Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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Pallet pooling – FHG IPP UK & IRELAND

Formed in 2005, FHG IPP Logipal UK Ireland has grown rapidly to become the second largest pooling supplier in the UK Ireland and establish itself as a leading high quality pallet pooling specialist.

Carl-McInerney---Country-Director---FHG-IPP-Logipal-UK--IrelandThe company’s principal clients are in the FMCG, retail, recycling and electronic sectors. It is a member of Timcon, the timber packaging and pallet confederation.

Key highlights of the year included a move to new larger premises on the same Meriden Business Park, near Coventry and launch of a new range of reusable box solutions. The move was prompted by a doubling in business size since 2009 while the new range comprises the FHG Bulk Box, FHG High Protection Box plus handling and packaging accessories.

FHG IPP Logipal UK Ireland is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FHG, Europe’s largest pallet producer and second largest pallet pooling supplier.

Carl McInerney, Country Director, FHG IPP Logipal UK Ireland spoke to Warehouse Logistics News.

WLN – First of all, what does your role involve day to day? Has it changed since last year?

As country director I have responsibility for development of the UK and Ireland business unit with commercial focus on new business development, sales and marketing. When I joined three years ago my challenge was to keep the business growing sustainably while developing the maturity of our organisational capability. That meant developing our people, process, management routines and systems to ensure we could make the transition to a much larger business while continuing to be efficient and serve our customers to high standards. In the last year I’m proud to say that we have managed that transition well including relocation into new, larger offices. The focus on growth continues and importantly we believe that our people are our biggest differentiator outside of our recognised pallet quality. As we grow, our investment in people will ensure we maintain the right levels of intimacy with our customers. We know that accessibility to key senior people and stability of relationships with day-to-day contacts is important to our customers.

WLN – 2013 – how was it for you?

Another very challenging year! Our growth plans were ambitious, as were the demands on ourselves to continually improve our performance and service offer to customers. I’m pleased to say that the challenge was balanced with support from our group, FHG and our CEO Ingrid Faber and their confidence and investment in us has helped deliver another successful year. Our volume growth continues at double-digit rate and we have been winning many new customers on a weekly basis, across a broad range of sectors, with a variety of volume. As the clear number two pooler in the market place, we now have real scale and momentum meaning we are the credible alternative for change. Our scale in manufacturing, upstream suppliers and retail enables us to compete with a confident and comprehensive offer using a number of different service offers to suit our customers’ needs.

WLN – How has the Pallet Pooling category been performing this year? What do you see as the most significant recent developments?

Pallets can be a really good economic indicator particularly, if like us, you operate across a very broad range of product types and sectors. In the UK, based on pallet issues, we have seen modest growth for many of our existing customers and we finally all enjoyed a great summer after years of absence which drove consumer consumption. In terms of developments we’ve seen pallets come higher up the list of supply chain priorities for manufacturers. The fact that there is alternative and credible competition, better quality pallets, simpler process and administration with greater transparency of costs, has enabled manufacturers to position change of pallet provider firmly on the strategic project agenda. Also, in addition to improving basic pallet supply, working together or collaboration has become a core practice from our perspective. We have a good breadth of people in our business with a variety of backgrounds through companies such as Coca-Cola, Excel, UPS and we enjoy working with customers to link supply chains, remove cost and drive efficiency.

Palettes-FHG-IPP-LogipalWLN – Have you moved into any new business areas in the last 12 months?

The electronic waste and recycling pooling market is not a new area but certainly one in which FHG IPP Logipal has high growth ambitions.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) business unit specialises in providing environmentally and cost efficient solutions to allow the collection and safe transport of used electronics. It has been active in the European recycling market for the past seven years and pools its reusable bulk boxes and high protection boxes for handling large flows of e-waste in a range of European countries including Benelux, France, Italy, Poland, Romania and here in the UK.

WLN – What was your biggest investment to improve your business this year? What else have you done?

We moved to new headquarters in April as we had simply outgrown our old premises and taken on more staff. Since 2010, 18 new colleagues had joined growing teams in commercial pallet administration, customer service, logistics planning, asset recovery and pallet quality.

As we continue to grow our business by volume, our new HQ will enable us to better meet our ambitious future growth targets while at the same time developing organisational capability in the areas of people, process and systems to better serve our customers.

Our ability to grow so quickly has been based on a clear value proposition of delivering high quality pallets using a simple process to service the whole supply chain at a competitive price. Quality, simplicity, service, flexibility and value are hallmarks of our business approach.

WLN – How are your existing products and services doing? Have you developed or upgraded your existing products and services recently?

Our existing products continue to be regarded as being manufactured and maintained to the best of standards within the industry and we have increased our resources in the areas of asset and quality management and upgraded associated control processes as we grow. Our new depot opening programme continues to ensure we remain flexible, robust and close to our customers. We have extended our Trade Direct offer to more customers this year on the basis of a greater volume presence in retail depots which means our collection performance can confidently satisfy demand. For the first time, we have also now begun to work directly with retailers to service their own production flows.

WLN – Have you launched any new products or services, and how are they performing?

In June, we successfully launched a range of reusable box solutions comprising the FHG Bulk Box, FHG High Protection Box plus handling and packaging accessories including liners, flexible textile inserts and a smart pocket frame. The new FHG Bulk Box range is aimed at the retail and industrial sectors and offers a robust and efficient way to handle, store and carry products. The new FHG High Protection Box is ideal for transporting high value, fragile components and finished goods.

The accessories further deliver flexible, smart packaging solutions and added parts protection. By achieving higher load factors, transport movements and storage space requirements are reduced.

WLN – What’s been your company’s single biggest achievement in business this year?

Getting a sense of real momentum. Developing high performing teams, a new office, double-digit growth, working together with customers and opening new conversations for the future.

WLN – What was your favourite business moment in 2013?

Monday 15th April – 7:30am: Everybody at their desks in the new offices, on-line, smiling, happy and ready for business!


WLN – Do you operate in any other countries besides the UK? How are you getting on there? Have you gone into any new territories recently?

Yes, we have corporate operations in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. We are also looking closely at one or two other markets for expansion but have yet to make a final decision on these.

WLN – Have you won any awards recently, or been accredited to any new standards?

The most recent was the ‘Green’ award won by FHG last year for its sustainable pallets from De Telegraaf, the Netherlands largest daily newspaper.

WLN – Can you tell us about your major projects this year, and what they involved?

Well obviously the move to a new larger HQ in April was probably the single biggest project of the year, achieved without any interruption to our day-to-day operations. We also took the opportunity of installing a new telephony system and upgrading our technology infrastructure. The seamless transition was therefore all the more pleasing.

WLN – Can you tell us about your plans for 2014? Where do you see your business going?

In such a competitive sector of the market, we keep our business objectives a closely guarded secret but make no bones about the fact that we wish to continue to match recent double-digit year-on-year growth.

WLN – Are you looking at taking on more staff or expanding your premises next year?

Our new headquarters will accommodate our short and medium-term growth objectives. As the business continues to expand we will naturally recruit new people to support existing colleagues in taking the business forward.

FHG_IPP-144kb-LOGIPAL-rgbWLN – Are you exhibiting at any major trade shows in 2014?

The only exhibition in which we will be involved will be the pan-European SITL Europe, between the 1st and 4th April in Paris.

WLN – What other headline news from FHG IPP can our readers look forward to reading about in Warehouse Logistics News next year?

Watch this space! It’s a highly competitive sector. However, one thing’s for sure – we will continue to grow through a clear value proposition of delivering high quality pallets using a simple process at a competitive price. Quality, simplicity, service, flexibility and value are cornerstones of our business approach.

Phone: 01676 524000



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