Established in 1915, Haigh’s Chocolates is Australia’s oldest chocolate manufacturer. The fourth-generation, family-owned company has six stores across the country, including its original shop in the Beehive Building on Adelaide’s Rundle Mall.
The company now makes and distributes more than 250 products - including the iconic Easter Bilby - at its factory just out of Adelaide city centre.
The Haigh’s distribution centre manages up to 800 pallets with 100 to 120 transfers through the warehouse each week - and this doubles at Christmas and Easter. Not surprisingly, Haigh’s Distribution Centre Supervisor David Elliot said managing so many pallets was a challenge.
“When we were getting the CHEP account in and we checked our pallets, we found we had more pallets than what we were being invoiced for,” said Elliot. “In warehousing terms, it’s just good governance to ensure the stock you hold matches your invoice.
Haigh’s turned to CHEP to find a solution. “For us, our priority is to make sure we have our fine chocolates on the shelf, so when we came to a logistical obstacle with our pallets, we went straight to CHEP to draw on their asset management experience,” Elliot said.
CHEP’s Asset Management Consultant, Rachel Silby, worked with Haigh’s to resolve the issue.
“We sat down with Haigh’s, went through their problems and helped them implement simple processes to resolve their issues,” Silby said. “As a result, Haigh’s now has full transparency of their pallet management throughout the supply chain.”
Rachel set up an asset management system to reduce the administration workload for Haigh’s. In addition, CHEP conducts a pallet count every month for Haigh’s. This helps identify any discrepancies and they can be dealt with immediately.
“We went through our current processes and were given suggestions and ideas on how to improve and be more cost-effective,” said Elliot. “It’s taken a couple of hours off my weekly task.
“To have CHEP’s knowledge of the system right behind Haigh’s has helped us in dealing with our suppliers. We’ve seen much quicker and more permanent responses to remedying discrepancies on our account.
“Also, simple strategies such as tagging and tracking pallets have helped us locate our assets and make our logistics process more effective. We’ve also started using the Portfolio+ Plus system for ordering pallets, doing transfers, making corrections and keeping track of paperwork.”
Having addressed their pallet logistics issue, Haigh’s can now make sure the Easter Bunny - and the Easter Bilby - always runs on time: “We now always know there are enough pallets in our manufacturing warehouses to cater for our demand of our outgoing goods,” Elliot concludes.