Case study - GT Invest targets operational excellence at Group Caus
Logistics service provider Group Caus joined GT Invest’s corporate portfolio at the beginning of 2019. GT Invest took a number of strategic decisions in the context of operational excellence, immediately following this acquisition. A team comprising existing Group Caus employees are now responsible for the implementation of these strategic decisions, under the supervision of CFO Joren Vanlerberghe. Operations manager at Group Caus, Evelien Debacker, reveals more about the company’s new direction.
Focus on digitisation
“Steve and Miek resolved to fully digitise the Group Caus workflow, immediately upon GT Invest’s acquisition. The decision to relocate our offices to Lissewege, just a few minutes from the quay and equipped with considerably less storage space, helped to facilitate this. We reduced our physical archives to a minimum and began utilising new software packages that enabled us to fully digitise and adopt cloud-based working, from accounting to driver planning, to personnel administration. This digitisation was implemented within a very short space of time, yet on an incremental basis to ensure the continuity of the company’s day-to-day operations.”
Investments in comfort and safety
“A rigorous cost-benefit analysis quickly resulted in a decision to invest in a completely new vehicle fleet for our drivers. A good move in terms of the company’s image and highly advantageous for recruitment: new, comfortable cars are much more appealing to potential drivers than an old, outdated fleet. There’s also a strong emphasis on safety, with significant investments being made in this field, such as reflective work clothing for example. The wind of change is palpable and has been positively embraced by the entire Group Caus team.”
Increased customer contact
“GT Invest has also enacted significant change at a commercial level. They have an extremely close relationship with our customers, paying them regular monthly visits to appraise the collaboration, whilst simultaneously expanding the customer portfolio.”
"GT Invest's direct approach has resulted in more open communication, both with our customers and within Group Caus."
Balance between operational and strategic management
“GT Invest’s acquisition came as a complete surprise to Group Caus employees. However, following a cordial familiarisation exercise, our team was fully immersed and engaged in the operational strategy envisaged by Steve and Miek. We remain responsible for day-to-day business operations, whilst strategic business decisions are taken by GT invest. For example: my colleague Sharon and I conducted exploratory talks with potential partners for the company’s new software packages, but the final decision lay with Steve and Miek. Joren visits on a weekly basis for the company accounts, and communication lines are short and accessible. We certainly regard GT Invest team members as new colleagues.”
New corporate culture
“GT Invest's direct approach has resulted in more open communication, both with our customers and within Group Caus: clearly defined tasks have made way for overarching responsibilities that enable us to support the company's business objectives as one team. We’ve accomplished a lot in a short space of time and have now reached a stable position from which we can look forward to GT Invest's future plans for Group Caus.”
Want to know more about this GT Invest portfolio company? Then visit the Group Caus website.