RPA Education Committees on a Mission to Educate Customers and Grow the Market

The Education Committee’s charter is to strengthen RPA’s position as the recognized expert on reusable packaging solutions. Key program elements for 2015 are:

  • Deliver strong value for attendees at the Reusable Packaging Forum April 27-28.
  • Drive great content for the RPA’s Reusables Learning Center at 2015 PACK EXPO Las Vegas.
  • Collaborate with academic institutions to increase awareness of reusable packaging.
  • Identify and develop a core reusable packaging curriculum program.
  • Identify areas where increased education will benefit the adoption of reusable packaging in the marketplace.

“An Educated Consumer is our Best Customer” – Sy Syms. That popular tagline coined by Syms, an off-price clothing store, also applies to the reusables industry where purchase decisions are far more complicated than choosing the color of a suit.

The RPA’s Education Committee takes the slogan to heart. The group is on a mission to develop and deliver strong content to educate current and potential customers about the benefits, challenges, and best practices of using reusables. An educated customer has the confidence to buy¬†reusable products and services, and the tools to sell the benefits to their internal teams.

Brian Burich, Schoeller Allibert
RPA Education Committee Chairman

The committee is chaired by Brian Burich, Manager, Customer Support Team – Americas at Schoeller Allibert, and he’s looking for additional RPA members to join the cause.

“Educating end users about all the aspects and potential benefits of reusables makes it easier for suppliers to meet the customers’ needs and grow the industry. It’s a critical effort, and we need the involvement of more RPA members to deliver on it. I strongly encourage other members to join in and contribute,” said Burich. To join the committee, contact Burich at Brian.Burich@schoellerallibert.com or 623.889.7970.

The committee has already accomplished a monumental effort: staging the upcoming Reusable Packaging Forum April 27-28 in Chicago. The unique agenda includes moderated learning sessions where attendees will share experiences and benchmarks, explore options, and identify innovative solutions and best practices to increase their ROI on your reusable assets. Burich encourages all RPA members to invite their customers and prospects to the event.

“Customers will leave the Forum with a broader understanding of where reusables can add value and their impact on overall supply chain functions. Prospects can get the validation they need to move forward. Your customers will thank you for inviting them and making them a more informed supply chain manager,” emphasized Burich.

Suppliers will also gain a broader perspective. “I’m going to the Forum because I want to expand my knowledge of the whole industry and hear about emerging trends and areas that I need to address. It’s a great opportunity to take a break from day-to-day selling and get the longer view of the market,” said Burich.

Another big task in the committee’s hands is to expand the content delivered in the RPA’s Reusables Learning Center (RLC) at PACK EXPO. Last year in Chicago, members delivered 13 presentations at PACK EXPO. The topics ranged from choosing the right container to meeting consumer demand for in-store fulfillment. The Education Committee wants to get more RPA members signed up this year, and strengthen the content that is delivered.

“Supplier members get excited about end users; and end users get excited about learning from the industry. The RLC sessions are a great way to draw in customers and educate them. I believe we would get more attendance at the RLC if suppliers included end users in their presentations. It’s also great PR for the supplier member and for their customer,” explained Burich.

Other projects the committee is exploring include:

  • Review existing content available from the RPA and identify additional materials needed
  • Deliver information via webinars
  • Develop the value proposition and opportunities to work with academic institutions

“Our immediate goals are to develop a vision of what this committee should accomplish and get more members involved. Then we can start moving forward in a way that is manageable for everyone involved,” said Burich.

Special thanks to the members of the Forum Planning Group:

Andy Dewitt – ORBIS Corporation
Brian Burich – Schoeller Allibert
Camille Chism – Johnson Controls (user)
Charlie Daoud – Wave Reaction
Cindy Doman – Herman Miller (user)
Dan Huhn – Buckhorn
Harry Chase – Kimura Inc
Josh Taylor – CHEP
Kevin Marrie – The Kennedy Group
Phil Davis – The Kroger Company (user)
Scott Starbuck – Inteplast
Sharon Spaulding – IBM (user)
Tammy Rodgers – reLogistics Services