RPA Editor: Describe the products that your company offers.
Baldridge: Federal Supply Services International (FSSI) flagship products are the GPAK EZ-UP and its components. In addition, we offer products and services to the US government under a GSA Government Contract Number. We have approval to provide the US government with bottles, jars, boxes, cartons, crates, container systems and metal drums including shoe boxes, beer cases, pill boxes, piano cases, engine boxes, bombsight boxes, shipping jugs & carboys and ampoules, and many other products.
RPA Editor: Describe the area of the supply chain where your products play a role.
Baldridge: The shipping and logistics industry say that “the pallet is the most important object in the global economy.” FSSI believes that the pallet containers are more important and should be used in many cases over pallets. Our GPAK EX-UP is beginning to play a more significant role in global logistics for the US government. FSSI provides the US Military Pallet Box and we also offer an alternative to corrugated with the G-Sleeve. The pallet box is a 40-foot and 20-foot shipping container optimizer. Pallets, of course, are an important cog in the global machine for transportation; however, we believe that pallet containers have more advantages, including product protection, the standardization of shipping containers and a reduction in man hours and labor costs.
RPA Editor: Describe some of the challenges you see that impede companies from implementing reusable packaging.
Baldridge: Our most difficult challenge is educating the customers and end users on the cost savings and benefits of using reusable packaging. We know that we cannot compete with the price tag of paper or corrugated containers. The customer reacts to the lowest ticket price and not best value. Another challenge we face that is particular to our market (US government) is their fast turnover of end users. This makes it difficult to maintain a repeat customer.
RPA Editor: Describe some of the successes your customers have had with implementing reusable packaging.
Baldridge: We get a lot of positive feedback from our customers. A member of the 172nd Infantry of the US Army told us the G-PAK shipping boxes “are crazy tough and they last 20 times longer than the white cardboard shipping boxes we were issued from the SSA.” Because our G-PAKS are weatherproof, a military maintenance facility in Germany is able to store parts for their tactical vehicles outside in our G-PAKs rather than increasing warehouse space by 25 percent.
RPA Editor: What are the key changes you see happening in the reusable marketplace in the near future?
Baldridge: The key change that I see is in the laws; meaning the government is educating the end user in the right direction. Also, customers are getting educated that the only true way to save is by utilizing things that have re-usability. This is the only way to save money and protect the environment.
RPA Editor: What benefits do you hope to gain by being a part of the RPA?
Baldridge: We benefit by being a part of an organization that is making a difference. If the RPA can make one change in our organization, then the RPA has been successful. Every company, no matter their size, should strive to be a part of an organization like the RPA. We welcome the opportunity to leverage the networking and committee involvement. Networking is the most important to us; we see it as the most efficient way to educate the markets.
RPA Editor: Is there a particular issue that you would like the RPA to address?
Baldridge: The challenge is to keep the RPA informed of the government market – one of the largest industries in the world – as well as the packaging industry.
RPA Editor: Is there anything else you would like to share with the RPA membership?
Baldridge: I look forward to 2013 and building relationships that matter with other members.