member Spotlight : Robert Engle, President Americas, Schoeller Arca Systems; and RPA 2012 Vice Chairman

As a global market leader in the field of plastic packaging systems, Schoeller Arca Systems (SAS) is committed to helping customers reduce their overall logistical costs and use returnable packaging to enhance their brands. Combining a global presence with local partnerships in over 50 countries, SAS provides reliable and high quality plastic packaging systems. SAS has dedicated themselves in designing solutions that are tailor made to address the challenges faced by customers such as plastic pallets, hand-held totes, foldable & collapsible containers and beverage crates, just to name a few. Among the sectors its serves are food, beverage, automotive, agriculture, retail, pharmaceutical and postal services.

RPA Editor: Describe the area of the supply chain where your products play a role.

Engle: A large majority of our items are used in some of the world’s largest pooling operations. Whether pooled or sold direct, you will find SAS-produced containers in food, beverage, automotive, agriculture, retail, pharmaceutical and postal services. Reusables allow our customers to pack and transport product more efficiently while providing both an economical and sustainable alternative to one-way packaging.

RPA Editor: Describe some of the challenges you see that impede companies from implementing reusable packaging.

Engle: As our country becomes more environmentally conscious, industrial suppliers of consumable goods must seek new packaging solutions to bring their product to market. Plastic returnable and reusable material handling solutions are the answer to many logistical challenges as well as environmental concerns that face today’s manufacturers. Schoeller Arca Systems has looked to the future and developed a diverse line of innovative products that will provide a sound return on a manufacturer’s packaging investment, and are environmentally kind to our eco-system. With that being said, in this difficult economy, cost continues to be the main driver in the decision making process. SAS must continue to help manufacturers justify the long term value of reusable packaging to their customers.

RPA Editor: Describe some of the successes you or your customers have had with implementing reusable packaging.

Engle: SAS has worked with many companies to develop innovative solutions to replace one-way packaging with a reusable solution. These solutions have resulted in the elimination of thousands of tons of waste from our landfills. The key to our success is to think outside the box when it comes to the types of containers we develop. We focus on opportunities that result in environmental savings first with the potential of supply chain efficiencies second.

RPA Editor: What are the key changes you see happening in the reusable marketplace in the near future?

Engle: The market will continue to mature as we see companies remodeling their supply chain strategies to incorporate more reusables. We will see more companies combine resources in order to complete the cycle.

RPA Editor: Why have you chosen to be a member of the RPA leadership team?

Engle: I chose to continue to participate as part of the leadership team because I feel strongly about promoting the growth and use of reusables. The RPA leadership team consists of a mix of industry professionals who collaboratively are able to make a difference. I’m honored to be part of the team.

RPA Editor: What would you like to see the RPA accomplish in 2012?

Engle: I would like to see the RPA continue to grow and diversify its membership, and to strengthen the RPA message by increasing the size of its database, case studies, and educational and public events such as Pack Expo. In the end, it’s all about increasing awareness and providing a means for members to gain information on how to incorporate reusables into their operations.

RPA Editor: Why would you recommend membership in the RPA to another company?

Engle: I would recommend becoming a member in the RPA to all companies that are currently utilizing various forms of packaging, from one way to reusable as well as manufacturers of reusable packaging. With such a large group represented, we need an organization such as the RPA to provide a one-stop-shop consisting of contacts, case studies, educational venues, and a clear path for anyone who is interested in substituting one-way packaging with reusable packaging.