Do you know why Quatenus was develop? Do you have an idea of how Quatenus technology can help companies to control their assets? Do you know that using it you can also reduce costs?
We interviewed the CEO of Quatenus Brazil, Luís da Conceição Nobre, to answer these questions. Below you can check his answer and what he thinks about the Brazilian market for fleet management.
For you better understanding, we separate the interview in topics:
- Why Brazil?
- How Quatenus emerged?
- Which are the benefits of Quatenus technology and services?
- What is the future of fleet management?
Juliana Fernandez (JF): Why did you decided to come to Brazil?
Luís da Conceição Nobre (LN): For those who don’t know, we are from Europe.
More specifically from Portugal, a country with 10 million people. There, we had a very strong growth in the company at the turn of the century. To deal with this situation, we had basically three ways: restrict and adapt the company to the size of the Portuguese market, expand to a market much more advanced than ours – the European market – or looking for opportunities in other developing countries.
We clearly believed in the development cycle that emerging economies were having at the turn of the century. So we opted for the third option.
JF: What was the scenario that you found in Brazil?
LN: We face a huge challenge when we came to Brazil. Why? Because the country is continental. I don’t know if people have this notion, but to have an idea, you can cross Portugal in four or five hours driving. Can you do it here? No.
Besides that, there is the challenge related to the market knowledge. The market here has too much legal complexity. I always say that in Brazil if you can complicate, why are you gonna simplify?
I can tell that if I hadn’t come to Brazil, probably I hadn’t understand what is the reality. It is too difficult to explain what happen here and how the system works.
JF: How is your relation with the head office in Portugal?
LN: There is a trust relation between us that facilitates our communication. I must to explain the reason of taxes and employment law for example. As I say before, it is just possible to understand if you live here. They aren’t in Brazil and for them is complicated to realize some points because their reality in Portugal is different.
JF: When Quatenus came to Brazil, it was one of the only companies that was developing the own software. How have the own software differed Quatenus from other companies at that time?
LN: We weren’t the only ones, but like you said, we were one of the only that had the own software. Most of companies worked with outsourced softwares. Honestly, I didn’t realize how different it was at the time.
The way that we rendered our service was the key point for that. The fact was: we developed an excellent technology, we had a great service and solution to our clients.
When we could get to the board of directors of companies, we hardly lost business. We had and we still have an great product.
How Quatenus emerged?
JF: When you decided to came to Brazil you already had the technology developed. But, could you tell us when you decided to create it?
LN: For sure! Our group is a group of engineers. We were in Africa helping to develop some countries. We started in Angola, a country that lived a civil war for 38 years. Can you imagine how was the infrastructure there? It was destroyed.
Our story started with a construction material company called Tuamutunga. It was one of our companies in the country and we were transporting sand from our stone company to the building we were constructing. One day, when someone called to complain that he hadn’t received his sand load that day.
We asked to everyone, but no one knew about the client and the service that should had be done. We discovered that in fact that person wasn’t our client. He was our driver’s client.
Our truck driver should transported the sand direct to our building. And he was doing this, however he was just transporting half of the sand. The other part he was selling to this “client” to make money.
Although it was our sand, our driver, our truck and our brand, it wasn’t us that was doing de service.
JF: But how did you discover the truth story?
LN: Our driver was away because he was with malaria. Malaria in Angola is a serious problem. He was incapacitated to work or get out for almost one week. During this time, our “client” called.
We had a supervisor and Lubango, the city where it happened, wasn’t so big. How we let this happened? That’s was the moment we got the idea to have a tracking service in our trucks. We hired a tracking software, but, for our bad luck or happiness, the system was horrible.
At the time, we already had systems in the area of geographical information due to the work we were doing to reconstruct Angola’s territory. Our group had capacity to deal with a new project. So what we did? We decided to develop our own tracking software.
JF: And when you realize that you had market for this technology?
LN: We started to see that there was a promissor future to the geolocation technology. Companies were requiring real time information and the technology developed by us was catching attention. We didn’t develop just a tracking software for vehicles. We developed a system to also could track cellphones, tablets, devices, tags… It was a multi-platform.
It is possible to use Quatenus in your cellphone or computer
Which are the benefits of Quatenus technology and services?
JF: How this technology could helps companies at the time and now?
LN: Activity control. Our technology brings control to companies. In Angola, our slogan is “Quatenus, caring for what is yours”. We wanted to help the businessmen to take care of their assets. Assets which they couldn’t see all the time and are super important to the operation.
When you take a handful of sand, some part of it escapes through the middle of your fingers. You haven’t control of it. But you can have. Imagine that the handful sand is the businessman asset. We can help him to control what is at his hand and what is escaping.
JF: Luís, are there a lot of amateur company in the tracking and telemetry business?
LN: I see a lot of amateurism in the market. Companies even manage in a determined dimension, however, when they have to deal with complex projects, they haven’t capacity. This is a business that has to be done with quality to guarantee a good information service to client. And it is a very big challenge.
JF: Some people think that to create a tracking company you only need to put the equipment in the asset. Is that how it works?
LN: Absolutely not. If it was just put the equipment, what would happen or who will help when the client need to solve a problem? Who will improve the software? These things are client service. And we work to transform all this complexity in an excellent service to our clients. We do it every single day, 24 hours a day, seven times a week.
Quatenus’ 24-hour central tracking
Here there is another point to mention: the operation 24 hours during seven days a week. Differently from other geographies that have focus on risk management, the companies in Brazil focus in security. And for solve this necessity, we had to give more attention on it. So we decided to not stop our operation and always be ready, anytime, to help our clients.
JF: Beyond tracking technology, Quatenus team develop an advanced telemetry that also benefits companies. Why is the important to have a good hardware to support the Quatenus technology?
LN: We have to remember that every decision needs to be based in a company strategy. We always had the worry to evolve and offer to our clients the best information service.
To support our system, we have to search for the best hardwares. Why? Because daily we process more information than the Bradesco Bank. I don’t know if people have notion of it. There are billions of information a day. Although we develop an advanced software, we just can deal with quality and excellence because we use a good hardware.
JF: And did you have difficulty to find a good hardware to support Quatenus’ software?
LN: One of the first jobs that we made here was to find suppliers that brought us innovation and consistency. We wanted an equipment with more capacity. But we had to deal with the price factor too. Good quality and good price.
After our research, we signed important partnerships. They participate and help us with our innovations. What it means? It means that when we have an innovative idea, they also develop it as a specific hardware functionality to us.
What is the future of fleet management?
JF: In your opinion, what is the future of the fleet management in Brazil?
LN: The future is based in the capacity to analyze the information. But, what kind of information? Everything that can improve operations and fleet control. Our technology can help to read the fleet information. It means that a fleet manager can access the vehicle position, the velocity, motor temperature, acceleration, abrupt braking, rpm… Of course that he just can have it if the CAN information was able to be access.
If the company’s fleet manager didn’t know how to read, haven’t access to the vehicle data or didn’t transport it to the operation, there will be no growth in the company.
JF: Can you explain how to use this vehicle information in practice?
LN: For sure! Imagine this situation: you have a fleet just with small vehicles, like a Ford Ka and a Volkswagen Gol. You know that there is a different consumption but we can consider that this consumption is uniform. So, for you have the control of how many kilometers your fleet did, it is enough if you just see the fuel supply. You can check how much fuel it had at the beginning and end of the trip. Compare both and you will have the average consumption. You can verified if there is something anormal or not. It is an easy activity to do. If you have Quatenus’ reports, you can get this information faster.
However, when we talk about a truck or a bus fleet, the process isn’t so easy because the consumption varies according to the transport conditions. What it means? It means that if your truck transports cattle, it will has a different consume than your truck that transports chicken or milk. If your truck cross the mountains, it will has a different consume than your truck that cross in a highway.
And fleet manager needs telemetry to control each travel, each factor that impacts the vehicle consumption. But I have to alert: this professional can’t just invest in telemetry technology and think that acquired a magic solution. He must to read, interpret and analyse all the information. Doing this, he will be able to reduce costs and save company’s money.
The fuel price will continue to rise. It will continue to be one of the principal costs of companies with fleet or companies that have mobility responsibilities. This cost has to be manage. I can’t say that it is the most cost related to the driver, but for sure it is the second most cost of company. If businessmen don’t invest in telemetry, they will just throw money away.
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