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Becoming a part of the business

September 5, 2018
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Teralco Logistics and Scania South Africa have a mutual understanding and goal – to reach ever higher levels of success, writes GAVIN MYERS.

Talking with Terence Odendaal, MD of Teralco Logistics, and Johnny-Ray Basset, key account manager Scania SA, it’s abundantly clear that simply running a fleet of efficient vehicles does not mean success for a transport company. These vehicles need to be monitored, maintained and replaced, so a one-stop solution is ideal.

This is exactly what Basset has helped Teralco Logistics accomplish. While this specific relationship only began in 2015, it’s already achieved great results.

“Teralco Logistics was started in August 2013, and in 2015 we were introduced to Basset and the Scania team,” Odendaal explains. “He earmarked the correct product for our application as well as relevant Scania solutions.”

Today the company runs a fleet of 22 Scania G460 6x4s, most of which are hooked up to curtain-side interlink trailers.

“These offer the right ratio of power to fuel consumption for our application. They also offer high levels of driver comfort and safety, which is critical for our company. In addition to effective training (which Scania provides), our drivers need to drive safe, roadworthy vehicles and comfort behind the wheel helps their productivity,” says Odendaal.

Some of these vehicles have been purchased through Scania Finance on trade-back agreements and are allied to repair and maintenance (R&M) contracts and the Scania Fleet Management System.

In instances where it has been made necessary by specific contracts, and it has made financial sense, vehicles from the Scania Used Vehicles division have even been procured – these, too, with bolt-on R&M contracts.

“Client satisfaction in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector is extremely important. We need reliable trucks to keep up the service, backed up by a wholistic aftersales service solution. In this regard, no one comes close to Scania,” says Odendaal.

“For example, average maintenance of one of our trucks – at the Scania East Rand dealership – has never taken more than 24 hours. This efficiency and commitment to uptime is critical in our business,” he explains.

Basset adds: “If we replace a part it will have a Scania warranty to which we will always adhere for Teralco’s best interests.”

Naturally, this type of commitment comes from fostering a relationship based on trust and respect.   

“Understanding customers and providing them with the right solution is only one part of the relationship – there also has to be respect and integrity,” says Basset.

Odendaal agrees: “Scania realises that it fits into the chain reaction that can occur if one of our trucks experiences downtime – we can lose customers, and our customers can lose customers…”

However, as noted, Scania’s aftersales service offerings play a large role. This is especially true of the standard-fitment Scania Fleet Management system running, in Teralco’s case, the full Monitoring package.

“We spend more than 30 percent of revenue on fuel, so it’s extremely important to keep track of the figures. By using the Scania Fleet Management system on a monthly basis we have had zero discrepancies on fuel costs,” notes Odendaal.

Another area where Teralco Logistics saves is in maintaining its vehicles. Each truck is backed by a five-year/600 000 km R&M contract which, says Odendaal, aligns perfectly with the lifespan of his trucks, due to the nature of the FMCG business.

“I can price R&M on a variable basis and that’s important in the logistics game … it allows me to know with absolute certainty what it’ll cost to run for a specific client. The customers get the benefit of that and they know that my pricing is based on reliable data,” Odendaal explains.

“In general, because Scania maintains the vehicles, there are only odd small issues to be considered,” adds Basset.

This counts in Teralco’s favour when it comes time to replace the vehicles and those trade-back agreements are called into play. 

“We always try to offer customers an excellent trade-back percentage, and because Teralco’s vehicles are on full R&M this makes it easier and recent vehicle replacements have gone smoothly,” says Basset.

It’s a cradle-to-grave solution that Odendaal values highly – but the two partners are only just beginning.

“We’re honoured to be part of the growth phase of this company. We want to grow with Teralco and continue to offer any of the support solutions they need. Selling the company just one truck means we need to see ourselves as a part of the businesses for the lifecycle of the vehicle,” comments Basset.

With that attitude, these two partners are sure to achieve growing success into the future.

One-to-one with Basset

Johnny-Ray Basset understands how important it is to be a partner in his client’s businesses. Over the past seven years he’s been keeping a client base of more than 50 Scania customers happy, and this is something in which he takes great pride.

“My strategic focus is to sell the whole solution offered by Scania South Africa – including finance, insurance and R&M. I believe we’re selling the most superior product in the market when it comes to overall value. I also get tremendous support from the aftersales division and it helps that our footprint is extremely well spread out in the region,” he says.

Basset explains that his success is in part due to the fact that he always gets the support and backing from management, no matter how many vehicles or services a customer purchases.

“This allows for trust and a supportive relationship,” he explains.

Thus Basset has enjoyed many highlights … and he wryly comments that he’s most proud of the customers he’s been able to introduce to the Scania family and successfully support. “If I can become a trusted, integral part of their business, then I’ve achieved something,” he says.

“I’m honoured to be part of the Scania team, the core values of the company mean it is the best in the industry,” he smiles.

My life has always revolved around anything with wheels and an engine. It doesn’t matter if its an old banger, the latest hot-hatch or a fancy 4×4 – any excuse is a good excuse to take it for a cruise, spank it at the track or go bundu-bashing (the mud-and-rocks-side-of-a-mountain type, not the exploring-Joburg’s-pavements type). Otherwise, chances are you’ll find me lying underneath one of my beloved toys or with my head buried in its engine bay, tinkering away.

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