Franck Weinstoerffer – Transports Jean Claude Mermet, « Our main asset : we practically do everything by ourselves ».
What is your function and your business sector ? I work as the quality control officer for ten years now in the company Transports Jean-Claude Mermet. Our business activity relates to transports, logistics and storage, and we also take in charge the ads on vehicles as well as vehicles and offices renting. Who are your clients and suppliers ? Our customer base is mainly comprised of industrialists working in all business areas (automobile, plastics processing, etc.), and also with haulage companies which entrust us with all kind of freights. As to our suppliers, they are of course vehicles suppliers, insurers but also tires, diesel fuel and oil suppliers. Which are your main assets in face of the competition ? Our main asset resides in the fact we practically do everything by ourselves. Thus, unlike some haulage companies which subcontract, it entitles us to decrease the potential litigations as well as the deadlines. Another of our strengths lies in our proximity and our important shipping ability in the Rhônes-Alpes area thanks to more than 30 vehicles in this region, which affords us to gain both flexibility and service quality. Within your current activity, what is the initiative or launch that you’re the most proud of ? Precisely to do everything by ourselves and to have been able to keep this savoir-faire in the customer proximity. Just a few of haulage companies could have kept it due to the obligations of competitiveness. As for us, we have achieved it. Has your business core evolved in the course of the last years ? Yes. For instance, people use fewer and fewer vehicles for long trips, so they opt for subcontracts. We have also faced an important evolution concerning the working hours. Legislation has notably obliged us to not exceed some services and driving times, and also to accept compulsory break times. This with a view of giving the haulers better working conditions and of reinforcing the road safety. Is innovation important to your company ? Yes, but it comes a lot from the suppliers. Why ? Because we’re notably facing many innovations regarding ecology, with more and more rules imposed by the government. These are obvious advances but, economically speaking, they favour our activity in more or less proportions.
Francis Alizer, AFI company : « We try to determine what will best meet the client’s need […] and we attempt to find a solution satisfactory to everybody. »
What is your function and your business sector ? I am the manager of the AFI company since its founding in 1993. As of today, our staff includes ten employees, and we work in the industrial supplies sector as well as the service to building trade, companies and communities. Who are your clients and suppliers ? Our clients are primarily companies from the construction industry and the industrial sector. In both cases, these ones may be big companies with subsidiaries as well as more local and regional SMB, or craftsmen and little firms. We make business with different tools suppliers and makers in Europe. As for now, 1094 of our suppliers are referenced. What are your main assets in face of the competition ? Service. We are more focused on the service needs and on the solutions we deliver to the client than on the service per se. We try to determine what will best meet the client’s need, we examine the bill of specifications, we check that the request duly corresponds with his needs and we attempt to find a solution satisfactory to everybody. Within your current activity, what is the initiative or launch that you’re the most proud of ? Products i develop for the nuclear power industry. These are products used in the transport of TFA equipment. Actually, we’re at the beginning of a deconstruction phase of the nuclear power, but one needs to know that this phase will last 150 years and that it mobilizes a lot of trades and business sectors, including ours. Which means do you set up to satisfy at best our clients ? Fast logistics, a huge reactivity and an important stock. We have increased our stock by 35%, and we have also developed a retail website at the same time to make our e-commerce debut. Which complementary services do you propose alongside your products ? We propose a range of apt services and support to the client depending on his specific needs. Thanks to our network, we are able to support clients who sometimes haven’t a lot of representatives, if at all.
How can you maximize your prospecting efforts?
Effective prospecting remains a key aspect of developing your business. To make it happen, you need reliable marketing strategies and a strong sales force to follow through. The keys to succeed in prospecting You must :
- use a prospect database
- implement a strategy
- keep up the relationship with new customers
- structural (business sector, localization, size, turnover…)
- individual (name of managers, postal address, emails…)
- take heed of your offer and your sales force
- examine the competition and your target audience
- define the prospection area
- retrieve prospecting datas
- divide up the tasks
- brief the salesmen
- centralize and archive the prospecting actions
- evaluate the performances