5 Factors of Great Pallet Repair and Return Programs (Off-Site) | Pallet Consultants
A pallet repair and return program takes your pallets to the supplier for repair before being returned. These five factors are key to an effective and efficient program.
Often paired with a total pallet management program, pallet repair and return is a convenient way for facilities to have a steady stream of newly repaired pallets without managing the sort and repair process themselves. A pallet repair and return program sorts these pallets, pulls out ones in need of repair, fixes them and returns the inventory to the facility. This saves operations time and money, both as a cost savings over purchasing more pallets and through not having to manage and staff the system.
When looking for an off-site pallet sort and repair provider, facilities should keep certain things in mind to ensure the best possible efficiency and service experience. For more information on how a pallet repair and return or total pallet management program can benefit your unique operation, start a conversation with us. When looking at pallet repair and return providers, consider:
- Repair Expertise
- Pallet Network
- Sorting Accuracy
- Private Fleets
1. Repair Expertise
If your returned pallets aren’t repaired to your specification, why even have the service? That’s why it’s important to ensure the pallet repair provider is competent and has a record of quality pallet repair and recycling programs. Repair providers should also have experience with handling facilities using multiple different pallet sizes.
Whatever your specific pallet requirements, the service provider should always meet your construction and performance needs with their repaired pallets. Receiving bad batches could impact your throughput while you wait for new pallets, or harm your team members and damage product if the pallets fail while carrying a load.
2. Pallet Network
The location, number and capabilities of your provider's facilities is another necessary consideration. If you're a high-volume operation, your pallet supplier will need to process your inventories reliably and always on-schedule. Distance between your warehouse and theirs is also a concern, since round trip times impact scheduling flexibility and increase the length of the repair process. Having additional pallet facilities near you may also be a bonus since it can provide additional logistic or repair capabilities when in a pinch.
3. Sorting Accuracy
Just as quality construction is central to a great repair and return program, so is sorting accuracy. When your used pallets aren’t graded correctly, there can be additional costs through being billed for undamaged pallets being "repaired". Without a proper process, inventories may be miscounted and lead to discrepancies between you and the pallet supplier. Damaged pallets also have the possibility to be mistakenly put back into your pallet inventory for use. Ask the potential repair provider how they intend to stay organized and manage your pallet inventories accurately.
Inquire about the training practices of the teams handling, sorting and repair of your pallets. What is their grading criteria for used pallets? How are certain damages repaired? Is there accountability in their repair line? Do they have any automated systems in place to ensure quality? Companies with refined practices will have answers to all of these questions.
Modern facilities run on lean schedules and require consistent deliveries to operate at maximum efficiency. Just-in-time service is the goal for many operations and is why consistency in all facets of a pallet repair and return program is crucial. Pallet pick-ups, sorting, repairs, delivery and general service quality must all be reliable and unfailing. Inconsistencies and mistakes reduces the service's value and can add up to decreases in your facility’s long-term efficiency.
5. Private Fleet
This is a part of service consistency, but is important enough to ask about on its own. A private fleet means that your repair company has their own trucks and trailers, and they control how the fleet is utilized. Without a private fleet, or one large enough to meet your needs, repair providers will have to rely on outside transportation and brokerage services to pick up or deliver your pallets. This can lead to inconsistent transportation schedules and time frames in addition to making costs more variable.
Additionally, schedule changes are better handled by a private fleet. If you need pallets a day early or need to have your used inventory picked up sooner than expected, it can be more difficult to arrange out-of-network transportation on a dime. Good service can still be provided without a private fleet, but having a service provider with their own trucks and trailers offers you more flexibility and dependability.
The most successful repair and return programs require expertise, a network of facilities, accurate sorting, consistency and a private fleet. Pallet Consultants is uniquely positioned to handle your pallet repair and return needs with our well-trained teams and reputation for reliable service with a private fleet of over 500 tractors and trailers. Start a conversation with us to learn more about the success we’ve had managing pallet repair programs across North America in a wide variety of industries.
We’re one of the leading pallet suppliers in the nation. We make custom pallets in hard or soft wood, along with our other products like recycled and combo pallets. We also offer pallet services, like heat treatment and total pallet management. No matter where you are in the United States, we have your pallet products and solutions. To see what we can do for you, or how you can become greener while optimizing your facility, start a conversation with us!