Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Palletizing Pallets

Palletizing Pallets

We had a need recently for two plastic pallets, so we ordered them. And here they are, just off the truck, sitting on our dock.


How do you ship pallets? Sure, you just stick ‘em on a pallet, slap on some shrink wrap and off they go!! Is this nuts or what?

Why pay for the wood pallet? Why not just secure the two plastic pallets together and ship them, with the label on top, which obviously works just fine? Now we have to dispose of the wood pallet. It fills up a landfill unnecessarily, is a hassle, is a home for rodents while it sits outside waiting for a disposal truck.

And who pays for the wasted pallet?? Yep, we do. We pay for the waste of our suppliers. We pay for this waste of overprocessing.

One of my Lean mentors, MaryPat Cooper, is fond of saying “You don’t have to worry about eliminating waste. You have to simply learn to see it. When you see it, you can’t stand it until you get rid of it.”

And I really wonder if this isn’t the case for our palletizing supplier. They put all their outbound stuff on pallets, so shipping pallets is simply no different. They just don’t see it.

That’s a management problem. That’s a leadership problem.

And all of this makes me wonder where I’m palletizing pallets and just don't see it. Just won't see it.


Anonymous said...

That is a perfect example of a waste of processing. Well spotted Joe.

Thommy Bommen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thommy Bommen said...

haha I love it! Such a good example. It doesnt get more clear than this.. Although you would want your pallets to get to you unharmed? If you see the wood pallet, it is damaged. But I really love your point.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiousity, wheredid you order the plastic pallets from?

Joe said...

I don't actually recall from whom we ordered the pallets. Would take some digging.



Anonymous said...

I work in the grocery industry, and I could not agree with you more. Wooden pallets are always sitting around because they are used for everything, even items that deem useless as in this case.

Thanks for pointing this out to everyone, maybe we will see a change in the near future.

Anonymous said...

waste of processing is really getting on everybody's nerves, you're not on your own..
Its frustrating when they make you pay for waste that youre never ever going to use anyway!