The company provides the resources and knowledge to help FMCG manufacturers to save money and eliminate inefficiencies through professional management of their rental pallet accounts.
EMS Pallet Management has arrived in North America. The company has established several pallet management accounts and is in the process of relocating its first employee. More are expected to follow in early 2023.
EMS in America. It started with a conversation
According to Joe Hebblewhite, Commercial Director EMEA and Chief Operating Officer NorAM for the company, expansion into the U.S. market began with a conversation. “We were working with several manufacturers in Europe who were shipping goods to the U.S., mainly on CHEP U.S. pallets,” he explained.
Looking afresh at those pallet flows gave EMS pause for thought. “We said, Hang on a minute,” he recalled. “Why don’t we look at the size of the opportunity in North America for a business like ours?”
It quickly became apparent to EMS that no U.S. businesses were offering a similar model. That sparked additional research. “We wanted to see if there was a need for our services,” he said.
“Following extensive market research we quickly discovered that there is a need. A number of people we spoke to are experiencing significant additional costs in their supply chains due to poor asset management or tracking.”
That research led them to conclude that many companies did not have the resources or knowledge to accurately track mobile equipment and to put the fixes in place to track it accurately.
Providing the knowledge and resources to help customers save money
What type of results can customers expect? Each account is different, Hebblewhite emphasized, depending upon their situation. In some cases, they might be able to save $100,000 for a client that uses a million pallets per year, while in other cases, it might save $1 million for a customer using only 100,000 pallets per year.
“It just depends on your situation,” he said. “And the easiest way to say it is that we will help clients avoid spending the same amount of money in future by providing professional management.”
So what exactly does EMS provide? Hebblewhite described the company as a middle party operating between FMCG manufacturers and pallet rental companies. They also deal with single-use pallets and closed-loop equipment pools.
“We do everything from ordering the pallets, dealing with queries, making the declarations, and reconciling invoices, to having discussions around contract terms and clauses,” he said. The company can receive data across various formats and manipulate it to meet pallet rental company requirements.
“Ultimately, we ensure that they only pay for what they use, and that the integrity of their data is maintained so that at the end of the year, they don’t have a book stock of 10,000 pallets and a physical stock of 5,000 so they have to pay for those 5,000 lost, for example.”
EMS enjoys a very positive relationship with pallet rental companies, he stated. Accurate data and reconciled balances for its clients can help avoid potential conflict between an FMCG company and a rental provider. It allows them to facilitate a relationship that can focus on added value rather than constantly dealing with problems.
Pallet management in the North American market
He noted that while many North American companies refer to themselves as pallet management companies, their offerings are different.
“Really, we’re a consultancy that ensures that our customers remove the risk of additional costs from their pooled pallet supply chain by taking away the day-to-day activity management of those areas I talked about to ensure that they have an expert focusing on it. Rather than having a colleague who works in a warehouse having this as 10% of of their job, we focus on it 100% of the time.”
Positive customer relationships in Europe opened the door for U.S. trials, which Hebblewhite says have proven positive. While declining to mention customer names, he said that two of their new clients are multi-site national accounts – both using millions of pallets annually. They have also signed several smaller accounts.
The first EMS employee will relocate to the U.S. in September, and the company will add perhaps another half dozen in 2023. That would give them the bandwidth to manage up to 40 accounts. Hebblewhite personally plans to spend a few months per year in North America developing customer and prospect relationships.
With the incorporation of the U.S. business, he said the plan is to patiently continue to grow the American business. EMS intends to maintain its focus on its European client base while growing its North American footprint.
For more information, contact Joe Hebblewhite (firstname.lastname@example.org) Or visit online at EMS Pallet Management.