How a South African Logistics Company Gained Full Spend Control across 12 Locations

5 min read

How a South African Logistics Company Gained Full Spend Control across 12 Locations

Multinational transportation giant BollorĂ© has fully eliminated manual work in purchasing operations — learn how you can do the same.

Daryna Rodriguez
Daryna Rodriguez

Company: Bolloré Transport & Logistics South Africa
Location: South Africa
Industry: Transport & Logistics
Website: bollore-transport-logistics.com
Using Precoro since: Aug 2018
Users: 82
POs per month: avg. 100
Featuring: Barend Liebenberg, Procurement Manager


Introducing South Africa’s BollorĂ© Transport & Logistics

Logistics and Transport companies understand (perhaps even better than businesses in other industries) just how critical punctuality of supply delivery is for long-term success.

Bolloré Transport & Logistics was founded in 2014 as the consolidation of four subsidiaries: Bolloré Ports, Bolloré Railways, Bolloré Energy, and Bolloré Logistics.

Since its creation, the company has pursued international expansion, intending to become one of the world’s top 5 logistics companies by 2025.

Today, Bolloré Transport & Logistics has more than 36,000 employees spread across 107 countries.

The company services SMEs and large international corporations worldwide and contributes substantially to local economies and infrastructures by supporting import and export.

bolloré logistics office

The company’s presence in South Africa dates back to 1997.

BollorĂ© Transport & Logistics South Africa (BTLSA) designs and implements end-to-end transport solutions that add value to the region’s overall supply chain, especially to the most remote locations of sub-Saharan Africa.

The Challenge Bolloré Faced

At some point in the company’s growth, BollorĂ©'s internal processes proved to be inefficient.

In particular, Bolloré's internal supplies of goods and services such as fuel, stationery, rental, staff requirements, household goods, etc., called for a better process.

On average, about 100 requests were being raised and processed per month by employees across 12 South African branches.

However, the entire process was paper-based and required a handwritten signature for authorization.

Aсcording to Barend Liebenberg, who’s responsible for all non-operational requirements & purchases in South Africa, when the procurement manager received a Purchase Order, there was no historical trace of who had issued and who had 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.


Barend Liebenberg, Procurement Manager at Bolloré

Due to the lack of visibility, Barend had to waste additional time to look for lost request and approval information, which often resulted in unapproved or delayed purchases and directly impacted the company’s day-to-day operations.

Fortunately for Barend, a new CFO at Bolloré suggested implementing procurement software.

bolloré warehouse

Why did BTLSA Choose Precoro?

BTLSA’s goal was to automate its entire approval routing cycle for requestors from each department of the 12 branches, their managers, budget holders, and the procurement team.

Every department is responsible for creating its own PR, which then gets authorized by the department manager.

The procurement team negotiates the price by sending RFPs and awarding the best offer from the 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.


Barend Liebenberg, Procurement Manager at Bolloré

Bolloré's approval chain is determined by location, department, and expense category.

It had to be customized to control access to email flow and documents based upon user role relevancy.

But most of the available solutions did not provide sufficient workflow customization or lacked critical modules, such as Request for Proposals or Receipts Management.

Ultimately, Barend realized that Precoro covered most of the company's requirements, and Precoro's scalable pricing structure allowed for the gradual expansion of system users.

So Barend discussed the matter with the company CFO and the IT specialist.
They decided to take the Precoro software for a spin as a pilot project to manage one of the warehouses needing urgent cost control.

bolloré transport

Their idea was to ensure that the system was fully functional before implementing it across the rest of South Africa’s offices and warehouse facilities.

Within one week, Precoro helped Bolloré's team to onboard and to prepare accounts for 25 users.

Barend shared necessary information regarding users, vendors, and product database with the Precoro CSM team, who took care of the entire configuration process.

After about 6 months, there was no doubting the Precoro system's impact on efficiency, so BTLSA rolled it out to the rest of the company branches and departments in South Africa.

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 the multi-branch spending of our organization.

Each manager can seamlessly authorize Purchase Requests and track the available budget.


Barend Liebenberg, Procurement Manager at Bolloré

The End Result

Today, Bolloré Transport & Logistics has 82 active users across all their office and warehouse facilities in South Africa.

Using Precoro, they have centralized the procurement process and fully automated 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.


Barend Liebenberg, Procurement Manager at Bolloré

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 track outstanding commitments.

In addition, Precoro is based in a cloud that 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.

Barend Liebenberg, Procurement Manager at Bolloré

Nowadays, more and more companies from the Bolloré Group choose Precoro as their procurement management solution and use it across various locations.

Whitehorse, Bolloré Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Burundi are the most recent Precoro users, whose count has reached 200+ in 2021.

Key Takeaways

bolloré shipping terminal

Before Precoro

  • Time-consuming procurement process affected by human errors
  • No complete picture of the purchase process and history
  • No budget tracking and control over project expenses
  • Manual invoice and delivery matching to PO
  • Manual work with Excel and paper

With Precoro

  • Better utilization of existing data for improved analysis, reporting, and decision-making
  • Automated procurement and related administrative processes
  • Centralized data storage and sharing via the system
  • Eliminated manual and paper-based work
  • Reduced overall operational costs
  • Automatic 3-way matching

To learn how you too can shorten the request-to-purchase cycle from days to hours and achieve complete transparency, book a demo today.

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Daryna Rodriguez

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