H&J Brüggen KB is a leading European producer of cereals and other food products. Its distribution centre in Thiers, central France delivers to a range of businesses in the booming food industry, including well-known grocery retailers.
In late 2008, Brüggen found that the hillside setting of its new Thiers operation posed problems in winter: in bad weather, trucks delivering pallets found access difficult. So it needed a cost-efficient solution to this major logistical challenge.
CHEP designed a customised solution for Brüggen, setting up a pallet centre just 50 metres from the Brüggen plant. This provides more storage space for more pallets, and makes sure the right number of pallets is always available for every delivery, whatever the weather.
A customised solution with green credentials
When Brüggen set up its Thiers operation in 2008, it worked closely with CHEP to identify current and future logistics needs. The solution CHEP proposed – a “total pallet management” system (TPM) on site – was tailor-made. Having an on-site pallet centre brings many advantages. Its
proximity to Brüggen’s distribution centre, plus the amount of storage space, makes sure pallets are always available. It reduces pallet losses, so product-handling costs are lower, and because pallet inspection and sorting is carried out on site, only damaged pallets are returned to CHEP. As well this, the
TPM programme cuts down on collection costs, and lowers a company’s overall environmental impact by greatly reducing the number of trucks on the road carrying empty pallets.
Helping distributors respond to client demands
Brüggen prides itself on the flexibility of its operations, which allow it to respond quickly to changing market trends and ensure the just-in-time (JIT) deliveries its clients prefer. CHEP’s TPM programme enabled Brüggen to improve its standards and service despite the site-specific challenges
of Thiers. “The Total Pallet Management programme is very beneficial to us,” says Stéphane Guilbert, Logistics Director at Brüggen France. “By having a CHEP pallet classification and repair centre operating next to our logistics facility, we have gained more flexibility and optimised transport costs, as well as improved quality and efficiency in our operations.”
Beyond pallets: how TPM works with pooled equipment
For customers who use pooled containers and other reusable CHEP equipment, CHEP offers an expanded management programme it calls total equipment management (TEM). Like TPM, this is designed to generate supply-chain efficiencies and environmental benefits.
To date, CHEP has established more than 150 TEM sites across the world, processing more than 100 million pallets and containers each year.