On the Air with Rose Pallet

Our co-owner Amy Olson and supply chain director Chris Galat were invited to share their insight on what it’s like being a small business with listeners on WGN Radio.

group of friends smiling for portrait

How did you get started working with pallets?

Amy: I’m from a family of entrepreneurs. I knew early on that I would be in sales. After college I started working for a pallet company.  I’ve been in the industry for 18 years and my partner and sister Mia Allen has been in the industry for 25 years. She was my inspiration initially and I followed in her footsteps.

What motivated you to start your own business and how long ago was that?

Amy: Mia and I knew we could do a good job in business together. We had been around pallets for many years. We had great relationships throughout the industry and so we decided to go at it ourselves. Now we’re in our 11th year.

What is the pallet supply chain like and how have the last few years been?

Chris: The last few years have been challenging.  Covid-19 created labor shortages and overall issues procuring raw materials, lumber, fasteners, and hardwood and softwood prices skyrocketed. But things are getting better. Lumber prices are coming down and labor is becoming more plentiful in the pallet industry. We’re taking wins where we can get them!

Where are pallets made? Is there a state that’s known for their pallet making?

Amy: There are many pallet companies everywhere.

Are materials straight from the lumber yard or are pallets made from recycled wood that’s discarded from other uses?

Amy: Yes to both. Lumber comes in from mills to manufacturers where they cut it down and make new pallets. We sell new, re-manufactured, and recycled pallets. Many times, we get used pallets in from customers, repair them, and send them back out.

Where do you distribute pallets?

Chris: Locally and nationally. Perhaps at some point we’ll grow internationally as well. It’s interesting to think about the scope and impact pallets have on a global scale––anything that you buy gets moved from point A to B on a pallet.

From a financial and banking perspective, how is your relationship with your local bank?

Amy: We switched to a local bank a few years ago and it has been my best banking experience so far. I am very satisfied with their proactive customer service.  I come from the school of relationships and relationship building and having trust in your partners, and they are second-to-none.

Pallets have been largely underappreciated. What’s the story now?

Amy: What we saw in Covid times was that people were awakened to the importance of the pallet. Before it was all about the products, but they realized very quickly that they couldn’t get pallets. So now the humble pallet is much more appreciated today.

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