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Food and drink manufacturers all face an equipment control problem in the supply chain links to the final consumer, which usually manifests itself by a lack of roll cages, kegs or trays at the production sites when they are required most. Loss of returnable transit equipment can lead to production downtime, or for production having to be stacked on pallets until cages become available, leading to re-handling and wasted time.

These handling units are very expensive but necessary assets, and control of these is vital given the various routes to market that the company may be involved in.

Model Logic have developed models for the brewing and dairy industries enabling the calculation of the total trolley or keg pool required given the production, inventory and distribution requirements through the various routes to market.

Allowances are factored in for scrappage, mis-use and loss, giving the total equipment pool required to keep the production line going whilst also reflecting the demand profile, including seasonal variations.

This allows the management to be able to plan better, and purchase the optimum number of trolleys or kegs to maintain the correct pool level. The same modelling techniques can be used in any high street retail sectors such as clothing, where equipment is used to facilitate handling.