Prism, the 4PL subsidiary of Bolloré, wants to be a player in the transformation of supply chains

Par ediallo - 14 October, 2021 - 07:02

Already in action around the world, Prism, the subsidiary of Bolloré Transport & Logistics, is unveiling its assets and organization to offer its expertise as a 4PL company.

Put to the test over the last 18 months, global supply chains must now embark on profound transformations to respond to global market changes: omnipresent digitalization, environmental urgency, the need for reactivity to reduce time-to-market...

Faced with these issues, the Bolloré Transport & Logistics group had already embarked on its transformation since 2016, with a major internal transformation program, marked by the merger of its brands into a single entity, the implementation of a single TMS for its operations and several external growth operations such as with the French start-up Ovrsea, acquired last year.

But the transport and logistics group decided to go further, having identified the need among its customers for expertise that would go beyond execution, and instead move towards consulting, flow transformation and what is known as the "reengineering" of global supply chains.

The group has therefore decided to create Prism, a 4PL company that can "fit into this consulting and management dimension, beyond the classic 3PL operations of Bolloré Transport & Logistics", as Olivier Boccara, global chief commercial officer at Bolloré Logistics, explains.

A new entity whose activity was launched in 2019 and which focuses on transport and customs operations, with service and consulting, but also customizable digital solutions, with its own steering tool named Link 4PL.

"The supply chain must transform itself rapidly

In concrete terms, Prism can support its customers in selecting the best service providers on the market, in building their freight purchasing strategy and more generally in managing their flows.

"The supply chain is at the heart of the questions asked by companies' general management today," explains Alain Cohen, Prism's managing director since November 2020. Faced with these challenges, the 4PL company is positioning itself on several needs: first of all, supply, in a context of capacity problems for international transport.

"Companies need a partner with market knowledge that enables them to rethink their purchasing strategies, across all modes of transport," notes Alain Cohen. Another key element is resilience: "Today, agility is paramount, and our customers are strongly questioning the structure of their supply chains.

They need support upstream and downstream to redefine their organizations, the way they manage their production, their planning or their stocks.

Prism can provide concrete answers to all these questions," explains Alain Cohen, mentioning the company's desire to optimize costs and time-to-market, for example.

Finally, the environmental dimension is also at the heart of Prism's offer, with the desire to rely on concrete measurements of emissions throughout the supply chain, in order to move from advice to action, to implement transport plans focused on reducing the carbon footprint.

"The supply chain must transform itself rapidly, and it will be able to do so if it is more collaborative, connected, and automated," summarizes Alain Cohen.

In the face of these needs, despite its attachment to the Bolloré Transport & Logistics group, Prism is also firmly committed to its independence and neutrality, wishing to avoid any conflict of interest between its consulting expertise and the transport services of its parent group.

"We have our own governance and if some of our employees come from Bolloré Transport & Logistics, they sign a charter of neutrality when they join us, because their mission concerns only the optimization of their clients' processes," says Alain Cohen.

Worldwide availability

Today, Prism boasts an international reach with some sixty employees spread over three operational hubs located in Mexico City (Mexico), Porto (Portugal) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), as well as expertise centers in France (Toulouse and Puteaux) and Switzerland (Geneva).

With this organization, Prism can offer 24/7 availability to its customers. "We recently signed a contract with a Swedish telecom equipment manufacturer that will rely on the Kuala Lumpur center, with three nine-hour shifts, to manage its supplies on a global scale.

We also worked with an FMCG player in Asia for whom we implemented a management software solution in four months, with coverage ranging from procurement to freight auditing," says Alain Cohen.

While the company is not limited in terms of the vertical sectors it wishes to address, it does have three preferred sectors: automotive (currently on non-production flows, but soon on production flows, Alain Cohen hopes), aeronautics, as well as the perfume and flavor sector, "which involves complex supply chains, undergoing transformation, moving from global organizations to more local flows for greater agility and responsiveness, on ever shorter lead times, with new products launched more frequently on the market," notes Alain Cohen.

With its various projects, the young company has managed a transport budget of 150 million euros since its creation, with 200,000 transport operations processed from its three hubs. "2.5 million in transportation savings this year, despite the difficulties of 2021.

These are structural savings, enabled by flow redesign and optimization. By 2025, we are aiming to manage one billion euros in transport costs, while taking Prism to other continents, with Africa in mind," concludes Alain Cohen.

Emilien VILLEROY