Harpreet’s unique foresight helps shape Palletline’s long


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Dec 01, 2023

Harpreet’s unique foresight helps shape Palletline’s long

13:00 Wed 1st Mar 2023 | Posted By UKHAULIER A proven track record

13:00 Wed 1st Mar 2023 | Posted By UKHAULIER

A proven track record in forecasting industry trends months in advance is enabling Palletline to stay ahead of the curve, thanks to the expertise of Harpreet Sohal, the company's new Head of Business Information.

It is a step up the ladder for Harpreet, who joined Palletline more than six years ago.

Leading a team of three analysts and an administrator, Harpreet is tasked with predicting a problem within the business before it becomes a problem and advising the board on how to minimise any impact.

Among the team's most recent successes was the forecasting of the current recession, six months before it was announced, and gauging Palletline's own performance during the downturn.

"Ukraine, inflation, government instability, all these external factors around us that we have no control over, they all have an influence on the business.

"But we were able to accurately predict that we would reach our lowest point in August.

"And whilst other companies are looking at the negative situation of today, we are already preparing for an expected surge in volumes.

"In August we had a 0.04 variance on our prediction and our volumes rose in September by two per cent more than we thought, so we are pretty much on track."

Palletline is the only company within the pallet distribution industry to utilise data analysis to map its future and is a discipline which has paid significant dividends.

In almost seven years with the business Harpreet's research has helped steer its direction, providing vital data for senior decision-makers, allowing them to make informed choices in the interests of its long-term future.

As a result his role, which initially had been focusing on the hub only, grew to encompass every area of the business. The department-of-one has expanded to a department-of-five.

One of his largest and most successful projects to date was a review of Palletline's hub capacity strategy.

With Palletline made up of a network of hubs, he and his team were tasked with exploring a number of alternative set-ups to find the most efficient solution that would support businesses growth over the next decade.

Over a period of eight months the team looked at the existing format and used modelling and more than 250 days of operational data to explore what the next 10 years might look like, mapping out 80 to 90 scenarios and every possible, viable hub configuration, including a thorough review of the network's multi-hub model.

The team's modelling proved accurate and following sign off from the board, Harpreet's plan was implemented and resulted in a significantly faster, more efficient operation across the network's hubs.

Speaking of his promotion Harpreet said: "Over the past 12 months my role has continued to evolve with a shift from undertaking analytical work to project management and gearing the business up not just for the next 12 months but for the next decade.

"I look at where we are and what's on the horizon, and put plans in place to get there. By the time we’re there, I’m already looking at the next horizon.

"Whether it be the hub structure, network structure or a new service, if we can predict the future with a good level of accuracy, we can start planning for it now."

Under Harpreet's expertise the Palletline hub has been transformed into a live weather station, allowing the company to prepare for factors such as humidity, temperature and air quality.

"We’re now working on something we call an enhanced life of pallets. Instead of the standard handful of scans for a pallet we are looking at producing 500,000 scans, looking at how that pallet existed, what trunk it was on, road conditions, how it impacted our operation. With such insight we are able to adopt a better way of working. The system itself is a few years away but we’re building the data now to help us achieve better outcomes.

"We’re finding solutions for problems before the problems exist and it is this which will ensure we remain both robust as a business and ensure we continue to retain our market leading position."

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