THE Pallet Network (TPN) has demonstrated its trademark agility by opening a second â€˜pop-upâ€™ Hub at Coventry which was transformed from empty industrial unit to modern Hub space in only one week.
Key points include:
The Coventry Hub is in the Central City Industrial Estate and has 150,000 sq ft of space.
It will replace the pop-up facility the network opened in the unoccupied NEC during 2020. The NEC opportunity was identified, pursued and made operational in less than a week and, says TPN MD Mark Kendall, it also demonstrated one of TPNâ€™s most important values: mutual benefit.
â€œI saw a news item one evening about the NECâ€™s lockdown losses and realised immediately that we could use the space while they couldnâ€™t,â€ he said. â€œWe contacted them, sent a team in, and had a fully functional Hub in former exhibition space within days. The NEC got a tenant and we got valuable extra space while we develop plans for our next Hub.â€
TPN has done the same with the Coventry Hub, choosing a space which has been empty for some time. â€œWe always look for the simplest and most beneficial solutions for all parties. We make things work,â€ says Mark.
A good relationship with Partners is an important part of the equation. â€œWe consult our Partners, and keep them informed, and all those who use the NEC Hub were fully in agreement and aware of the switch to Coventry before it happened.
â€œWe genuinely support and value our Partners and their response is to support us in return,â€ says Mark. â€œWe are very grateful that the whole network is responsive and adaptable.â€
The â€˜Pop-upâ€™ Model
The pop-up Hub model, which TPN invented, contributes to the networkâ€™s operational resilience. It means that any sudden or seasonal surge in volume can be rapidly met with extra Hub resource thus keeping vehicle turnaround times low for Partners.
â€œWe have a long-term strategy for Hub development which includes new central Hub facilities,â€ says Mark. â€œHowever, large fixed assets will only ever be one part of a successful strategy.
â€œTo have resilient service levels you need to plan well and react fast. The seasonal lulls in the market are gone, and volumes surges can be unpredictable, both in quantity and region.
â€œThe pop-up Hubs are our fast-reaction mechanism and weâ€™ve deployed it twice now with great success.â€
TPN is very experienced at deploying its rapid response teams:
â€œOur teams are very practised and know their jobs. Whatever the network requires, we find an efficient, rapid solution,â€ says Group Transport Manager Lee Noble. â€œWe can literally take sites from zero to hero in less than two weeks.â€
Noble finds TPNâ€™s directness refreshing. â€œThere is no red tape. The senior management team is always talking to Partners and is very alive to any issue in the network.â€
This same approach creates TPNâ€™s first class on-boarding for new Partners, with specialist team members offering IT installation, training, and support in operations, marketing, sales and resource management.
â€œWe invest in new Partners from the outset to set them up for success,â€ says Mark. â€œTPN is the ultimate can-do network.â€