Plastic pallet rental company iGPS announces deals with Nestle Waters (NWNA) and Independent Beverage Company.
iGPS is finally back in the news with two recent announcements. Emphasis is on supply chain improvements, increased safety, how rental can allow for a conversion from one pallet system to another without capital outlay, and the importance of pallet footprint size in impacting distribution costs.
In one announcement, the company confirms that its pallets will be used for shipments of Nestle’s Poland Spring® brand natural spring water to customers throughout the North East. The move aligns with the NWNA commitment to continuous improvement and to develop new efficiencies within their supply chain that can also be shared with their customers.
“Testing of the pallet and service has proven iGPS Logistics to be fully capable of supplying our business with a sustainable product,” says George Sheats, strategic procurement manager supporting NWNA. “This improved pallet solution will reduce product damage and improve operational efficiencies. The lighter weight and superior construction reduces the chance of injury when handling the pallet.”
“This major relationship with Nestle Waters is an important ground-breaker for our company because it goes a long way to re-establishing iGPS as an efficiency-driven and customer-focused pallet pooling solution for the North American grocery supply chain” adds Jeff Liebesman, iGPS Logistics CEO. “We thank the leadership at NWNA and their customers for making this decision become a reality and we look forward to a long term and mutually beneficial business relationship.”
Cherry Soda Producer Sweet on iGPS
Independent Beverage Corporation (IBC), the North Carolina based soft drink company that is known for its unique and popular cherry flavored soda, Cheerwine, has completed its conversion from a standard wooden pallet product distribution platform to a full system integration of iGPS Logistics plastic pallets.
Previously, the company had always used the beverage industry’s standard wooden two-way entry 36 x 36″ pallet for producing and shipping their popular Cheerwine Brand, as well as for shipping a selection of major national brands such as 7-Up, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Sunkist, and A&W products, all which they manufacture under license. Recognizing that the company needed to upgrade its distribution platform, IBC President, Marc Robinson recognized that the iGPS system not only allowed IBC to increase its footprint to the more truck friendly 48×40 pallet footprint size, it also allowed the company to move to the sturdier plastic pallet without the cost of replacing the entire fleet of wooden pallets.
“We all agreed that newer plastic 48×40 pallets were the right direction to go in,” says Robinson. “But, like so many good ideas, we were concerned about the price tag to replace our old and depreciated fleet of wooden beverage pallets. Then, iGPS opened our eyes to the best of both worlds – a way to avoid the high cost burden of purchasing, while still providing us all of the benefits of iGPS plastic pallets through a rental agreement.”
“It was the perfect solution for IBC,” adds David Barker, IBC CFO. “And we’ve now completed the full conversion of our distribution system to iGPS plastic pallets.”
“Although every company faces its own unique distribution challenges, IBC’s concerns were not unusual – how do you take advantage of the latest technology without the high cost of reinvesting in an entire new shipping platform,” explains Jeff Liebesman, iGPS Logistics CEO. “Our model provides that solution.”
Larger Size Delivers Distribution Efficiencies
iGPS worked directly with Marc and his team to determine the volume of pallets needed to support IBC’s closed loop requirements between the Charlotte plant and a network of more than 80 regional beverage distributors spread throughout the Southeast. Remarkably the two companies were able to implement a successful test and reach a start-up decision in less than eight weeks, which was then followed by a complete overhaul of IBC’s product SKU Management process, driven mainly by changing from the 36×36 to 48×40 pallet footprint.
“We now rent about 37,000 iGPS plastic pallets and we’re already seeing improved efficiency benefits. This includes the elimination of nails and wood debris on the lines and on the floor at our Charlotte plant, as well as less product damage and a significant improvement in our transportation costs,” says Barker.
“We now carry more product, using the larger 48 x 40″ footprint on fewer trucks. Bottom line, we’re very happy with the outcome of the decision we made to move to the larger pallet and away from wood. We also like the way in which iGPS is working with us to ensure that we keep our current costs in line with our original expectations. They help us focus on the importance of closely managing this captive fleet of plastic pallets as they move through our supply chain to and from our in-house and third party distributors. We’re working through any of these kinds of issues in true partnership, which is greatly appreciated by all of us here at Independent Beverage.”