Versatile logistics service provider MAAT aims to differentiate itself for its customers through innovation. To this end, the company is investing heavily in IT. Yellowstar's Star Portal Customers portal helps clients and the company itself to work much more efficiently and so achieve more with the same people. “We are looking at a twenty percent increase in revenue."

  • Improved services
  • Do more with the same people
  • Individually configurable for each customer  
  • Basis for partnership with customers
  • No more phone calls and e-mails
  • Via system link or web

"Innovation is in MAAT’s DNA. We always want to be ahead of the curve. In everything we do, we aim for Champions League level”, says an enthusiastic Arjan Maat. The managing director is the third generation of the Maat family at the helm of the now nearly 90-year-old company. Having started out as a traditional road haulier, the firm has gradually developed into a multidisciplinary logistics service provider. These days, MAAT has around 200 employees, spread across five locations in the Netherlands and Belgium, who are involved in transport, logistics, forklift rental, technology and e-mobility.   

Taking over all logistics

Within the logistics services that MAAT offers, as a 3PL/4PL it wants to do as much as possible for customers and be a true partner for them. "We can take over all companies’ logistics for them”, says Maat. As an example, he cites yacht builder Oceanco. "Everything that has to do with logistics at both their locations is done by people from MAAT. Whether it is on the quayside, in the production buildings or on the ships. We now also work for five other customers based on this concept."

Eliminating susceptibility to error

This far-reaching service also extends to optimum communication with the customer. Finance Director Marcel Tuijtel: "As you get bigger as a company and you start doing more for customers, you notice how susceptible phone and e-mail are to error. So instead of that, you want your own systems and those of customers to be able to communicate directly with each other. That's what led us to Yellowstar and prompted us to start working together to set up a new customer portal."

Pilot customer

In creating the new customer portal, MAAT used forklift supplier Still as a pilot customer. All regular transport orders and work orders from Still are now automatically routed from their system to MAAT's system via the customer portal. Tuijtel: “Previously, Still always had to transcribe data when placing orders. That is now no longer necessary, which saves them a lot of time. Hiccoughs such as the occasional missed or misinterpreted e-mail are also a thing of the past. We proactively keep Still informed about the progress of schedules via the customer portal and offer them extensive track & trace during execution. The use of phones and e-mails is completely redundant."

Optimum time savings, improved services

Now that the customer portal is in place, MAAT also wants to roll out its use to other customers and potential customers. It can be customised for any company. In addition to a system link, connection is also possible via the web. In this case, order entry takes place via an Excel upload or using a template, for example. Tuijtel: "It is very important to guide the customer through a process like this. Together, we can achieve optimum time savings while also improving services."

Getting your own organisation on board

Maat realises that the use of the customer portal is still at an early stage even within its own organisation. "You can have the most fantastic package, but ultimately success hinges on implementation within your own company. Using it has to become part of MAAT’s DNA.  We want all of our users and salespeople to know exactly how the portal works. By creating a broad base of support internally, we and our customers can take full advantage of it."

Clear benefits

By now, the benefits of the customer portal are becoming clear to MAAT. Tuijtel: "You sense a calmer atmosphere in the planning department. Scheduling remains hectic, but the number of phone calls and e-mails – and therefore the susceptibility to error – has decreased significantly. We are now bringing in orders worth about twenty percent more with the same people."

Maat concludes: "Customers expect more of us; the world of logistics is changing rapidly. By actively investing in IT, we are truly moving with the times. Through innovations like the new customer portal, we are preparing our company for further growth."