Packaging plays a critical role in logistics operations. Businesses worldwide use specialized reusable packaging containers, including crates, cages, pallets, load carriers, and dunnage items used to pad and protect goods while transporting them from one location to another safely. These packaging items are called returnable/reusable packaging items and are designed to be reused in a supply chain. Therefore, they are durable enough to withstand harsh logistics conditions.
The purpose of returnable containers varies depending on the situation. Single-use packaging is expensive and not environment-friendly, leading companies to reevaluate their packaging strategies and promote a circular economy to reuse packages/containers as much as possible for both economic and sustainability reasons. Some materials need special containers to ship; for example, some chemicals must be transported in ISO tanks under certain pressure and temperature. In such cases, the companies ship the material in a container, and the customer returns the empty container to the manufacturer.
Return packaging management help optimize supply chain operations by ensuring the circularity of logistics processes. These packaging materials can effectively reduce packaging costs, reduce wastage, and ensure better shipment handling and protection from damage in transit. However, companies face multiple challenges associated with managing the whole process. Some of these challenges are listed below.
These challenges present the need for Return Packaging Management that covers managing reusable packaging items and returnable assets, including handling its inventory, optimizing usage and costs, and ensuring zero shipment downtime. SAP Return Packaging Management helps address these challenges efficiently. A packaging manager can use SAP RPM to determine these reusable components' exact quantity and position, reducing the chances of loss, wastage, or damage to these packaging materials.
SAP Returnable Packaging Management is a cloud solution used to manage the logistics of reusable returnable packaging materials in a supply chain. It is built on the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), which allows for communication with partners along the supply chain and integration with several backend systems.
The following figure demonstrates how SAP Returnable Packaging Management can help streamline the exchange of returnable packaging materials between your business and suppliers and between your business and customers to promote a circular economy.
SAP RPM handles the container movement on both sides; for example, shipping empty containers to the supplier so they can load goods onto the container and send them back to the manufacturer. On the other side, manufacturers can also ship goods in a container to a customer, and the customer returns the empty container to the manufacturer.
With SAP Return Packaging Management, you can monitor and control the exchange balance of a returnable packing material passed between the location and exchange partners.
The following are some of this product's key attributes:
Empower your business’s digital transformation with SAP IBP, a fast, intelligent, and user-friendly solution. Now streamline operational, tactical, and strategic processes and accelerate complex supply chain decision-making. At ArchLynk, we leverage SAP solutions to help your business gain control, improve flexibility, streamline processes, decrease costs, and maximize resource utilization. Contact us to learn more about SAP RPM and how it can help your business streamline return packaging management, or request a demo with an expert.