Reasons why a national pallet procurement and management program can be beneficial versus each facility making pallet decisions in a vacuum.
Whether a purchaser is really interested or really skeptical of national pallet programs versus their local pallet provider, they often find their way to the same questions: How can your program be better and cheaper than buying direct? And, aren’t you just extra added margin for me doing a little less work?’ Those are great questions. I love those questions. The answer is, of course, because I bestow super powers upon you!
I have unique super powers that I can use in conjunction with buyers to right the wrongs and injustices that have been committed within their pallet spend. Here are a few examples of how these awesome powers are used to establish and optimize a multi-site pallet program:
I harness and control data for you so that we can make real business decisions based on facts (Superpower: Telekinesis)
Many purchasers mistakenly think they have control over their pallet spend when in fact they don’t. This reality comes to light when it comes time to act and they find they don’t have detailed specs (if they have any), the physical pallets often don’t match the specs, and because the descriptions in the purchasing system are so poor, they really don’t know how much of what they have purchased historically. When pricing changes, they don’t know why or if it was warranted. They can’t get to real data in some cases because the plant does not cooperate.
Through the powers of Telekinesis, I extract and arrange all this data, like disparate silverware flying to a super magnet, only to be neatly arranged once landing in the drawer. The specs are detailed (with cuts, species, nails, etc) and purchasing data is returned in customized reports (Tableau anyone??). We capture every piece of transactional data we can to build an accurate, reliable, accessible data history. We can then do a number of things like analyzing what it truly costs to palletize your load. We can now accurately predict the effect of proposed changes. Want to know the on-time delivery metrics for facilities in the western region? No problem. Want to analyze the pallet price movements vs lumber pricing over the last three years? No problem. You can’t make solid business decisions without data. A good corporate level pallet program is first and foremost about control. If you don’t control the data you are not in control. The program should capture all the data and present it to you in customized, interactive formats.
With a background in manufacturing, engineering, business, and pallets, I turn you into your own cross functional team (Superpower: Focused Schizophrenia)
The biggest problem I find in working with pallets is that as soon as someone starts feeling a little uncomfortable they stonewall behind some technical jargon and claim that nobody understands their problems. Oh, but I do! I’ve run manufacturing operations, I know the ins and outs of the pallet world, and I understand that you’re being asked for inventory turns and reductions in operating capital. When your operations people say something won’t work you probably roll your eyes and walk away (that’s perfectly understandable by the way). I say, wow, in the 60’s some guys programmed a Commodore 64 to put a guy on the moon…I bet we can solve your problem…explain the gory details, please. We find there is no big problem and they’ve just had their bluff called, or there is a problem and they are so happy that someone is sincerely interested in understanding it that they lay the whole thing out (and then we usually solve it!)
I show up to your facilities in jeans and boots…I leave the cape at home (Superpower: NOT being invisible)
Most purchasers don’t have the time or budget to visit each plant to review operations and collect data on the front end of an initiative like this. They certainly don’t have the time and budget to routinely visit their facilities in an ongoing fashion to inspect the products under their watch. I visit every customer facility at least once to get the program up and running. Once implemented I visit each facility at least once a year (I visit many of them 4-5 times a year). The local people that will physically build the pallets will also be checking in with your facilities, under my direction, multiple times a year to make sure details don’t wander. As a person that has worked in and run manufacturing operations, I can tell you that most manufacturing folks get very frustrated when people send them products they’ve never seen, to be inserted in a process they don’t understand, and then never show up to be accountable. I bridge that gap. I show up. I walk the walk. I usually leave with various stains on my clothes.
I help you reach backward and forward in your supply chain and then compress them into an integrated ball of glowing value creation (Superpower: Ignition of cold fusion)
You are familiar with fusion right? It is the compression of molecules to the point that the nuclei merge…excess heat payout…why are your eyes closing? In pallet terms, I can pull things together and merge them into a cohesive system the way few others can. For instance, I have helped customers team up with their vendors so that we one pallet to ship raw materials and then reuse it to ship the finished goods. Two pallet uses for the price of one pallet. For another we ship their pallets to their vendors who ship them back with goods on them. The pallets then go to retail locations, come back for inspection and processing, and are then used all over again. We basically create a private pool which tailors itself to the needs of the customer rather than imposing limitations. The cost per pallet use drops significantly.
Consistency (Superpower: Corporate oversight…not as sexy as the others, but effective)
All pallets, at all sites, get audited with the same set of eyes and expectations so that excellent pallets in Georgia are the same as excellent pallets in British Columbia. The design methodologies carry through product lines and across geographies to increase predictability and safety while reducing liability. Everyone in the supply chain knows what to expect with respect to handling requirements regardless of which facility your products ship from. Only with consistency in pallets can true, standardized handling procedures be put in place to increase efficiency and safety. If there is an unfortunate handling accident you have a paper trail showing a focused, professional, intentional effort to get the pallet portion of the equation right. Once you have a corporate level pallet program in place and functioning, you have the potential for companywide improvements every time an opportunity presents itself. You don’t know what’s coming next…and that’s why you want a corporate level pallet program ready to navigate the future as it unfolds.
Evil gets defeated, order get restored, and value is created (Superpower: Being super, man!)
Regardless of what your initial thoughts are about the examples above, results don’t lie and the results are that we save customers money and increase value for them. They periodically test the market before resigning contracts and find that they can’t buy as well as I have even when they go direct – to somebody that can’t supply my program benefits or expertise. You may not know how Aquaman can communicate with ocean creatures, but he does! You may not understand how I can create a program that is better and cheaper, but I can!
In the end, I need your superpowers also because these are strategic projects and we need to leverage our combined strengths to achieve something that neither of us could have achieved alone. You know the culture, the personalities, the history, the big picture and are determining and communicating the goals. In the end, it’s not about me doing it instead of you, it is about me doing it with you. The darkest evils require superheroes to come together and join forces.
Wonder Twin powers…activate!
The opinions stated above are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of PackagingRevolution.net. To speak to Tyson and find out more about the innovative wood pallet solutions offered by The Pallet Alliance, Inc., visit www.tpai.com.