Case Study: LJ Fairburn & Son

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Increasing efficiency across the supply chain, while protecting the most fragile food of all

LJ Fairburn & Son is one of the largest egg producers and packers in the UK. Established in 1951 with just 150 chickens, it now has over two-million birds yet is still owned by the same family. It delivers over 13 million eggs a week and produces over 80,000 tonnes of poultry feed every year.

The Challenge

Strong growth led to additional complexity and cost in the company’s supply chain. In 2013, it began working with CHEP to explore ways of operating more efficiently.

The Answer

With CHEP’s managed pooling service, LJ Fairburn can rent and share high-quality pallets instead of needing to own, maintain and store them. As a result, it has improved operational efficiency across its supply chain – cutting costs while improving sustainability.

From the beginning, our whole experience of dealing with CHEP has been a very pleasant one.

Sarah Louise Fairburn Brand Director, LJ Fairburn & Son

More efficient operations and greater sustainability

LJ Fairburn used to deal with multiple suppliers of white-wood pallets. As a result, it received equipment of variable types and standards. With CHEP’s managed pooling service, it spends less time and money on the day-to-day management of equipment, and the administrative activity that goes with it.

Now that equipment can be shared across the supply chain, a single batch of LJ Fairburn products can stay on the same pallet from storage to shipment. Employing the pooled pallet model has reduced the risk of product damage, freed up space in delivery yards and cut the amount of time required to move and sort equipment.

“From the beginning, our whole experience of dealing with CHEP has been a very pleasant one,” says Sarah Louise Fairburn, LJ Fairburn’s Brand Director. “They’ve helped us to improve the efficiency of our overall supply chain.”

Right equipment, right quantity, right time – always

CHEP became the sole pallet provider for LJ Fairburn in 2013, with an agreement to supply the company with around 60,000 pallets a year in two industry-standard sizes.

“CHEP’s nationwide network and unrivalled levels of acceptance across the UK was key to the agreement,” Ms Fairburn explains. “We also know that the pooling model gives us the flexibility to expand and contract as and when demand dictates.”

CHEP has 16 service centres located strategically across the UK and Ireland, to ensure that clients have no availability issues or production delays during seasonal peaks or unexpectedly high demand.

The solution has also made it easier for LJ Fairburn to budget. With white-wood suppliers, the price of pallets can fluctuate in line with input costs such as fuel and raw materials. But with CHEP, prices are transparent and fixed annually, and clients only pay for what they use, when they use it. “Being able to tap in to the level of supply chain expertise that exists within CHEP is simply fantastic,” says Fairburn.

…the pooling model gives us the flexibility to expand and contract as and when demand dictates.

Sarah Louise Fairburn Brand Director, LJ Fairburn & Son

Five benefits of the CHEP solution

  1. Increased efficiency across borders: pallets can be shared with supply chain partners throughout the whole of Europe – including in seven new CEE countries
  2. Reliability of supply: CHEP’s scale means the right equipment is always available in the right locations
  3. CHEP’s transport collaboration service reduces cost and carbon emissions by sharing truck capacity across the supply chain
  4. Reduced product damage and pallet failures, thanks to CHEP’s quality assurance and pallet reconditioning
  5. Greener solutions: CHEP pallets use sustainable timber and reduce the need for protective packaging

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