The Concept of the “Reverse Iceberg-RIB” in the Application of Account of Total Cost of Ownership for a Reusable Wooden Flat Pallet in its Operating Phase
Purpose: The main aim of this article is to show that the total cost of ownership of a pallet (which is not restricted to simply owning it) can become both a useful philosophy for purchasing these logistic carriers and an effective tool used to significantly reduce the costs of logistic activity of enterprises. Approach/Methodology/Design: Key dimensions of competition in the logistics area include the so-called "golden triangle", i.e., time, quality and costs, and that is why they require a revision of the way we consider them, especially in case of the last aspect. This article presents an original approach to the problem of examination of all possible costs that cargo pallets generate in their operational life cycle, using the concept of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) as an analysis methodology and the survey method for the research sample. Findings: In the "reverse iceberg" model, obvious and non-obvious costs have been identified in individual groups of costs related to pallet ownership during its operating phase. Considerations undertaken in this article lead to an obvious conclusion that an attempt to implement an approach to this important element of logistic infrastructure, and one can undoubtedly consider wooden cargo pallets as such, from the angle of account of costs allows to find grounds for taking real action leading to a significant reduction of costs of logistic activity in an enterprise. Practical Implications: The article employs a comprehensive approach to the most complete analysis of cost groups as possible since the authors have adopted a stance that omission of the potential to reduce costs related to material logistics in which wooden pallets are used requires a different perspective. Originality/Value: Numerous authors point to different sources and types of costs, and also present different views on how to define, interpret and identify their structure. The authors of this article propose thinking in terms of TCO as an alternative to the conventional approach to pallet-related costs at the same time postulating a standpoint based on their own model of "inverted iceberg" (RIB).