Heineken España is a subsidiary of Heineken, Europe’s largest beer producer. It employs 1,600 staff at four plants including one of the most advanced breweries in Europe – a 450,000m2 facility in Sevile. With annual volumes in excess of a billion litres, it is the top brewer on the Iberian Peninsula.
Beer consumption in Spain has remained flat since the global economic crisis of 2008, so Heineken has been looking for ways to cut costs while improving operational efficiency, environmental sustainability and customer service.
Heineken España switched from white-wood pallets to CHEP’s managed pooling service in 2013. As a result, it was able to cut costs, improve operational efficiency and minimise production disruptions – all while improving sustainability.
Quality-assured equipment brings many benefits
At Heineken, pallet quality and strength are essential to guarantee efficiency and safety throughout the brewer's operations. “We are confident that CHEP pallets meet our needs in this regard, helping prevent accidents and reduce product damage,” says Pedro Alonso Plasencia, Heineken España’s Manager of Procurement. “The CHEP pallet is considerably better than reusable or single-use white pallets. It ensures there are no disruptions caused by poor pallet quality.”
Working with CHEP also “minimises the ‘hidden costs’ related to the recovery, inspection, and repair of pallets,” says Patricio Román León, Manager, Packaging and Logistics – a reference to the enormously variable quality of white-wood pallets.
Cutting costs through operational efficiency
Heineken España has worked closely with CHEP to make its logistics processes more efficient. This has enabled it to cut costs across its supply chain while improving performance. “Working with CHEP eliminates the tedious administrative tasks associated with the white pallet exchange system”, says Mr Román León. “It also generates substantial savings in transportation, as it eliminates the need for us to recover empty pallets from distributors.” Mr Alonso Plasencia adds that CHEP has helped Heineken España to “increase collaboration with all parties across the supply chain,” cutting costs while improving levels of service. “The delivery system works perfectly,” he says. “CHEP is very flexible and can deliver enough pallets to meet even unplanned surges in demand.”
Why moving away from white is a sustainable solution
Heineken España’s commitment to sustainability is another reason the company favours CHEP, according to Mr Román León. “We eliminate waste as much as possible. The CHEP managed pooling system, in which the pallets are reused over and over – minimising the need for timber – fits perfectly within our corporate environmental policy.”