MRO Magazine

Canada Bread uses Six Sigma to improve pallet administration and reduce machinery downtime

Toronto, ON -- Canada Bread Frozen Bakery, a North American producer and distributor of frozen baked products, is n...

Toronto, ON — Canada Bread Frozen Bakery, a North American producer and distributor of frozen baked products, is now transporting its products on pallets from CHEP, a provider of pallet and container pooling solutions.

Canada Bread Frozen Bakery ships bread products on CHEP pallets from the company’s network of 11 plants and distribution centres across North America to supermarkets, mass retailers, grocery stores, club stores and foodservice operators.

With its previous pallet management system, the company experienced costly and unnecessary pallet administration and occasional difficulties with the inbound flow of pallets. In addition, broken pallets resulted in equipment downtime on the company’s automated machinery.

Canada Bread Frozen Bakery applied Six Sigma methodology, a fact-based analytical approach and discipline, to the process of selecting CHEP as an alternative to the pallet exchange program. Only after a careful analysis of the cost data and evaluation of other alternatives was the decision made to go with CHEP


“CHEP was one solution that was identified in our Six Sigma analysis. We did a deep dive on our pallet operation, exploring every avenue and posing the questions: Is this the right way to go? Are these our true costs with the pallet exchange program or are there more costs involved?,” explained Brett Marchand, transportation manager – North America, Canada Bread Frozen Bakery.

“We started to model it ourselves to get a more realistic picture of costs. Through the process, we uncovered 16 cost elements, which on the surface are not readily apparent. They pointed to the cost advantages of the CHEP program.”

Marchand added that Canada Bread’s Frozen Bakery operations had a very smooth transition to the CHEP program, despite the fact that it was launched at six plants in Canada over a 30-day period. He said the company is already experiencing several benefits from moving to the CHEP program, including fewer issues with the automatic pallet system and improved administration.

For more information about CHEP, visit