Davies & Robson supports Scott Pallets with logistics improvements

23 June 2023 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

Timber packaging business Scott Pallets has undergone an overhaul of its pallet recovery operation. The move, which will help save time and resources for the firm, was overseen by supply chain consultancy Davies & Robson.

Part of the Scott Group, Scott Pallets is a timber pallet and packaging solutions business. The company operates from over 30 UK locations to manufacture and supply new pallets, reconditioned pallets, recovered pallets and timber packaging and cases.

A wooden pallet can cost anything between £10 and £80, depending on the customisation needed for it to fit products being shipped. With thousands being used in any one trip, re-use is an important practice to keep costs down.

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However, hidden costs from reusable pallet management can still arise out of pallet loss, bad utilisation, and aging. Some estimates suggest that if all this only led to six lost pallets a day over a year, it could cost a company more than $70,000.

To help address this, Scott Pallets contacted specialist consultancy Davies & Robson to undertake a full review of its pallet recovery operation. Headquartered in Northampton, Davies & Robson is a logistics and supply chain consultancy boutique, with around 20 staff.

Scott Pallets wanted to understand where the inefficiencies were within its existing operation, and how these could be eliminated to improve vehicle utilisation and ultimately reduce overall transport cost, so Davies & Robson was tasked with focusing on transport efficiency improvements within its inbound collection and outbound delivery flows. At the same time, the experts needed to ensure that the transport model would be robust enough to incorporate any new business developments such as the new “Pallet Loop” service into the existing operation.

Finally, Scott Pallets asked Davies & Robson to review the existing management reporting suite, helping make sure it was only feeding back relevant information to help the business adapt its behaviours appropriately. This exercise required a review of organisational structure and core competencies, leading Davies & Robson to undertake a full analysis of the current operations.

The experts used existing delivery and collection data, while witnessing collections first-hand on a “driver observation day.” In addition to those exercises, Davies & Robson also undertook a review of the market providing Transport Management Systems (TMS) solutions. On completion, the firm presented an end-to-end report of the situation to Scott Pallets, complete with a list of recommended improvements.

The recommendations demonstrated significant improvements to both vehicle utilisation and driver utilisation. They also included a TMS solution, aiming at underpinning the operational improvements identified, while delivering transport planning opportunities. All the recommendations related back to the critical KPIs needed to support the operational, structural and competency related changes needed to deliver the maximum benefit of a TMS solution.

Commenting on the changes, Scott Group Operations Director David Mercer noted, “The report and analysis proved invaluable in helping the business put together a strategy for the future. There were a number of short, medium and long-term actions that we can now implement to help drive improvements and cope with the considerable growth we are seeing. Davies & Robson experience and ‘hands on’ approach really created an appetite for change”.