The wooden pallet is still an ongoing necessity for warehouses and other supply chain entities for keeping supplies organized. Usually, there's a reliable supply of wood pallets available, but sometimes supply chain issues can slow down deliveries. Here are the top problems & solutions for pallet manufacturers in the coming years.
Supply Chain Slowdowns
One of the top issues & solutions for pallet manufacturers revolves around the cost of labor. The pandemic changed the workforce dramatically, causing managers to rethink job roles while workers pursued new careers. This disruption has led to companies of all types hiring and training new employees, which has slowed the pace of deliveries in supply chains. Achieving on-time delivery often depends on adequate labor availability.
Track Your Deliveries
A company that tracks every step of its delivery process has the advantage of accurately predicting arrival times. When deliveries start to miss their deadlines, it's essential to analyze the data and determine a solution for on-time deliveries. Tracking deliveries let you know which parts of the journey have bottlenecks. Part of meeting customer expectations for deliveries allows them to have access to tracking data on where their package is in its journey.
Find Back-Up Suppliers
Creating a list of backup suppliers can prepare your company for pallet shortages that may occur with your primary supplier. Turning to a pallet pool is an emerging solution, but you can also develop your own customized list of reliable suppliers. The reasons for slowdowns in one supplier, which might be due to a labor shortage, may not affect other suppliers.
Prepare For The Unexpected
The pandemic forced businesses to prepare more for future disasters, which can happen at the least expected moment. Countless small companies could not survive the first year of the pandemic, partly by not preparing correctly for sudden challenges. Here are ways pallet manufacturers can prepare for the next major emergency that affects suppliers and the masses.
Use An Accurate Forecasting Method
The supply chain crisis during the pandemic caused many wholesalers and retailers to stock up on supplies. But at some point, square footage becomes an issue, as a warehouse can only hold so much inventory. Analysts who make inventory forecasts must base ordering on a combination of studying historical data and estimating how current market trends will play out. Automated machine learning programs exist to generate inventory ordering recommendations for future supplies.
Choose Durable Pallets
Supply chain businesses have learned from experience that it helps to use long-lasting pallets to avoid sudden shortages. For the past decade, Costco has used block pallets to be more durable than stringer board pallets. The big three pallet pool operators mirrored the success of its shift to block pallets. Thanks to software known as the Pallet Design System, it's possible for manufacturers to experiment with lower-cost pallet designs.
Size Your Pallets Correctly
It's essential to use the correct size pallets for each shipment. Using inconsistent sizes can cut into profits because it can compromise space efficiency. Another problem with selecting improper pallet sizes is that it can cause damage to products, driving up repair costs.
Compliance With Pallet Safety Standards
Pallets used throughout a supply chain must comply with safety standards. Many of today's safety codes relating to pallets were based on the fact most have been made of wood. Since wood can attract insects, it must receive heat treatment to eliminate this threat. Plastic pallets must be certified to meet current fire codes, which have progressively moved toward stricter requirements. Pallet makers must also comply with updates to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA).
Invest In Sustainable Pallet Solutions
One of the most relevant issues & solutions for pallet manufacturers regarding economics and the environment is pallet sustainability. Quality pallets made from recycled wood help lower costs and less strain on the environment. Lumber costs have risen in recent years, causing pallet makers to take a broader view on alternatives. Another idea to consider for lowering production costs is a combo pallet made of a mix of new and used materials, including softwood, whitewood, and chipboard.
Manufacturers must weigh alternative materials for pallet manufacturing and embrace methods for producing pallets that last for years. Alternatives to standard pallets include Presswood and corrugated pallets. Share and reuse models help get the most use out of pallets.
Train Your Staff To Repair Pallets
Instead of letting old pallets stack up and turn to waste, develop a team that repairs old pallets and makes them useful again. It also opens the door to fixing pallets for others in your supply chain.
Reuse And Recycle Old Pallets
Wooden pallets become worn with frequent use, but the wood can be repurposed for other items or broken down into chips and recycled. There's a growing demand for recycling among the public and the business community as part of going green. The more old pallets are recycled, the less likely they'll end up becoming part of an eyesore of junk that takes up space. Remember that networking has extended the lifespan of a pallet.
Tap Into Third-Party Pallet Pools
An emerging solution for suppliers who need pallets is joining a pallet pool provider such as 9BLOC. This new pool aims to compete with the big three pallet pool providers: CHEP from Australia, PECO Pallet of New York, and IGPS in Florida. A pallet pool allows you to rent, lease or purchase pallet inventory from pallet makers all over the world. The development of 9BLOC began in 2010 in the middle of a pallet shortage.
The future of the wooden pallet is to be reduced, reused, and recycled more often. Out of the top issues & solutions for pallet manufacturers, seeking sustainability is most resourceful. Find out more about pallets for sale so that your company stays on top of its pallet inventory.