By David Colavita, Management, Delisa Pallet Corporation
When I think of the terms “Lean Manufacturing” or “Lean Operations” and relate it to Delisa Pallet Corporation, I have several thoughts. I believe we are always tweaking all aspects of our business whether it is trucking, maintenance, remanufacturing, recycling or even office operations. Having been in business for over 57 years there are often times the feeling of “been there done that.” But have we really? There will always be ways to become more efficient, and operations are always changing. The real issue, are you straying from what you implemented three months ago or three years ago.
One recent example was with our maintenance department. They’ve been purchasing an everyday needed supply from a local company for the past few years. We noticed it was adding up in costs so decided to research the price. We learned we could source it at significantly lower price from one of our customers. We can’t forget to step back once in a while, slow down and actually watch what we are doing day to day. This small change will prove large by year’s end.
We’ve also made large strides over the years in recycling all used core sizes. Delisa does very little dismantling of pallets at our New Jersey facility. We try to find a home for every size pallet we take in, dozens of different size pallets, and are able to sort, repair and send these different sizes to customers at competitive rates.
Consequently, there is very little waste that ends up as grinder material, and we also meet a need for a specific customer application. However, this is a continuous effort as new sizes are always entering the marketplace; keeping our recycling operations and sales department on its toes!
For 2015, we’re working to eliminate our presort operations and take the mixed sizes directly to the repair stations, sort and repair directly there, which will free up sort stations for other areas needing manpower. This is already done at many pallet companies, however, as mentioned earlier, you become set in your way and need to step back and analyze what is really going on. We plan on stepping back more often in the future!