Gorman takes on Brambles promising better service

Brambles shakes up management, announces new pallet program for "next generation" of logistics

October 6, 2009

Brambles has shaken up its management team, while announcing a new pallet program in the United States for the "next generation" of supply chain operations.

CEO Mike Ihlein will retire next month, Brambles confirms in a statement, to be replaced by former Ford Australia chief Tom Gorman.

Gorman is currently the head of European, Middle East and African operations at pallets supplier CHEP, the major division of Brambles.

The company has praised Ihlein for his direction since taking on the role in 2007, but with its lucrative US market share under siege speculation was rife he would be pushed aside.

Rival firm IGPS, headed by former Brambles executive Bob Moore, has raided the market with its plastic alternative to CHEP’s wooden pallets, securing a number of major clients including Pepsi.

A review of the American division, launched in February and now complete, will see significant changes, with CHEP promising to optimise costs and pricing for customers while positioning pallet services for the future changes in supply chain management.

CHEP will persevere with wood, the company says, while introducing a premium pallet specification for customers as part of a new ‘Better Everyday’ program.

The ‘US premium’ specification will be fast-tracked over three years to meet "next generation supply chain trends".

CHEP will also upgrade its pallet pool to a new minimum standard, to be called ‘US Plus’. Previous investment means two-thirds of pallets in the US pool already meet the standard, Brambles says.

The new specifications are the result of "rigorous analysis of market dynamics", the company says, and follow successful trials with major customers.

Want more? The full story from Brambles and its shake-up in operations and management at ATN sister portal SupplyChain Review.

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