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The Difference Between Pallet Audits and Total Pallet Management

Contributed By: Pallet Consultants

As products and facility layouts change, pallets of different sizes or construction types may offer better performance for loads or be more cost effective. © muph –

A pallet audit is a service where your pallets and pallet usage are studied to improve optimization and performance, whereas a total pallet management program is the complete handling of all aspects of your pallet inventory.

There is a variety of pallet services offered by pallet manufacturers, two of which are pallet audits and total pallet management. Although a pallet audit is often paired with total pallet management, the two services are distinct and provide different benefits to facilities. Pallet audits are detailed inspections of pallets and how they are used within the facility in order to meet efficiency targets or other goals provided by the facility. Total pallet management is a complete outsourcing of all aspects of pallet inventory management, from ordering and repairs, to retrieval.

Pallet Audits:

  • Take a deep dive into your pallet performance and usage
  • Are adapted to each facility and its goals
  • Are used to suggest more cost-effective pallets that meets facility needs and suggest ways to optimize pallet inventory
  • Can have up to four different specializations

Total Pallet Management:

  • Is a complete package of pallet services, including pallet audits, sort and repair and inventory management
  • Can be used to consolidate vendors for one or multiple facilities
  • Comes with a single point of contact for easy communication
  • Does not use any facility personnel; all workers are provided by the pallet manufacturer

Pallet Audit

A pallet audit is a detailed look at your pallets and how they’re used throughout the facility. Used both by itself and in the beginning stages of a total pallet management program, a pallet audit is built around addressing specific areas an operation would like to improve. This can range from pallet performance and optimization to automation implementation. Useful across industries, pallet audits can bring benefits to:

  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Cross Dockers
  • LTL Companies
  • Logistics & 3PL Businesses

Pallet engineers, logistics experts and teams from other experience backgrounds can be brought in during a pallet audit depending on the facility’s goals. Since the emerging e-commerce economy is dynamic and prone to quick change, pallet audits may be necessary every one to three years depending on the industry. The service can document and improve a number of operational facets, such as:

  • Pallet design consultation
  • Reducing shipping costs
  • Minimize product and pallet damages
  • Improve efficiency of pallet inventory
  • Maximize value in freight transport
  • Automation integration

Many of these benefits come from the backbone of a pallet audit, a dive into your pallet type, performance and how those factors work within your use case. As products and facility layouts change, pallets may need to be re-optimized. In many cases, pallets of different sizes or construction types may offer better performance for loads or be more cost-effective. Pallet engineers can even simulate the products facilities handle and recommend more efficient palletization methods, maximizing pallet use and transportation costs. Recommendations for backup pallet inventory and delivery and retrieval schedules can also be made. Pallet audits are a great way for facilities to check up on their pallets, ensuring they’re still as lean and effective as possible with their pallet inventory and handling.

Total Pallet Management

Total pallet management, or TPM, often begins with a pallet audit. The audit is similar to the standalone service, but with TPM it’s also an opportunity for a service provider to prepare for a deeper integration with the facility. With a TPM program, the pallet service provider takes complete control and responsibility for all aspects of the pallet inventory and works alongside the facility management. Rather than having facility team members order pallets, unload and handle pallet deliveries and recycle or reuse those pallets, the entirety of the pallet process is handled by the service provider. TPM can include:

  • Accurate and lean pallet ordering and inventory management
  • Pallet sorting and on or off-site repair
  • Pallet recycling and retrieval
  • Vendor consolidation across multiple locations
  • Trained pallet personnel and equipment like forklifts
  • Cardboard and plastic recycling services

TPM can be customized to each facility and industry, allowing those operations to focus on what they do best. Not only are the pallets inventories optimized like with pallet audits, but all other aspects are handled for the facility. Pallets are a necessity, but can also be a drain on time, personnel utilization and logistic flexibility. Having an experienced team handle all pallet functions can increase efficiency in multiple areas.

With a well-run TPM program, all pallets will be ordered and received on time and in the correct quality and size. Trucks will be unloaded by the pallet team, which is done in addition to the sorting and repair of used pallets. Excess idle inventory will be retrieved to maximize usable facility space. Cardboard and plastic recycling can keep operations clean and access to dedicated account representatives ensures communication between facilities and the pallet service provider remains fluid. Total pallet management is the best way for operations to reliably have pallets and maintain throughput in a high-volume environment without the overhead and work. WMHS

About Pallet Consultants

Pallet Consultants is a national pallet manufacturer that provides both total pallet management and pallet audits, in addition to other services (like pallet retrieval services) and a wide variety of pallet products including recycled pallets, specialty pallets, custom-sized pallets, new pallets and more. Pallet Consultants manufacturers large volumes in any size and in custom designs (

This article first appeared on the Pallet Consultants blog at:

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