Casebook 2011: Polar Beverage chooses pallet provider

Creative partnership replaces multiple vendors with a single service provider.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
December 28, 2010 - MMH Editorial

Even after it made the switch to a pallet management service, Polar Beverages was so large that any single service provider was incapable of meeting its demand. The company eventually partnered with a provider that allowed it to exchange multiple pallet managers for a single, centralized service (IFCO Systems, 877-430-4326, http://www.ifco-us.com).

The company has grown tremendously during its 128-year history, now distributing 60 million cases annually from its two bottling plants and six distribution centers. For years, the company was forced to manage five separate pallet suppliers for just two of those locations.

Beginning in June 2008, the company entered into a new partnership with a different sort of pallet management provider. In just six months, Polar’s management felt ready to reduce the number of pallet suppliers to just two, and finally in October of 2009 began sourcing the vast majority of their pallets through one provider.

“In the past, the idea of a single pallet vendor doing more than 90% of our volume seemed ludicrous,” says Jim Doyle, vice president of operations for Polar Beverages. “We had resigned ourselves to managing a handful of vendors and dealing with all the issues that came with it.”

The collaborative supply partnership resulted in consistently high quality, lower costs, and minimal program management by Polar. Almost immediately, the partnership reduced costs by nearly eliminating program administration and minimizing downtime due to pallet failures. Because delivery modifications are made in less than 24 hours, the company now avoids pallet inventory buildup and shortages.

Management from the company and the provider meets regularly to brainstorm creative ways to drive costs out and add value to Polar’s supply chain. The two have developed models for vendor return programs, on-site operations, and pallet repair programs. This partnership and exchange of ideas is the basis for the continued success and growth of the relationship.



About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world's most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

IBM and Ohio State have formed a unique partnership to train students on supply chain management software. It's a model that other businesses and universities should emulate.

Located in the city of Jundiai, in the state of São Paulo, the plant has been configured for the assembly of selected automatic data capture product lines.

Gor the first half of 2014, NRF said that retail sales were up just 2.9 percent compared to the first six months of 2013, with sales through the end of the year expected to be up 3.9 percent annually.

Quarterly Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing Forecast (MHEM) indicates growth on horizon for industry.

Xtreme RFID manufactures rugged RFID tags that fully encapsulate RFID inlays in a one piece plastic housing to protect it from chemicals, water, impact, temperatures, and other unforgiving elements.

Article Topics

News · Inventory · Pallets · Pallet Pool · Casebook 2011 · IFCO · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA