EXPERIENCE TO DRIVE FLEET OPTIMIZATION
(Article published in Automotive Innovations magazine, March 2023)
By Isabelle Havasy
As an employee of Bell Canada, Pierre Bujold navigated through various functions before being appointed to manage the telecom company’s fleet maintenance.
In 2007, Bell decided to divest itself of this department and called upon Transervice, becoming the first client of the newly established company in Canada. With years of experience at Bell Canada, Mr. Bujold accepted the position of Vice-President of Canadian Operations. “I was able to focus on what I was good at, within a business whose primary role is commercial vehicle fleet logistics and maintenance.”
Although it has close to 175 service locations to accommodate its customers across North America, Transervice has great values and a family culture within the company, according to its VP. “Since we don’t have many layers of management, we have a lot of latitude when we have to make quick decisions to meet our clients’ specific needs.”
Transervice’s business model is one of personalized service, and in some cases that means creating dedicated teams. Large companies such as Walgreens in the U.S. rely on Transervice’s complete transportation offering, from logistics to product distribution to centres across the U.S., along with equipment maintenance and financing.
Customization can also generate challenges, Bujold says. “Our philosophy is to never say no to our customers. We do everything we can to help them improve, control their costs and be timely in their execution. But to meet their demands, sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and dig deep.”
Severe workforce shortages along with technologies are at the top of Bujold’s list of issues that he has to deal with on a daily basis. In addition to having to train existing staff as electric vehicles become more prevalent in fleets, Transervice has to conduct attraction campaigns to entice and retain new talent.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
This new reality requires more flexibility from both parties. “We need to establish a dialogue with customers to make them understand the situation and together find the best way to reprioritize, to continue to maintain the equipment well in order to get it back up and running as quickly as possible.” Added to this are limited vehicle availability and supply chain disruptions, which compel the company to take a preventative approach. “We have to review our parts inventories based on the state of relining to ensure we have what we need as soon as possible.”
Preventive maintenance also plays an important role; in addition to avoiding premature wear and tear on equipment, it improves the business’s productivity and generates savings in the medium and long term. To get through his busy weeks while keeping a smile on his face, Mr. Bujold reminds us that “the glass is always half full and that we do as much as we can in a day.” For the rest, there’s always tomorrow…