Since its 1991 inception Metairie LA gourmet sauce maker Pepper Source Ltd. has seen its sales quadruple. To make sure its costs didn't follow suit the company scrutinized its packaging and distribution operations as a way to limit expenses. The principal money saver in packaging operations is a reusable Bulkdrum III intermediate bulk container from Hoover Materials Handling Group (Alpharetta GA) that holds 275 gal of product. Bulkdrum IIIs replace a variety of other shipping containers including a different IBC 55-gal polyvinyl chloride drums and to a lesser extent corrugated containers with flexible inner plastic liners. These other options are still used in some cases particularly when a customer requires limited quantities of product. "Compared to the cost of nonreusable corrugated containers reusing Bulkdrum IIIs greatly reduces our container costs" notes Pepper Source vp Joe Morse. The company would not divulge specific savings. Morse says savings stem primarily from faster filling and reduced handling that result in lower labor costs. "Instead of filling a 55-gallon drum taking the nozzle off moving the drum attaching the nozzle to the next drum and repeating this five times you can just fill one Bulkdrum III" he says. "That results in considerable time and labor savings." Bulkdrum III includes a blow-molded high-density polyethylene "bottle" inner liner that holds the product. The liner comes with a filling port on top and a bottom discharge port. This container is protected by an outer metal cage of galvanized steel that complies with USDA regulations. By looking through the sides of the cage an operator can gauge the level of the product inside. For the most part the Bulkdrum III replaces an IBC from another vendor. "We ran into some problems with the design of the earlier container" says Paul Liggio vp of operations. "That IBC had a metal cage too but there was a coating on it that eventually started to flake off. That was unsatisfactory because bacteria could get trapped in those areas where the coating flaked off."