Five qualities determine whether a pallet is true for a specific operation, consistent with Meeks. These are:
Strength: Can it handle the load?
Stiffness: Will it hold its shape under the load of the load?
Durability: Will it delay under the handling it’ll receive?
Functionality: Is it right for the unit load and therefore the handling equipment?
Price: Does it provide value?
Many pallet solutions providers work with their customers to spot the simplest options. CHEP, a worldwide provider of supply chain solutions for the buyer goods, food and beverage, and manufacturing and retail sectors, works closely with its customers to know their needs.
“CHEP provides a good array of supply chain platforms, including pooled, recycled, fractional, and custom pallets,” says Dan Martin, senior vice chairman of sales at CHEP USA’s North American headquarters in Atlanta. “In addition, our supply chain solutions portfolio of services, which we launched in June 2015, adds tremendous value by saving companies money, time, and resources.”
A CUSTOMIZED APPROACH
iGPS, a provider of world-class supply chain solutions that leverage sustainable, intelligent shipping platforms, approaches “all our clients cognizant of their unique needs and differences,” says Jeff Liebesman, CEO. “We provide customized supply chain solutions.”
Processes and business approaches may differ between working with a manufacturer or a retailer. “The solutions got to be relevant to their specific needs, utilizing a complete system approach,” Liebesman says.
Along with communication between the pallet provider and therefore the user, proper training is vital. as an example, warehouse workers switching from wood to plastic pallets may have to find out the way to handle the fabric. “Companies can work with us to spot the simplest practices in handling,” says Mike Ludka, senior product manager for the retail supply chain with ORBIS Corporation, an Oconomowoc, Wis.-based provider of plastic reusable packaging programs.
Pallet users can choose between a spread of materials. Currently, wood accounts for about 95 percent of the pallet market. “Wood pallets are strong, durable, inexpensive, and highly customizable,” says Raj. They’re also available in a sort of sizes and strengths. However, demand for pallets made up of alternative materials, especially plastic, is predicted to grow. All materials have unique characteristics, and therefore the right choice can vary from one application to a different one.
Wood is all-natural and fully recyclable. Manufacturing costs for wood pallets are significantly lower, which keeps prices down across the availability chain, says Adrian Potgieter, senior vice chairman of sales with PECO Pallet, an Irvington, N.Y.-based leader in pallet rental services.
STRENGTH AND STABILITY
Like the pallets they provide, the businesses behind them should be strong, stable, and capable of handling the work they’re assigned. When considering a pallet provider, Meeks of Bettaway recommends asking, “Does the provider have the resources, stability, and knowledge to provide the pallet management solution that meets your company’s needs?” Any evaluation should consider the provider’s ability to supply the proper pallet at the proper place and time. After all, pallets aren’t of any use if they are not in situ when they’re needed.
CUSTOMERS COME FIRST
Strong customer support and repair also contribute to a top-quality pallet solution and will include quite just an 800 number. PECO, as an example, employs dedicated service reps throughout North America. They work directly with customers to follow abreast of questions and identify new ways to extend efficiencies and reduce costs throughout the availability chain.
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Bettaway offers national coverage complemented by local service. “We strive to supply pallet management solutions that allow customers to specialize in their core business,” Meeks says. As a full-service third-party logistics provider that also offers asset-based trucking and warehouse services across the state, Bettaway can provide a complete supply chain solution, he adds.
REPORTING FOR DUTY
One area where technology and innovation play a crucial role is in reporting and analysis capabilities offered by pallet providers. Many companies operate increasingly lengthy and sometimes global supply chains, and are undertaking efforts to carry less inventory in their pipelines, which is driving their specialize in decision support. More companies are demanding systems that allow them to trace their goods and therefore the pallets moving them, and pallet providers are responding.
ONE SIZE doesn’t FIT ALL
Within us, the foremost common size wooden pallet is that the standard 40-inch by 48-inch Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) pallet. Working with one size aids efficiency, as warehouses and equipment can standardize around it. Costs increase when pallet dimensions vary, as more of them got to be manually unloaded, Raj notes. additionally, consistent size and style allow for optimizing warehouse space through efficiencies in stacking or racking pallets loaded with products.
STAYING IN SPEC
No matter which size is best for a specific application, “the uniformity and accuracy of pallet dimensions is critical, especially for companies that use automated production lines,” Potgieter says. “Pallets that are out of spec or damaged can cause equipment jams.” This often results in employee downtime and possible injury and may increase equipment repair costs, and/or product damage.
Conversely, accurate pallet design and size can enhance material handling efficiency altogether phases of unit loading. especially, adhering to tight tolerances is important when pallets operate through large AS/RS because it helps ensure simple movement and may eliminate delays resulting from system failures and hang ups.