Multiple Accounts

There are pros and cons of operating with multiple accounts or a consolidated single account.  Some of the considerations are:

Are your accounts under control?

If your account(s) are in a mess then combining them into a single account could make it difficult to identify the main problem areas.  I would recommend keeping accounts separate until controls are good.  There are a few exceptions to this and they are covered below. Apart from being able to isolate problem areas you may have site or account managers taking more responsibility if they have to sign off on a pallet hire invoice and it is allocated against their cost centre. If you have competent pallet controllers at each site then they could reconcile their accounts but if there are limited resources then you could get each site to do the simple data entry tasks and have one or more central pallet controller(s) carrying out the more complex reconciliation task.

What pallet control systems do you use?

Equipment Control Systems

By combining your accounts into a single account you may find that your pallet control system may struggle with the larger volume. If you use an online system such as PalletWatch, MyChep or Loscam Online then the size of the account is not an issue as all use databases designed to handle high volumes.  If you operate a system which does not have the capacity of the ones above then the pallet control system could become slow and reliant on ongoing archiving to keep the database to a manageable level.

Are your site accounts too small?

If some of your site accounts are too small then there is a risk that your account balances could go below 0.  If this happens then you could lose equipment as the pallet hire companies can remove your credit balances.  Under these circumstances it would be better to combine small accounts.  This does not mean that you need to combine all of your accounts but only those that are in danger of going into credit.

Is there a lot of movement between your sites?

There could be an added cost of having multiple accounts if there is a lot of movement between them.  Every pallet that you transfer between your sites adds a day’s hire for the equipment that is transferred.  If you have  a single account then you would not incur these costs. If you weigh up the costs of these transfers against ongoing losses and compensation liability for lost equipment I believe you will still be better off getting your accounts under control as separate accounts.

Will multiple accounts confuse your trading partners?

Having two account numbers at the same site can lead to problems.  Apart from confusing trading partners it may also be difficult to keep tabs on the pallets on each account.  This is particularly true of empty pallets.  My recommendation would be to only have one account at each site.