While Bakkavor, the UK’s leading provider of own-label fresh prepared foods continues to ‘innovate on a plate’, the business has significantly extended a collaborative partnership with IPP, one of Europe’s leading poolers of sustainable wooden pallets to the retail supply chain.
In the last 11 years, the Coventry-based pooler has seen a 1,300 percent increase in volume demand from the fresh prepared food manufacturer, with IPP now working across 32 UK-wide locations to guarantee the availability of millions of reusable pallets so that Bakkavor’s products reach the supermarket shelves on time and in the best quality.
The two businesses began working together in 2009 at Bakkavor Meals, previously known as Hitchen Foods, in Wigan and the collaborative approach was soon extended across the wider estate. It uses the ‘trade direct’ palletized service to help the specialist provider cost-effectively move products such as bread, desserts, salads, dips, soups, ready meals, and pizzas.
As part of the sustainable ‘circular economy,’ which retrieves, repairs, and reuses pallets, ‘trade direct’ takes pallets directly from retail units to Bakkavor at a reduced cost to speed up the process and eradicate ‘empty running’, the wasteful transport miles used on the return leg when there is no payload.
Using IPP, Bakkavor has dramatically reduced its pallet rejection rate, meaning that more fresh prepared food gets through to customers on time without any supply chain delays.
IPP has developed strong relationships throughout the Bakkavor supply chain, including with Darren License, the warehouse manager at Bakkavor Meals, London.
“We have been dealing with IPP for a decade and over that period we have developed a good understanding of how both companies work well together,” he said.
“The general planning of deliveries is of great help, especially when vehicles are scheduled to arrive with us when the sites are less busy. This enables us to unload faster and to give the haulier a quicker turnaround.
“The booking out of pallets has never been easier by using the portal, and we are excited by the potential of being able to transfer pallets on the system via EDI, and, because IPP is customer-focused, we receive regular updates on our balances so that if any transactions appear to be wrong they can be immediately challenged and put right.”
“I have been in my position now for two years and cannot recommend IPP highly enough,” added Andy Hughes, crate and pallet controller for Bakkavor Bread. “I absolutely love the working relationship we have as they always go the extra mile at the drop of a hat! I feel IPP knows our business inside and out and is very reasonable and flexible.”
IPP takes a partnership approach, clearly developed to ensure a long term business relationship, offered Steven Morris, head of group warehousing and distribution for Bakkavor. “Both parties have a clear understanding of each other’s needs and both strive to fulfill them,” he said. “IPP has a balanced business proposition that offers value to Bakkavor and, with clear and open communication, runs very smoothly.”
Phil Storer, UK and Ireland director for IPP, said: “Our relationship with Bakkavor stretches back more than a decade and we have grown together as businesses during that time. The longevity of the relationship owes a lot to the open and honest relationship between us which enables Bakkavor to deliver its quality products, while we offer our own quality product and service at a reliable and realistic price with no surprise invoices.”
For more information on Bakkavor, visit www.bakkavor.com.