Last month’s blog discussed the different types of partnerships customers can maintain with pallet suppliers, from select services to a total pallet management program. This month we will discuss the role a national broker, wholesaler, or distributor can play in your company’s pallet operations.
What Is a National Pallet Broker?
National pallet brokers form relationships with wooden pallet suppliers and manufacturers around the country and connect them with users who need steady supplies of wood pallets. While some brokers also make pallets, many work with select manufacturers to supply pallets in regions where they don’t maintain their physical locations. Brokers also can serve as pallet wholesalers, distributors, recyclers, and manufacturers.
What Does a Pallet Broker Do?
The pallet broker is simply a middleman between the manufacturer and the buyer. Brokers take on roles such as:
- Researching new industry trends in pricing
- Evaluating suppliers to find the lowest possible prices
- Processing requisitions
- Negotiating contracts for materials
- Developing a company’s procurement strategy
- Building reliable supplier networks
- Finding suppliers who can offer a broader product mix: new, used, crating, custom sizes
- Simplifying supply chain to include fewer vendors with more capabilities (streamlines operations, saves money)
- Making buying decisions that meet the diverse needs of each point on the supply chain
- Solving problems related to defective materials or late deliveries as they arise
- Helping firms reach specific revenue goals
What Are the Benefits of Working with a National Pallet Broker?
National brokers can help smaller or regional wood pallet manufacturers broaden their service areas and boost sales of smaller local suppliers by introducing them to national contacts. In turn, most brokers typically have an extensive network of manufacturers that can work with national companies that require steady supplies of pallets to various locations around the country. Some brokers, however, opt to work with a single supplier who can do it all to consolidate vendors and have a single point of contact. They also may work with smaller pallet manufacturers around the country to service-specific regions or needs.
If an area is already saturated with pallet companies, broker relationships can help these local players continue building new pallets, remanufacturing existing pallets, or recycling old pallets to a more diverse clientele. Pallet brokers also may have existing relationships with purchasing managers at larger corporations that a local manufacturer may not have been able to access. These large national accounts often put out reverse auction-type RFQs that can lead to additional work for smaller pallet yards.
National brokers can quote on larger scale work through buyers, purchasing agents, and raw material buyers. Brokers look for suppliers and manufacturers who can provide pallets in large quantities or custom sizes. Those who work in pallet recycling and pallet remanufacturing also are important partnerships, as recovered pallet production also continues to drive demand.
How to Establish a Mutually Beneficial Pallet Broker Relationship
Whether you are a pallet manufacturer or a purchasing agent, there are some simple ground rules to developing a beneficial partnership with a pallet broker.
- Build mutual trust.
Wooden pallet brokers can be helpful to connect pallet manufacturers and distributors who don’t have a dedicated sales force or work with a limited sales staff. Brokers can help build reliable supplier relationships and find the best costs, even without the bidding process.
- Communicate openly and frequently.
Lumber prices and labor shortages keep the industry in flux. Check in regularly with your broker to ensure you remain top of mind with them as they talk with purchasing agents and distributors who need pallets.
- Look at the value beyond the price tag.
Brokers are the bridge between pallet manufacturers and the companies that need them. In addition to price points, pallet manufacturers can offer additional advantages such as custom pallet sizes, remanufacturing, recycling, and delivery to customers. It’s all about giving helping customers find the best way to do business every day.
About Hope Timber Pallet
Based in Licking County, Hope Timber Pallet serves all of central Ohio and surrounding areas with a fleet of more than 100 semi-trailers that pick up and deliver pallets of all sizes. Are you a national broker interesting in connecting with Hope Timber Pallet? Contact our team today.