With managed recovery, Bottomley Evergreens receives CHEP’s pooled (shared and reused) pallets directly from distribution centers (DC) and retailers; sorts them using CHEP quality standards; stores the pallets that pass the test; and returns the rest to CHEP for repair. With recovered pallets on hand, the approach improves efficiency and eradicates empty miles.
“It’s a lot more efficient getting the pallets directly from the DCs,” says Simon Smit, Operations Manager, Bottomley Evergreens & Farms. “It reduces waste, and we’re able to keep our people busy. The managed recovery program is working out well for us.”
When Smit joined Bottomley Evergreens, the business used mostly white wood pallets; working with major retailers prompted the change to CHEP – a move Smit is glad they made.
“If you want to send products into the DCs, they need to be on approved pallets, so we started with CHEP,” Smit says. “Then, because we have the warehouse space, we tried the storage program. The guys in the warehouse like it – it keeps them busy and they want to work.”
During the first four years of the program, Bottomley Evergreens stored nearly 100,000 pallets on site, providing work for employees along with a bottom-line benefit: Customers participating in the CHEP storage and managed recovery programs receive per-pallet incentives. In addition, while pallets were immediately available at harvest time, Smit says he knows CHEP is ready to deliver more, whenever needed.
“I really appreciate working with CHEP, and I’m amazed at the company’s customer service,” Smit says. “If I call up and say, ‘I need pallets and I need them at 9 a.m.,’ the truck is there at 9 a.m. CHEP always comes through.”