Groupe Bourrat: protecting and growing the profit margin with Transics’ fleet management solution

French carrier Groupe Bourrat relies on the fleet management solutions of Transics to monitor its activities and enhance decision-making, thus raising its profitability. CEO Alexandre Planques explains his choices and reveals his strategy.

Located in Moulins, in the French Allier department (Auvergne region), Groupe Bourrat offers a wide range of transport services, including the transport of industrial products, palletised goods (as a member of the Flo network) and the localisation of vehicles. The group recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. Since 2006, its fleet has been equipped with Transics’ fleet management solutions. “In 2005, we contacted the major providers of telematics solutions,” recalls Alexandre Planques, CEO of Groupe Bourrat. “Transics emerged as the best solution, on account of its reliability and ease of implementation – two benefits that have been proven in the meantime. Both the drivers and the freight dispatchers find the solution easy to use. Moreover, by choosing a hosting formula, we can easily access all data via web services. This approach means that we don’t have to bother about software or updates: everything is automatically kept up to data.”

Day-to-day monitoring

All 220 vehicles of Bourrat’s fleet feature either Transics’ Quattro Plus or TX-MAX on-board computers. In 15 of its trucks, Groupe Bourrat will soon introduce the new, tablet-style TX-SKY on-board computer. Transics’ solutions are scalable and have proven their worth at all levels of the organisation. “Transics’ fleet management solution allows us to easily send messages and receive details like the addresses we need for the assignments, without any risk of errors,” says Jean-Luc Rabre, driver and instructor at Transports Bourrat. “It’s also easy to adhere to our driving and resting times, as we have all the details in front of us, on the display. That helps a lot.”

CEO Alexandre Planques confirms: “The people in the back office have ready access to plenty of real-time information on the drivers on the road. In this way, they can monitor the work hours and the routes travelled, day in day out, and check if the drivers follow all the instructions. Moreover, as soon as we had installed the on-board computers, we noticed how the number of kilometres driven dropped. And that reduction keeps growing year on year. I dare say that this driver follow-up has helped us optimise our operations so much that we have easily compensated for the higher toll rates, over the last four years.”

High-quality customer services

The Transics solution helps Groupe Bourrat achieve both quantitative and qualitative benefits. With always that one, single objective in mind: raise the level of customer services. “Thanks to Transics, we managed to control the unproductive times of our drivers, i.e. mainly the time they are waiting at our customers’ sites to load or deliver their goods. Since 2006, we have reduced the amount of unproductive hours from 25% to 22% of the total duty times. Given that we have 220 drivers, this is a huge saving.”

Jorge de Oliveira, operations manager at Transports Bourrat, illustrates the operational benefits: “If a driver has been waiting for over an hour at a customer’s site, we get an alert message. We then get in touch with the customer and the driver concerned to speed things up. Thanks to Transics, we also easily comply with Europe’s social security legislation, as the system helps us monitor our drivers’ working, driving and service times, every day.”

In today’s challenging transport and logistics market, Bourrat distinguishes itself through its punctuality and ability to share information with its customers. “We can, for example, inform our customers of the waiting times in each of their retail outlets. Or better still, we provide some of them with direct access to relevant information on their assignments, via Transics’ collaborative, web-based platform.” The TX-CONNECT back office platform is an open system, which can work seamlessly together with any other IT solution. For Groupe Bourrat’s CEO, this is a key benefit: “Transics has given us this competitive advantage, which hardly any other competitor offers. The TX-CONNECT platform is really unique. It helps users dramatically improve efficiency, irrespective of the type of on-board computer it is coupled to.”

Raising or protecting margins

More than providing operational benefits, Transics’ software also supports the decision-making process at Groupe Bourrat. “We are currently thinking of expanding our activities by shipping cars. The rich, detailed information that the Transics solution provides, helps us verify whether that activity will be profitable or not. Transics helps us check the balance between our product offering, our costs and our selling price, to decide whether we should raise or keep our margins.”

Groupe Bourrat – www.transports-bourrat.fr

  • Headquarters: Moulins, France
  • Turnover in 2013: € 35m
  • Vehicle fleet: 220 trucks
  • Workforce: 320 employees
  • Activities: heavy goods transport and palletised shipments

About Transics

Transics International NV, a WABCO company, was established in 1991. Transics develops and commercialises fleet management solutions for the transport and logistics sector. Due to many years of experience, thorough R&D efforts and an intensive focus on the customer experience, Transics has become a European leader in its sector and is working on its global expansion. In addition to its headquarters in Ypres (Belgium), Transics is active throughout Europe. The company has been quoted on the stock exchange (NYSE Euronext Brussels: TRAN) since June 2007.