The transport of fresh products has to meet a high level of reliability and strict performance requirements. Estivin Logistique Services has been using the on-board computer solution of Trimble Transport & Logistics for improved communication with its drivers and to gain productivity, since summer 2013.
“A complete fiasco!” Bernard Estivin, CEO of Estivin Logistique Services (E.L.S.) of Tours, keeps a painful report on on-board computers. Suspicious after two disappointing experiences, he spent 10 years looking for a solution that would really meet his needs, servicing large-scale distribution platforms and agrifood industries. “To make sure a computer system is going to work the teams must first get familiar with it. Otherwise one will run into a wall, the business owner analyses with the benefit of hindsight.”
Bernard Estivin took the time to build his project and be properly assisted. With the help of Maxence Vandermulen, business director, and an information technology project manager he issued a tender with 5 French and European service providers. “Each of them presented their offer in the presence of drivers and operators, after which two solutions were retained in spring. They were tested for several weeks on two vehicles, Bernard Estivin explains. We assessed the capacity of the regional Trimble team to manage the project, both at a technical and a commercial level.”
The first point — real time information — consists of monitoring the daily trips. “In just one single day Trimble built an interface between its solution and our transport software — the TMS Sigem used for the trade of fresh products (the second ELS business)”, director Maxence Vandermulen is pleased to tell.
A successful integration, which according to Fabien Dusserre, director France of Trimble T&L, can be explained in two ways: “On the one hand, our product is designed to be open, while on the other we already had experience with dozens of this type of interfaces, with very specific TMS.”
“We very quickly started using electronic road maps in the vehicles”, Maxence Vandermulen continues. “Both the drivers and the operators wanted an automatic system for transmitting addresses and delivery confirmations. Today, everyone has approved of the change. They gain a lot of time.” And what about the requirements of collecting fresh products in the rural areas of the large western region, on roads that are not mapped, where the GPS is indispensable but navigation always remains a human effort?
For the performance indicators demanded by the large brands for monitoring driving hours and fuel consumption there is a permanent link between the CarCube on-board computer and the company’s computer system.
“We have 80 drivers driving 35 trucks in 24h/24 shifts. The drivers hope for the implementation of a driver challenge, maybe with associated incentives per team. For this, however, we first need to be able to retrieve reliable information. At the same time, our next objective is to make people aware of and help them drive in an ecologically responsible way”, Bernard Estivin continues.
For a proper use of the numerous CarCube functionalities and especially the driving profiles there is a specific self-training for Trimble’s on-board computer, so there’s no question of putting the cart before the horse! Phase by phase, Bernard Estivin counts on the consultation and appropriation of new technologies by his team.
Estivin Logistique Services’ main activity is the transport and logistics of fresh products exclusively under controlled temperatures (positive and negative). With a fleet of 35 vehicles, equipped with the Carcube on-board computer, Estivin Logistique Services operates throughout France.