Christel Dubus took part in the EFFIFUEL™ adventure and explains the principles behind the Michelin Solutions offer

Interview

Business Segment Manager at Michelin solutions, Christel Dubus has contributed to the development of EFFIFUEL™, which helps fleets of HGVs reduce their fuel consumption. She describes this experience and, in general, her job, which she says is all about human contact.

Business manager, engaging with customers

Fleet Street: What does your job of Business Segment Manager consist of?
Christel Dubus: A Business Segment Manager designs, develops and supports the commercialization of solutions. By talking to the customers and using their knowledge of the marketplace, they try to provide an overall solution to the problems faced by hauliers, with the objective of creating value and sharing with the customer. Personally, I work on environmental concerns.

Fleet Street: In May 2013, MICHELIN® solutions launched its first new EFFIFUEL™ solution for HGVs. How did the solution come about?
Christel Dubus: For EFFIFUEL™, we capitalized on Michelin’s experience with HGVs, especially with regards to the role of tires in fuel consumption. Michelin solutions also conducted tests in Europe on sharing value and engaging with the customers and performed around twenty individual interviews with European customers. To the questions “What keeps you awake at night?” and “What are your major concerns?” – fuel was systematically mentioned by the respondents.

 « The gestation phase of the idea it particularly stimulating »

After that we worked on the content of the EFFIFUEL™ solution, which is based on various different components, including an ecosystem of experts, engagement and zero risks for the haulier. The solution was presented to the hauliers to ensure we were on the right track and to adjust certain components, then the Key Account Managers were trained and EFFIFUEL™ was launched in the European market.

 Fleet Street: What was the highlight of your mission?
Christel Dubus: The gestation phase was particularly stimulating: discussions with the hauliers to really understand the issue and what more we could do, sourcing potential partners, including at shows and discovering the latest innovations at conferences. We met with a lot of people (petrol companies, people working on the efficiencies of fuel consumption, telematics…). For me, it was a real eye-opener.

 Fleet Street: Who are your competitors?
Christel Dubus: A lot of companies are working on the issue of fuel efficiency, including manufacturers, petrol companies, telematics suppliers or eco driving schools… However, nobody offers a solution as complete as MICHELIN® solutions and commits to the results.

« A continuous learning process »


Fleet Street:
What is the difference between launching a solution rather than a product?
Christel Dubus: There are a lot of differences. Firstly, our business model depends on creating and sharing value. It is more than just a financial transaction. In addition, our solution must be based on a flexible mechanism to accompany changes in road haulage companies over the long term. There are also more personalizable parameters: diagnostics, different options that can be used as a part of the offer, fuel consumption that differs from one fleet to the next. The commercial approach is also very different: a broader scope for training (much more than just the tires), the diversity of contacts in the fleet (company heads, human resources, finance, purchasing…). Finally, buy-in by everybody in the company is essential: it is a real company-wide project.

 Fleet Street: Now that the solution has been launched, what does your role consist of?
Christel Dubus: The solution as developed is now facing the test of reality. I hold regular updates with the sales and production teams to adapt the EFFIFUEL™ solution as necessary. We have already updated the solution. We are in a continuous learning process.

 Fleet Street: What qualities do you need to do this job?
Christel Dubus: I won’t give you a long list! …However, what has helped me the most is engaging with the customers, getting them to open up, listening to them and understanding their needs.

 Fleet Street: What have you learnt from this experience?
Christel Dubus: The job has been the most enriching so far in my career with Michelin. Everything was developed at the same time: the Michelin solutions entities, the IT Systems, our commercial proposition… And it is very gratifying to start with an idea and to see it become a reality. It’s a continuous learning process, whether when working with the teams in the early stages of development or when the offer was launched and commercialized! The diversity of the people and of the issues to be dealt with means that this job is a unique experience.

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