Let's Talk Pallets: Custom Pallet Repair
Hear from Francois Lachance,
Directeur depot Montreal.
Let's Talk Pallets
Tune in to learn more about how our custom pallet repair programs can help companies meet their specific pallet needs and solve operational issues.
Meet François Lachance, manager of our Montreal depot. He's been in the pallet industry since 1979, and the Montreal depot manager since 2005.
Tell us about the Montreal facility.
The Montreal depot: We built the St-Roch de l'Achigan depot in 2011. It is a 53,000 square foot building with a six acre fully paved lot. We have seven loading dock doors and 20,000 square feet of indoor storage. We currently employ 30 employees and specialize in repairing customer-owned pallets. I would say that 60-70% of our sales volume is customer owned pallet repair.
We started in the repair business many years ago, back in 2005. We have customers that had specific needs and Paramount has fixed a lot of operational issues for their customers. That's mostly our business. We do a little bit of new pallet manufacturing as well and some buying and reselling of used pallets.
What services do you provide and what industries do you serve?
As I said, we offer the services of repair, purchase and resale of pallets, and manufacture new pallets. The market is quite diversified. We mainly work with the food industry, but we also serve the cement industry, the wire industry. We are quite diversified, especially in pallet repair. We have customers who have their own fleet of pallets, who are not necessarily in the food market, but the bulk of our operations is the food market.
What makes the facility unique?
I would say it's our employees. With the experience that I have, I know that when the customer calls us and they have problems or there is something that they want, the service, or whatever it is, that is really the strength of our employees. Whether it's in administration, sales or in the plant, we have people with a lot of experience. We have a team, we have people who have been working with us for over 25 years and that makes a big difference. We put a lot of emphasis on that.
Our factory is located in a very good area and we can offer all services. Mainly, our team, experience, service and reputation. Paramount has an excellent reputation here in Montreal. We have customers who have been with us for 20 years and I think that alone speaks for itself in the sense that if they are still with us, it's because we take good care of them and that makes a big difference.
What are the benefits of custom pallet repair?
The advantages are that, unlike the pallet buying and reselling industry, where we have to work on two fronts – we have to buy the pallets and we also have to resell them – often, there are imbalances where we have more requests than pallets to provide, and it is more difficult to manage. With the repair of pallets that belong to the customers, they have their supply and we do not need to look for pallets. We establish sorting and repair criteria and they send us our pallets or we go and get them. There are big advantages in this area.
Another advantage is that many companies are now investing in automation and robotization, and pallets need to be perfect. These customers need companies like us to be sure that we will establish the right repair criteria, and to be sure that the equipment will not be blocked because of the pallets.
One of my customers said to me, "The people who installed the automated equipment told us, 'We're most afraid of wood pallets, because they jam in the lines all the time.'" A company like ours, we're able to sit down with them, establish very specific criteria and be able to provide them with pallets that won't jam in their automated lines. That's a big advantage.
Why should a company work with Paramount Pallet?
Paramount Pallet's reputation is very good. I've been in the business a long time. If a company decides to partner with us to establish a business relationship, it is certain that we will take care of them. So the service and competence are things that make a company interested in having a business relationship with Paramount, because as a customer, we take care of them. Whether it's a problem or an additional service they need, we respond to their request quickly and we take care of them, then we follow up. Customer service is something that with Paramount, people are very well served.