Case Study: Harvest Hill Beverage Company

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How Harvest Hill Beverage Company improved quality and reduced costs

The Opportunity
Improve efficiency, reduce product damage and validate compliance with shipping and handling specifications for Harvest Hill Beverage Company’s Juicy Juice unit loads.

The Solution
Utilize the CHEP Innovation Center to evaluate product transportation, shipping and handling procedures and optimize processes to reduce produce damage.

A unit load optimization story

Harvest Hill Beverage Company acquired Juicy Juice, the iconic brand and pioneer of the 100% fruit juice products, in 2014. Innovation and efficiency are critically important to Harvest Hill’s ongoing mission to “delight families nationwide” while “growing the company organically and through acquisition.”

When Harvest Hill acquired Juicy Juice, they wanted to ensure the product transportation, shipping and handling protocols they inherited were as efficient as possible and fully met company and customer standards and expectations. Specifically, they were looking to confirm adherence to unit load specifications, improve their unit load configurations and reduce the product damage many of their SKUs were experiencing during shipping.

To achieve their goals, Harvest Hill partnered with CHEP to conduct the necessary research and develop innovative ideas to maximize efficiency and generate cost savings. Harvest Hill utilized the resources and expertise of our ISTA-certified Innovation Center, where we utilize computerized laboratory simulations to measure the real world impact of materials handling and transport on unit loads, primary packaging and secondary packaging.

It was an easy decision to partner with CHEP. They understood our supply chain objectives and helped us find a better way to do things.

Doug Gillespie President & CEO, Harvest Hill Beverage Company

Our certified lab professionals collaborated with Harvest Hill’s packaging manager to create a protocol for testing Unit Load Optimization and Product Damage Reduction, determining multifactorial test protocols and aligning objectives and expectations.

We conducted testing on 18 Juicy Juice unit loads to generate data for dimensional analysis and unit load optimization. To discover the causes of product damage, we also performed tests that simulated materials handling (incline impact), warehouse stacking (compression) and transport (vibration).

Using CHEP’s shared and reusable pallet, the tests were conducted on unit loads comprised of products in bottles, pouches and boxes. The products had different sizes, packaging, case dimensions and unit load configurations. In addition, we subjected the unit loads to horizontal compression analysis to determine if Harvest Hill could use horizontal clamp trucks instead of forklifts to transport product within their warehouse.

The incline impact testing and vibration testing revealed which unit loads were susceptible to damage during materials handling and transport. Horizontal compression testing demonstrated that clamp trucks could not be used for most of the unit loads.

Our product damage reduction experts, using unit load configuration software, identified superior product configurations that could be used to optimize their unit loads. In addition, our analysis of their unit load dimensions identified a few had indeed deviated from company specifications.

After all unit loads were subjected to testing and analysis, our lab professionals shared our recommendations with Harvest Hill so the company could implement changes to its transportation, shipping and handling procedures.

As a result, the company was able to achieve greater efficiency, reduce product damage and generate supply chain cost-savings. In addition, Harvest Hill was able to show its customers that they were in full compliance with shipping and handling specifications.

CHEP’s Innovation Center and Unit Load Optimization Helped Harvest Hill

  • Test and verify shipping specifications.
  • Determine SKUs most susceptible to product damage.
  • Optimize unit loads and reduce product damage through efficient stacking.
  • Realize clamp trucks were not a viable solution for most unit loads.
  • Create a new pallet stretch wrap solution to help reduce product damage.

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Case Study: Harvest Hill Beverage Company | CHEP USA