Kevin Coffey, Director of National Sales, and Lee Hunt, Regional Director of Operations, discuss how an asset-based pallet provider can be responsive to customers needs, especially in times of high demand.
Get to know what it's like to work with 48forty and listen in on Kevin Coffey and Lee Hunt. As an asset-based pallet provider, we own all or most of the assets – warehouses, trucks, distribution centers, pallets – necessary to support a customer’s supply chain. This means we're particularly responsive to customers' needs and able to meet nearly any operational changes, quickly. We also provide the same high quality pallets and service coast to coast.
What is an asset-based supplier?
Kevin Coffey: When we reference an asset-based supplier, what we're talking about is we actually own all of our locations across the United States. And it also is reflective of our trailers. We have about 4,500 trailers in our fleet. So generally, when we service a customer, it's direct with the customer. Most of our business is done by our employees, our assets, specifically from our locations that are company-owned and operated.
How does an asset-based provider respond to my business needs?
Lee Hunt: We do pride ourselves on our response time to our customers' needs, especially in this time with the pandemic, you have some customers out there that are really experiencing sharp, sharp spikes. We've got customers that are probably ordering four times as many pallets as they have in the past. Whether they're grocery related – toilet paper is a pretty hot commodity right now. And we've got customers that may have went from four loads a week to 15 loads a week. And they need those pallets, they need a continual flow of those pallets to keep their lines up and running. And we've done a real good job in meeting that demand. It hasn't always been out of one plant. But like Kevin said earlier, it wasn't known to the customer where that load of pallets came from. We could have pulled pallets in from three different locations to service its needs, with us managing the logistics on our side. Our whole intent and focus is just uninterrupted service to the customer. So if they don't know what we're doing behind the scenes, I mean, we've successfully done our job there.
How does an asset-based provider ensure pallet consistency and quality?
Kevin Coffey: It doesn't matter whether you buy a pallet from us in Southern California from a Riverside plant or Charlotte, North Carolina, the pallet grade or the pallet expectation is going to be exactly the same. Because it's mirrored from one end of the country to the next one, because it's our employees, it's our process, and we mirror it across the United States.
Lee Hunt: One more thing to add to that is there's probably just a handful of companies, pallet companies out there that actually have created a QMS (Quality Management System) book and have a QMS plan. We've went and detailed what makes every pallet, what makes it that pallet, and the repair standards for every pallet, as well as put in traceability and some accountability for every pallet that goes out the door. We know what builder made that pallet. So if we ever have an issue, it can be returned to the source that we can have a learning session with that builder. But that's something that we're proud of on our operations side is really having that QMS plan in place.
Kevin Coffey: We talked about the asset-based portion of our business. It's who we are. You don't do business with one of our locations. You do business with 42 of our locations. So we take those pallets at any one of our locations, and we might move them around from plant to plant, to help service a particular customer whose business has spiked. And it's really the customer never even knows that happens.