Company: Bolloré Transport & Logistics South Africa
Location: South Africa
Industry: Transport & Logistics
Using Precoro since: Aug 2018
Users: 82
POs per month (av.): 100
Featuring: Barend Liebenberg, Procurement Manager

“I would recommend Precoro for Medium-Sized Businesses that are looking to centralize procurement operations across multiple entities. Precoro  gave us visibility and control over multi-branch spending of our organization.  Each Manager can seamlessly authorize Purchase Requests and track available budget.”

What is Bolloré Transport & Logistics, South Africa?

If someone understands how important the timeliness of supplies is for the health of a business, that is undoubtedly logistics and transport companies.

Bolloré Transport & Logistics was founded at the end of 2014 as a result of the merger of the Bolloré Group’s four subsidiaries— Bolloré Ports, Bolloré Railways, Bolloré Energy, and Bolloré Logistics. Since that time, the company continues its international expansion, intending to become one of the world’s top five logistics companies by 2025.

Today, Bolloré Transport & Logistics’ headcount is more than 36,000 employees located in 107 countries. The company supports SMEs and large international corporations worldwide and contributes immensely to local economies and infrastructures by providing jobs, training staff, and making it possible to import and export goods.

The company’s presence in South Africa dates back to 1997. Bolloré Transport & Logistics South Africa (BTLSA) design and implement end-to-end transport solutions to add value to the overall region’s supply chain, especially to the most remote sub-Saharan African locations.

What Was the Problem?

While various customer-related operations within the organization were streamlined and centralized, internal supplies of goods and services such as fuel, stationery, rental, staff requirements, household goods, etc., required optimization.

On average, the employees across twelve South African  Branches were raising and processing about 100 requests and orders per month. The entire process was paper-based and required a hand-written signature for authorization, which was extremely inefficient.

Aсcording to Barend Liebenberg, Procurement Manager responsible for all Non-Operational requirements & purchases in South Africa, when he received a Purchase Order, there was no historical trace of who issued and approved the request.

The process was all manual and time-consuming. Besides, we couldn't track which department of our 12 branches had issued a PO before an expense was authorized for payment. We also knew that there was no proper cost control and budget allocation.

Because there was a lack of visibility, Barend had to spend additional time to gain missing information from requestors and approvers. It often resulted in unapproved or delayed purchases, which affected day-to-day operations. After a new CFO joined Bolloré’s Head Office in France, he suggested that procurement software is what they were missing.

Why Did BTLSA Choose Precoro?

BTLSA’s goal was to automate the entire approval routing that included requestors from each department of the 12 branches, their Managers, Budget Holders, and the Procurement team.

"Every department is responsible for creating their own PR, which then gets authorized by Department Manager.
The Procurement team negotiates the price by sending RFPs and awarding the best offer from supplier, continuing with the POs placement.
If the total cost is higher than a certain amount, the purchase requires additional approval by the CFO or Managing Director.
Finally, when the order is received, the Procurement team checks on the delivery and matches the Receipt, Invoice and PO."

The approval chain in Bollore is determined by location, department, and expense category. Another requirement was to customize the email flow and documents access so that each user could see only documents and updates relevant to their duties.

Most of the solutions did not provide sufficient workflow customization or missed  critical modules, such as a Request for Proposals or Receipts management.

Eventually, Barend realised that Precoro covered most of the requirements. Moreover, scalable pricing structure gave possibility for gradual expansion of system users.

After Barend had discussions with the CFO and IT Specialist, they decided to kick off Precoro for managing one of the warehouses that required urgent cost control. The main goals was to ensure that the system is fully functional before implementation for the rest of the office and warehouse facilities in South Africa.

Onboarding and account preparation for 25 users took one week. Barend passed the information about users, vendors, and product database to the Precoro CSM team and they took care of the entire configuration process.

About six months later, there was no doubt that the system had proved itself, so BTLSA rolled it out to the rest of the company branches and departments in South Africa.

The Outcome

Today Bolloré Transport & Logistics has 82 active users across all of their office and warehouse facilities in South Africa. With Precoro, they managed to centralize the procurement process  and fully automate purchasing workflows by location, department, expense category, and amount.

"We use Precoro as an all-in-one solution to control and automate the entire procurement workflow, from creating POs to managing the suppliers’ database. With the catalog, we’ve drastically reduced the time spent issuing purchase orders and requests and tracking their status. Plus, our managers easily approve on-the-go via phone.”

The overall financial control and spending visibility have improved significantly. Each user sees all the relevant documents and budgets in one place, and customizable reports help to track outstanding commitments. The fact that Precoro is based in a cloud provides accessibility from both mobile and desktop, and does not involve the company’s IT resources.

“Our day-to-day operations have improved dramatically. Approval is much faster, and all department managers are involved in the process.”


Before Precoro:

  • Time-consuming procurement process with human errors
  • Manual work operated in Excel and papers
  • No full picture over purchase process and history
  • No budget tracking and control over project expenses
  • Manual Invoice and Delivery matching to PO

With Precoro:

  • Automated procurement and related administrative processes
  • Eliminated manual and paper-based work
  • Centralized data storage and sharing via service
  • Better utilization for existing data for improved analysis, reporting, and decision-making
  • Automatic 3-way matching
  • Reduced overall operational costs
“I would recommend Precoro for Medium-Sized Businesses that are looking to centralize procurement operations across multiple entities. Precoro  gave us visibility and control over multi-branch spending of our organization.  Each Manager can seamlessly authorize Purchase Requests and track available budget.”

Learn about how you can shorten the time from request to purchase from days to hours and achieve the utmost transparency by booking a demo today.