Facilitating a smooth supply chain at Makro is a daily challenge for supply chain operations managers Laurens Verbist and Guy Gys. To get products from the distribution centre to each of the 18 retail stores, Makro relies on three external logistics partners. It comes as no surprise that all parties share the same goal to optimise the supply chain.
For many years, Makro used traditional white wood exchange pallets to facilitate order picking for its shops. Once the pallets were empty, the retail employees would send them to one of their three external logistics partners. “As simple as this sounds, we never managed to get the exchange process completely under control”, explains Laurens Verbist. “Pallets seemed to simply go up in smoke from time to time. Every year we had to buy new pallets to replace the ones we appeared to have lost.”
CHEP considers it as its mission to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of supply chains. The specialists at CHEP therefore proposed analysing the various goods and flows at Makro to identify the bottlenecks. “The administrative process with regard to the exchange of white pallets was too complicated, and therefore not always accurate”, recalls Jan Smet, account manager at CHEP. To simplify the chain, Makro developed a share & reuse system in collaboration with CHEP at the beginning of 2018, that was tailored to the requirements of Makro and Metro.