Back in 1967, Vasse Felix was the first commercial vineyard and winery to be established in the Margaret River region. Vasse Felix's 300 acres produce premium quality wines that not only have a strong Australian presence through fine wine outlets but also a growing international reputation.
Whereas 16 years ago the bottling line ran for about 50 days a year, today it runs for more than 200 days, producing some 2.5 million bottles per annum. Around 85% of its production is for local consumption with the remainder going to an expanding export market.
Operations Manager, Bruce Pearce, speaks about Vasse Felix's ten-year association with sole pallet supplier, Loscam. He explains that his pallet use fluctuates, depending on what he has maturing in climate-controlled storage and ageing from season to season. And, of course they are used in transportation Australia-wide.
Pearce looks for good-looking, sound, clean pallets - because presentation is important - and they have to be universal in their operation and fit in with everything else he uses. Pearce says branding is vital in the premium end of the market, but an attractive label means nothing if what's inside the bottle doesn't measure up to expectation. He says it's a similar situation with pallets.
Recently there has been a move across to six-packs which has affected pallet configuration and how they are stacked, resulting in a reduction in bottle numbers per pallet - all of which has required changes on Vasse Felix’s part. But these issues are being resolved successfully and the company is happy with Loscam's ongoing service and cost.
It recently installed Loscam's own designed software package, HMS, to monitor and control pallet movement, demonstrating ongoing commitment.