Supply Change

How CHEP is transforming into a supply chain solutions company to better serve its customers

Best known around the world for its blue pallets, CHEP is a global leader in supply chain management, offering a diverse set of solutions designed to save time, money, and environmental impact throughout the supply chain. With its asset pooling model, CHEP helped create a “circular economy” by renting reusable platforms to many of the world’s largest manufacturers and retailers, leading to a more efficient and sustainable supply chain.

“We eliminate waste in the supply chain,” says Matt Lallatin, chief financial officer of CHEP North America. “Through our sturdy, reusable platform solutions and extensive logistics expertise, we help our customers minimize their carbon footprint and drive efficiencies into their networks.”

As a long-time supply chain solutions provider, CHEP has captured its experiences and formalized its learnings into solution offerings for its customers. “We have a group of highly talented and experienced engineers and logistics professionals who can help customers optimize their networks, reduce length of haul, eliminate empty miles, minimize product damage, and collaborate to find innovative solutions to nearly any supply chain problem they encounter,” says Lallatin.

“Our unique position in the supply chain allows us to share our experiences and learnings with our customers in a collaborative manner.”

Supply Chain Solutions

Beyond its traditional platform solutions, CHEP North America offers a variety of solutions specific to the needs of manufacturers and retailers. These include system-wide solutions, distribution and manufacturing solutions, transportation solutions, and corporate social responsibility solutions. “We feel that our unique position in the supply chain allows us to share our experiences and learnings with our customers in a collaborative manner, creating new opportunities for partnership and growth,” Lallatin says.

Recently, CHEP helped a consumer goods manufacturer maximize the amount of product shipped on a specific platform using unit load optimization methodologies. After the collaborative effort, the customer was able to increase the amount of product shipped on each unit by 25 percent. This was accomplished by evaluating different stacking configurations using software optimization and packaging validation of a simulated environment in CHEP’s International Safe Transit Association-certified innovation center in Orlando, Florida.

“By working directly with our customer’s packaging engineering, supply chain, and merchandising organizations, we are able to optimize product transportation, reduce costs, and help them achieve sustainability by reducing the amount of resources required to distribute their product,” Lallatin says.

CHEP’s Six Sigma-certified engineering team also conducts detailed operational reviews with its customers. In one case, this led to a small investment that decreased downtime in the facility and saved customers more than $200,000 annually, a 30 percent reduction. “By applying best practices related to automated manufacturing equipment, our engineers were able to identify opportunities to balance configurations, sensors, and product flows in their manufacturing environment,” Lallatin says.

CHEP also collaborates with customers to streamline the supply chain using reverse logistics solutions. Various programs such as dock sweeps and store retrievals allow the retailer to monetize more of their salvageable assets. “These solutions help optimize transportation utilization throughout the supply chain,” Lallatin says. “When combined with CHEP, as one of North America’s largest backhaul shippers, [these solutions] create a unique opportunity to further optimize the supply chains of our customers.”

Future Focus

CHEP plans to continue to leverage its supply chain expertise to expand its platform and solutions offerings. “We closely monitor industry trends, emerging technologies, governmental regulations, and the dynamics of the supply chain to ensure our products and services meet the ever-changing needs of our customers,” Lallatin says.

As CHEP expands beyond its traditional pallet platform, Lallatin sees significant opportunity for future solutions offerings that will further optimize the supply chain. “We believe our solutions differentiate us in the marketplace by helping our customers find optimal solutions across the value chain,” Lallatin says. “With our vast supply chain network and extensive experience, we are ideally positioned to provide platforms and solutions whenever and wherever our customers need them.”