It is difficult to imagine that a simple combination of plastic pallets and pallet lids can make such a tremendous change in the logistic operations of a company and the way it is perceived by customers. But, as history has taught us, small things create big changes.
The Cheapest Solution Proves Expensive in the Long Run
There are many ways in which companies can pack and ship their products. Some of them are convenient because “we’ve always done things this way”. Some of them are perceived as less expensive. But a long term strategy and outlook show that there is nothing convenient or affordable in those packaging solutions.
For a manufacturer of electric appliances in the Czech Republic, wooden pallets and lids were both convenient and affordable. In a country with many forest areas, wood is quite cheap. However, the low purchase price of these packaging materials was outbalanced by the continuous expenses with washing, sanitizing and repairing the wooden pallets and lids.
And this was not the only problem the company was facing. Their customers were less than enthusiastic in their audit reviews. Their orders usually arrived in less than prime condition: the packaging materials were not clean after a long journey, they were difficult to handle with forklift due to the risk of breaking and chipping off and a part of the products were damaged and had to be returned.
At this point, the logistic manager decided to request the professional assistance of the experts from Logistic Packaging.
The Experts’ First Impression: There Is Room for Lots of Improvement
Upon arrival at the customers’ warehouse for the first inspection, the packaging experts were faced with a pile of damaged wooden pallets due for repairs. In another corner, they encountered a large stack of cardboard boxes for packing the products which would then be placed on the wooden pallet.
And most of the work was done manually by the employees, because the packages were not sturdy enough for handling by automated equipment.
Beside these problems, the logistic manager of the company informed our experts that they were trying to introduce RFID tracking for their shipments, but the current packaging materials made it impossible.
Summing Up the Requirements Brought Forth the Solution: Plastic Pallets and Pallet Lids
After a productive meeting with the client, the packaging consultants from Logistic Packaging understood exactly what the customers needed:
- A packaging solution with a footprint of 1200 x 800 mm to fit their racking system;
- Reliable, easy to clean and packaging materials for long term use;
- Return on investment in maximum 10 years;
- Packaging materials compatible with automated logistic equipment, especially forklifts;
- Loading capacity of 500 kg.
Given these requirements, our experts quickly identified the ideal solution for the customer: the medium-duty open deck pallets combined with the adequate pallet lids fitting its footprint.
The 1200 x 800 mm pallets in this range offer reliable, long-term use and are easy to clean and sanitize using standard washing equipment. They are provided with 3 skids, ideal for handling with forklifts and other warehouse equipment. The 5 mm safety rims ensure that the products arranged on the pallet will form a stable stack which will not slip and topple during transport. Last, but not least these pallets have a racking load of 600 kg, above the customer’s requirement.
The pallet lids have a special design for securing the loads with straps and creating stable stacks in the trailer. They ensure that the products are transported in the best conditions and arrive at the final delivery point in the best conditions.
Finally, a batch of stackable containers which fit on the medium-duty pallet completes the packaging unit and allows the products to be arranged in a secure and space saving manner, ready for shipment to the clients.
Watching Change Happen In Real Time
Our experts spent time liaising with the client as they implemented the plastic pallets and pallet lids instead of their old wooden packaging materials. The first positive feedback we obtain was that concerning their end customers’ attitude towards the company. The new professional packages ensured that all the products arrived in good condition and that they maintained a clean and hygienic look even after a long and rough journey.
Once the packaging materials had to undergo their first cleaning, the client noted that the plastic pallets and pallet lids take less time to be in adequate condition for a new cycle of use. In a short time, all the logistic processes at the client’s warehouse were faster, better organized and easier to plan and forecast. The money usually spent for repairing or replacing damaged packages could be reallocated in a more efficient manner. And the timeline for implementing RFID labels has started. All thanks to the decision to implement plastic pallets and pallet lids instead of the traditional and cheap packaging solution they had been using for years.