With CarCubes for both its own trucks and chartered trucks, Frigo Group Transport has succeeded in significantly improving communication with customers. One customer has access to the Trimble platform and can therefore communicate directly with the drivers of the logistics service provider. Director Hans van den Heuvel: ‘We want to continue to develop as a service provider with added value. CarCube delivers that.’
The fleet of Frigo Group Transport has a real eye-catcher: a trailer with historical photos of the company. One of them is a photograph of founder Hein van Elderen with horse and cart in the fifties and another shows the first cold store from 1973. ‘We like to show that Frigo Group is an authentic company with a beautiful history that attaches great value to the family culture in the company’, says director Hans van den Heuvel.
In total, Frigo has a fleet of twenty trucks, supplemented by four charters. However, not all of them are used for the distribution of frozen foods such as chips, bread, meat and ice cream. ‘We have a number of tarpaulin trailers for steel transport. We are also active in international transport to France.’
IT plays an increasingly important role in customer service. Frigo’s focus is increasingly on collecting and exchanging data with customers. Van den Heuvel talks about the data supply chain, which should run undisturbed and wherever possible, automated. The CarCube is an indispensable link in this data supply chain. ‘Consider, for example, communicating arrival times with customers, but also packaging administration. How many pallets have drivers loaded or exchanged? We can record this flawlessly with the help of on-board computers.’
The choice for Trimble followed a thorough selection process, carried out by a student of a logistics college. He identified and matched the wishes and requirements of Frigo with the functionality of the on-board computers available on the market. Trimble was in the top three. ‘We already had contact with Trimble and saw the need for on-board computers, but it was only after the research of the student that we made the decision.’
There are several reasons to choose Trimble: the user-friendliness of the CarCube, the interchangeability of data, the integration possibilities with a still to be selected planning system and the very good price/quality ratio. ‘Moreover, we definitely wanted a fixed on-board computer in the cab and not a tablet. This has to do with reliability, but also with road safety. A fixed on-board computer makes it impossible for drivers to send messages to the scheduler while driving.’
In addition, Frigo was looking for a long-term partner. Van den Heuvel already had contact with one of the companies from which Trimble originated more than twenty years ago. ‘The people I had contact with at the time still work there. That says something about the culture and continuity within the company. Trimble is an established name that inspires confidence. This confidence is not misplaced. Trimble has shown itself to be a party that takes a proactive approach to solving any problems.’
The CarCube, which was also installed with the four charters, is a great choice. ‘Our planners can now immediately see the position of all trucks. This increases flexibility in ad hoc planning. It is important that planners now have a better view of driving times and rest periods. They can see exactly how long drivers are allowed to drive.’
Communication with customers has improved considerably since the installation of the CarCube. ‘For one customer, we take care of the distribution of frozen products at store level. These shops would like to receive a message one hour before arrival, so that the employees are ready in time for unloading. With the Trimble solution we can now automate the sending of these messages.’
With the client for whom Frigo handles the steel distribution, cooperation goes a step further. ‘This company takes care of the planning of the trucks itself. Thanks to their own login, this customer now has direct insight into the position of the trucks and can communicate directly with our drivers. Even the payment method is based on data from the CarCube.
Van den Heuvel agrees that investing in on-board computers is worthwhile. ‘Because we now have more and better data, timeliness increases, and costs decrease. But even more importantly, we can now offer more added value. We can better respond to the wishes and requirements of customers.
About Frigo Group
Over the past 45 years, Frigo Group has developed into a specialist in the storage and distribution of frozen foods such as chips, fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, ice cream and bread. For storage, the logistics service provider has two cold stores in Nieuw-Vennep and ’s-Heerenberg (NL). Distribution is organised from the branch in Geldermalsen. The business is based on the Frigo philosophy: smooth, customer-friendly, sustainable, efficient, safe, certified, no-nonsense and quality.