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Gym enthusiast Alexander’s heavy lifting maintains circular economy for MOL Group

02 Sep, 2021 | published at 10:31 CET

Alexander Lukács is no stranger to heavy lifting, both at work and at play.

The self-confessed ‘gym addict’ lifts weights for pleasure, but he is also used to removing large obstacles in his day job as customer integration manager for PRS Pooling, one of Europe’s leading poolers of sustainable wooden pallets to the polymer supply chain, on behalf of its largest customer MOL Group.

The petrochemical producer signed a strategic supply chain partnership with PRS in April this year to ensure the deliveries of packaged polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP) from MOL Petrochemicals sites in Tiszaújváros, Hungary and SLOVNAFT in Bratislava, Slovakia on pooled re-usable pallets, creating a seamless and more environmental-friendly logistics process.

Multi-lingual Alexander’s job is to smooth the process of retrieving, repairing and repatriating sustainable wooden pallets for MOL and ensuring they are in the right place at the right time and at the right price, despite the challenges of COVID-19, an industry-wide raw material shortages and rocketing timber costs.

“It is a complex job but it entails the flow of pallets and timber across central Europe from Ukraine and Romania and the Balkans,” said Alex, a native Hungarian based in Budapest, who is also fluent in Serbian and Croatian.

Heavy lifting

Alex, who joined the business from Volvo Trucks in November 2020, added: “My job is the heavy lifting on behalf of the customer – I troubleshoot and problem-solve as part of this new role.”

Although working remotely, it is a team effort with Alex working alongside Bart Smit, PRS’s field operational excellence manager who travels across central, eastern and southern Europe to secure new sources of sustainable timber and bring them together with the right saw mill partners.

While Bart provides support on the ground, Tünde Hati is Alex’s go-to customer service representative who maintains the customer-facing dialogue from PRS’s head office in Eindhoven.

“In basic terms, I have to ensure the good pallets get back to MOL while the damaged ones are sent to Austria for repair ahead of being reintegrated into the supply chain, as part of the collection and sortation process.

“Most of my job is about communication. I am in touch with all of the key players and MOL on a daily basis because there is always a lot to discuss. This includes companies that, for whatever reason, hold on to our pallets. Here, the skill is in negotiation and helping them to understand the benefits of working with us and the importance of returning our pallets.

“Working together with Bart and Tünde, the role is all about getting closer to the customer through collaborative partnership – speaking and understanding the same language and leaving nothing to chance.”

“It is a dynamic environment and I continue to learn and develop in the role, both formally and informally, in order to build better relationships for the future,” added Alex.