How to ensure your plastic pallets are fit for purpose

Most people have experienced the disappointment of being mis-sold a product or service at some time in their lives, whether they have fallen victim to false advertising or sloppy advice. But in some industries, the consequences of being mis-sold to can be catastrophic.

In the pallet industry, being sold the wrong pallet for your application can not only be costly; it can cause irreparable damage if it is not fit for purpose and, in the worst case, injury to operatives.

In this article, the plastic pallet experts at Goplasticpallets.com share one customer scenario which highlights why it is essential to seek expert advice to ensure the pallets you buy are the perfect match for your application.

Buy cheap, buy twice

Our heavy duty plastic pallets are well known in the food and retail industries for their extreme durability and endurance in automated handling and racking scenarios, which is why a leading UK manufacturer of value-added healthy snacks purchased 390 from us back in 2007.

Ten years on – yes, these plastic pallets were still going strong 10 years later – the same customer came back for more, but this time they decided to shop around and ended up choosing a ‘cheaper’ alternative.

At Goplasticpallets.com we are very proud of our customer retention rate, so we were sad to see this customer go, but undeterred we kept in touch and it wasn’t long before the customer started experiencing problems with their cheaper plastic pallets.

Just one year after purchasing from their new supplier, the customer started noticing breakages and questioning whether the plastic pallets they had bought were fit for purpose.

Fast forward another year and the customer was in despair. After just two years, they had so many breakages that they already needed to buy more pallets.

The customer explained to us how they had supposedly been sold a heavy duty plastic pallet with metal reinforcements that could carry up to 1200kg in racking, but actually found the plastic pallet was breaking under load. One even collapsed in racking; luckily no one was injured but it did cause unnecessary disruption in the warehouse.

In this scenario, the customer was lured into buying the cheaper plastic pallets with metal reinforcements with the promise they could do the same job as a heavy duty plastic pallet. In reality, they were sold a medium duty plastic pallet with additional steel bars to increase the racking load. However, with less material and thinner weaker sections, a reinforced medium duty plastic pallet will never offer the same performance, strength and damage resistance as a heavy duty plastic pallet.

Try before you buy

It is never nice to hear that a past customer has been mis-sold to by another supplier, but when we do hear these horror stories we obviously try to do all we can to help.

After listening to the customer’s story, we made sure we fully understood how they would be using their plastic pallets – at Goplasticpallets.com advising our customers, documenting all discussions, and fully assessing their application is an essential part of our selling process.

The pallet we proposed was our heavy duty APB 1210 Pool Open 5R made from Recycled Polypropylene – one of our most popular plastic pallets because of its endurance for repeated use and extreme strength, capable of carrying static loads of 5000kg, 2500kg in handling and 1250kg in racking. Due to their previous bad experience, the customer was keen to test the pallet, so we agreed to a three-month trial period.

Trialling and evaluating plastic pallets in their specific application is something we are offering more and more to customers, particularly to those using automation such as conveyors or VNA rack systems, as we’re not content unless we have sold our customers the perfect match for their application.

After their three-month trial period, the customer was delighted with the performance of our heavy duty plastic pallets and in October 2019 purchased 300, printed twice with their logo for easy identification – and to avoid them being mistaken for their old unsafe pallets.

Following the success of this first batch, they bought a further 300 heavy duty plastic pallets from us last year giving us praise for being “excellent” pallets as “they just don’t break!”

Avoid falling victim to mis-selling

If you have previously been mis-sold to or misinformed by a supplier, it can sometimes cloud your judgement when looking to buy next time round, so how do you avoid falling victim to mis-selling again?

When it comes to buying pallets, at Goplasticpallets.com we want to ensure that our customers – old and new – never find themselves in this situation. But we appreciate choosing a pallet can seem daunting when there are so many different materials, sizes and styles to choose from.

So, we have made it easy for you with this short acronym – ASK GPP.

A – Application – make sure you run through your processes first to identify the ways the pallets will be used, before approaching any pallet suppliers with your application brief.

S – Share – share as much information as possible about how you will be using your pallets, your materials handling equipment and your systems they need to be compatible with; this will ensure we help you find the perfect match.

K – Knowledge – ask lots of questions to assess the supplier’s knowledge about their products, your industry and your application.

G – Get – get samples, if they are available, and make sure you request a demo. At Goplasticpallet.com we like to attend your premises, where possible, to give you a practical trial. Alternatively, we can offer you a live virtual product demonstration from our demo room.

P – Performance – compare the properties and technical performance of comparable pallets to help you weigh up the pros and cons of each.

P – Price – consider the price of the pallets, but don’t just buy the cheapest. Yes you want value for money, but in our experience the cheapest option very rarely generates the best ROI.

For expert plastic pallet advice ASK GPP by calling the team on 01323 744057 or emailing [email protected]