Xavier Goube

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Why is it essential to define a palette strategy for your company?

Published on 17/03/2023

Practical Guide: Defining your Pallet Strategy

What pallets do I receive from my suppliers?

What are my customers’ expectations?

Is my carrier obliged to return the exchanged pallets to me?

Have I identified the risks of pallet supply shortages?

Have I trained my receptionists and forklift drivers properly?

These are some of the questions you should ask yourself as a Supply Chain Manager or Logistics Director, whether you work in the food industry, the chemical industry or in any other production, transport or storage sector…

Conversely, the absence of a Pallet Strategy exposes you to unnecessary costs and significant additional expenses either through higher purchasing costs or through indirect costs or logistics penalties.

When carefully implemented and rigorously applied, the Pallet Strategy will allow your company to adapt its logistics to the possibilities of its suppliers and the expectations of its customers…

What is a Pallet Strategy?

A Pallet Strategy is simply a document that defines how your organisation manages pallets from the receipt of goods from suppliers, production, transfer of pallets between different sites, to adaptation to customer demands.

This document should list the set of procedures to be followed by all departments of the company involved in the management of a pallet, ensuring consistency between the documentation and handling related to the use of pallets.

Ensuring pallet compliance at all stages of the supply chain through well-defined specifications allows your company to protect itself against unforeseen costs, and to minimize risks such as pallet breakage or non-conformity with customer requirements…

What should a Pallet Strategy include?

Each Pallet Strategy is specific and will depend on your industry, your company structure, and the nature of your supply chain, but there are some common elements in most cases.

A critical point is to clearly define the scope of the strategy being developed. Who is it aimed at? Is it just your suppliers, or do you have subsidiaries and third-party suppliers who should also be bound by these decisions? Have you considered your transporters, warehouses, and distributors? What is the scope of the issues covered (technical, commercial, quality, safety, risk analysis, etc.)?

Then there is the way you manage the activities involving pallets to and from your production sites, to your customers and your carriers, whether it is rental, exchange or lost pallets. No detail should be omitted, and all situations should be analyzed to cover the 360° of your business.

Finally – and equally impactful – is documentation and procedures. . What are the requirements for tracking incoming pallets? Who is responsible for processing pallet transfers with suppliers and how much time do they have to do so? What will be the link between the pallet transfer procedures and the integration of the data in your information systems (sales orders, warehouse management software, etc.)?

A simple solution for pallet management:

If you are looking to get the best for your business, work with a partner who understands your goals and needs.

We can help you develop a structured and effective Pallet Strategy tailored to your business.

Take a look at Retail:

Mass retail has defined the packaging they accept and how the products they receive should be packaged.

Some examples:

Amazon:

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/help/hub/reference/external/200978400?ref=efph_200978400_relt_200141510&locale=en-US#GUID-66C8B82B-B0FA-4EEC-AFDD-C7FE473EB8E9__SECTION_1E1722CD1E4749C7BDE5AAD49A267E54

Asda:

https://docplayer.net/21031601-Asda-supplier-requirements-transit-packaging-labelling-and-documentation-uk-suppliers-only.html

Costco:

https://static.secure.website/wscfus/9735014/uploads/Costco_Packaging_Specs___Addendums.pdf
https://www.clubstorepackaging.com/specifications

Kroger co:

https://www.thekrogerco.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/kro_standard_vendor_agreement_merchandising.pdf

Walgreen:

https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/435785/Walgreens-dc_shipping_guide.pdf https://webapp.walgreens.com/VendorPortalStellent/prodpublisher/new_vendor/walgreens_vendor_expectations/vendor_expectations.htm

Walmart:

https://corporate.walmart.com/media-library/document/supply-chain-packaging-guide/_proxyDocument?id=00000173-a1ca-d3c5-a7fb-edcbf2400000

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