Top 6 Questions to Qualify a Pallet Company | Pallet Consultants
When looking at pallet providers, there are many questions you could ask. Here are the first six you should inquire about when considering a provider for new and recycled pallets as well as pallet management services.
Good Pallet Provider Questions Deserve Good Answers
Your pallet provider and servicer is very important to your business. With a good one, you’ll get great pallet products and solutions while streamlining your facility. You’ll have pallets on time, a tighter supply chain, and most importantly be confident all your pallet needs are being fulfilled.
With a pallet provider that isn’t quite up to the task, you risk delayed shipments and pickups, pallets that don’t meet your specifications, and extra headaches while parts of your operation fall behind.
It’s important to find the best pallet company for you, and here are the first six questions you should ask potential pallet servicers. Go ahead, ask us these questions and see what we can do for you!
What is your company history, and who are your major current customers?
The company’s history and clientele should give you an idea of their dependability. If a company has been in business for a long time, chances are it’s for a good reason. Businesses that don’t meet or exceed customer needs and expectations don’t stay open. Those that are open have survived by being efficient and effective, and are likely to have experience that you can benefit from.
Also, their current clients can tell you a lot about how well the operation is run. If they service large clients with multiple locations, chances are they’re competent and can be trusted. A larger customer wouldn’t continue business with a pallet provider that doesn’t meet their needs.
How large is your pallet inventory on average, and how fast are your services?
This question may be more crucial than asking about company history and clients. Without a suitable inventory and services quick enough to back it up, a pallet company can’t do its job properly.
If the provider you’re considering talks about peak inventory capacity, ask about average inventory. Especially if your operation is prone to needing deliveries last-minute, you need to be sure the provider will always have enough on hand for you. Some providers can have large peak inventories, but usually operate with a much smaller average. You don’t want to be in the position of relying on your provider only for them to come up short.
Fast service is another component of this question. If you don’t get the right service, what use are their pallets? Let’s say you need wooden pallets and they have them, great. But what if you have to pick up the pallets yourself, or wait days for them to be delivered? That isn’t great, and is something that needs to be considered and discussed with any potential provider. Suitable inventory and quick service are key to a satisfactory pallet experience.
Where are your physical locations and how large is your network?
Proximity and resources should factor heavily into your ultimate decision. If their locations or affiliates aren’t close, this could lead to longer delivery times and greater shipment delays. Depending on their reputation and your needs, you may want to re-think a company that is more than a couple hours away. This is not to say that you can’t have a great pallet provider that is farther away than you’d prefer, just that there’s more room for delays.
Network size is important as well. Even if the provider you choose isn’t close, they can have partners and affiliates in your area that will meet your needs. For example, Pallet Consultants is based in the Southeast, but we have affiliates around the country. This means that although our warehouses won’t be filling your orders in Oregon, Wyoming, or Tennessee, you’ll still have us in charge of your pallets and services and making sure everything is perfect.
You can also ask to tour locations. This will give you the chance to meet the team providing your pallet services, and also give you an idea of how well their facility is operating.
Do you offer on-site pallet repair and inventory management?
Even if your operation doesn’t have the intention of using on-site repair or having inventory handled by your pallet servicer, it’s still a good idea to ask about these services.
On-site pallet repair has a lot of advantages, as does inventory management. Seeing what your potential provider is capable of will give you a good idea about their overall competence, especially if they provide these services for large operations. Pallet providers that can handle on-site repair and total pallet management for multiple businesses are much more likely to have the resources necessary to ensure great service for you as well.
And while you may not be looking at on-site repair and inventory management at the moment, having the option of seamlessly upgrading to using them is a definite bonus. You may later decide, like an increasing number of operations have, that it makes sense to have inventory handled and pallets repaired on-site. If you do, it would be much easier to speak your current servicer that already understands your operations rather than having to go through that process again.
Are you properly insured?
Most people don’t think about insurance until it’s needed. The wrong time to be asking about policies is after an incident. Make sure you don’t have any surprises by ensuring the companies you are considering have multiple forms of insurance, for protection and peace of mind.
Product, liability, and workers’ insurance are important to ensuring you’re covered for any situation. If you’re product is damaged by a faulty pallet or from mismanagement on the behalf of your pallet provider, coverage makes things much simpler. Liability insurance shows the provider is credible and will save both parties from potential lawsuits. Insurance for workers shows they care about their team and consider the unfortunate possibility of injury.
What steps toward sustainability have you taken?
Most pallet companies now recycle pallets and related products extensively, but you’ll want to make sure they’re doing their part. How many pallets do they recycle? Do they also recycle nails and cardboard? Do they use wood scrap for mulch and biomass?
See how proud the company is about their sustainability efforts. Chances are if they’re conscious about the environment, they’ll be conscious and studious about your needs as well. Also, this is a great way to tell your own customers you care about the environment, as having a green pallet company also makes your operation greener.
With over 20 years of experience and a dedication to customer service, Pallet Consultants is the leading pallet service provider across the country. We offer many pallet products, like new and recycled pallets, combo pallets, and custom pallet sizes. We also provide total pallet management and heat treating, just to name a couple services. Try asking these top six questions to us, we’d love to start reviewing them and your needs. Start a conversation with us!