PPS are a leading supplier of Returnable Equipment Solutions, including the rental, pooling, washing and repair of plastic pallets, crates, containers and pallet boxes throughout the UK.
Our total solution has been created around a customer focused approach, allowing us to provide a cost-effective, versatile and reliable service to meet the needs of a range of customers across a variety of industries such as food, automotive, retail and commercial sectors.
We operate out of our two BRC accredited wash sites, both of which have an AA rating and our service is underpinned by our bespoke asset tracking system ‘Enable’, making management of the equipment simple and transparent whilst preventing equipment losses.
Our continued commitment to providing our customers with the best service possible led to our recent investment in a state-of-art, bespoke washing system that is unrivalled in the industry. In addition to this investment we have also welcomed Alison Handling and GW Containers to the PPS Group, completing the acquisitions of Alison Handling in 2015 and GW Containers in 2017 and allowing us to add equipment sales to our PPS Group services.
Joanne Moss, Group Managing Director of PPS spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What are your best-known products and services?
We have a broad range of Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) available to our customers, but we are probably best known for our plastic crates and plastic pallets, which are a key part of our most popular service – pooling.
Pooling allows businesses to utilise our assets to send products to their customers. We then collect from their customers, wash the equipment and return them to our pool ready to re-use. This whole process is managed via our tracking system Enable.
The main benefits of pooling are a reduction in cost, a more sustainable supply chain, hygienic equipment and less hassle.
What new products/services will you be launching next year?
We are updating our bespoke asset management system, Enable, to improve the customer experience and make it more user friendly. We want to make sure that our service is as easy and efficient as possible, and this investment is a big part of that.
Tell us about your business highlights or a project you have recently completed?
We have recently invested in a bespoke, state-of-the-art washing system which allows us to provide an industry leading wash for our returnable trays and crates. It’s a project that was a long time in the making as there is no ‘off-the-shelf’ solution that could provide the level of quality we wanted, but it’s one we’re immensely proud of as we’re seeing the results on a daily basis.
Our new website will also launch early next year, which has been updated to ensure it is more inline with our business and the growth and advancements we’ve made in recent years.
What industry sectors do you see offering you the most potential next year?
The food industry in particular presents a real opportunity for us as it looks to move away from single-use plastics, which is a challenge we can really help the sector tackle.
How do your products help businesses become cleaner, recycle more and reduce their carbon footprint?
Our RTP has a positive impact on a businesses carbon footprint in a number of different ways.
Our packaging has an average lifespan of 7 years meaning it can be re-used time and again without creating the waste associated with single-use packaging such as cardboard and polystyrene.
There is still too much single-use packaging out there and it’s up to businesses like ours to show the industry that RTP isn’t just better for the environment, it’s also more-hygienic and cost-effective.
We’ve also made a large investment in our repairs service in recent years, illustrating our continued commitment to providing sustainable solutions. When our products are damaged we repair them on-site to the highest standards, allowing them to be re-used when previously they wouldn’t have been. And if any products are beyond repair we work closely with a leading plastic recycler to ensure that nothing goes to waste. The waste hierarchy is a key part of what we do at PPS so our priority is always to re-use, then repair and finally to recycle. We also provide this service for our customers own equipment to help keep it in their pool for longer.
In addition to this the robust nature of our RTP offers increased protection to the products being transported which minimises waste caused by damage in transit. Our RTP has also been shown to minimise Co2 emissions through more efficient transit as it is uniform and stackable meaning you can fill a vehicle to its capacity, potentially reducing the number of required journeys to transport goods.
How have business conditions changed and how have you reacted?
Customers have become more focused on their environmental impact and are increasingly looking for solutions that improve their sustainability.
Sustainability has always been a key driver behind our solutions so we’ve been able to react by helping customers remove single-use packaging such as cardboard and polystyrene from their supply chain and by doing so they have also experienced cost-savings, which always helps.
What recent changes/improvements have you made in customer service?
We are always focused on providing the best possible service allowing our customers to focus on their core business.
Our aim is to make the use of returnable equipment as simple as possible by providing a flexible approach. Alongside our pooling service PPS will wash a customer’s own equipment and repair where necessary. We will also rent returnable equipment to allow our customers to focus their capex on their core business.
Do your solutions reduce manual handling and physical lifting?
Across the PPS group we are always looking for solutions that can drive efficiencies for our customers, and one part of that was looking at how we can reduce manual handling in the warehouse.
The new A-Link Dolly is a wheeled dolly system that was developed by our sister company Alison Handling and cuts the need for cage trolleys and inefficient storage systems.
Having worked with a major retailer on the trials we’re confident that by using the new systems it will potentially cut staff handling times between the warehouse and the store by approximately 46% and the feedback we’ve had so far supports this.
How do your solutions help customers increase the level of efficiency in their business?
Our solutions are created with the customer in mind as we appreciate that managing RTP can be difficult and time-consuming, potentially taking focus away from customers core business activity.
Our pooling solution creates an efficient supply chain as our products are sent from our customers to their customers and collected by us, simplifying the whole process. This is all managed via our Asset Management system ‘Enable’ and supported by our dedicated Account Managers.
We take the hassle out of switching to RTP by managing it for our customers.
How do you help customers make optimum use of their existing warehouse space?
Our rental service enables customers to rent Returnable Transit Packaging on an ad-hoc basis, which means they have exactly what they need when they need it. One of the key benefits of this is the space it saves in their warehouse. Often when companies purchase their own RTP they account for the busiest periods in the year, which means a high capex for equipment that can be sat around taking up space during quieter periods. Our flexible rental service negates both of those issues.
To what extent are you drivers of technological change?
We have invested in technology and innovation as we aim to continuously provide industry leading services for our customers, as evidenced by our multi-million-pound investment in our bespoke washing facility.
How futureproof and flexible are your solutions as businesses change?
From day one the business set out to be the market leader and to achieve that you need to be flexible in order to meet the changing needs of our customers. Our solutions have always been centered around our customers’ requirements and that will never change. We have created new products and continue to invest in our pool allowing us to keep increasing our service offer.
What big news can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News from you in 2020?
The launch of our new website and ‘Enable 2.0’
And finally, if you had to sum up your company in a hashtag what would it be?