Interviews
16 jan 19

Matthieu Echalier, GAC Technology: Ready to enter new markets and services

GAC Technology is a growing fleet management software company in France. On the occasion of their recent conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Director General Matthieu Echalier shared where his company is going.

“We are a software writing company for fleet management solutions, we are not fleet managers ourselves”, says Matthieu Echalier. “Our partners do this work, using our software. We do not intend to encroach on the domains of others who are specialists in their own domains. We work with leasing companies who distribute our products, but our clients are generally end-users of what we produce and what leasing companies supply. Our clients generally fall into three categories: fleet managers, procurement managers, and more and more nowadays, those responsible for CSR.”

Where do you get your basic data?
One of the specialities which forms a major part of what we do, but which is generally not seen, is data collection. We have 26 software developers, and 6 of these work with leasing companies, insurers, oil companies, the State, maintenance companies… and others on data collection. It is a fact that the more data there is, the more it needs distilling and the more it needs to be used intelligently. We use the data to explain trends to our clients, to enable relevant action to be taken. The more data there is, the more Artificial Intelligence is required to make sense of it and make it usable.

Where is GAC Technology today and what are your ambitions?
We are just eleven years old and we have made a great deal of progress on the French market, work which is ongoing. At the moment we have around 150-170 clients in France, exclusively in B2B. This represents some 235,000 vehicles on the road which use our software. This makes us by far the leader in France in our specialist domain although there is still huge potential in the country. Even as leader we are only active with 5% of the market.

And outside of France…?
For the past year and a half we have also been attacking other countries, markets which border France. I have been to meet the relevant people in the UK, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg – journalists, consultants, suppliers… This is to find out in the first instance how these markets are organised. Then we can see which markets may be more suitable for us.

What are your first conclusions from these visits?
The UK will not be easy for us at the moment, so it will be for later. But other countries – the Iberian Peninsula, and Italy have great potential for us, as does the Benelux. We had positive meetings in these countries. So for 2019 we are going to deploy our energy and our resources in the Iberian and Benelux regions first.

And finally, what sort of vehicles use your software?
There are two types – firstly, light vehicles including company cars and small vans, which make up around 65% of the total fleet of vehicles using our software. Over the past year we have seen more and more heavy vehicles using our software, and we are ready to include electric bikes and pavement scooters too. The software enables different types of vehicles to be managed. There are not yet pavement scooters in fleets, but the phenomenon is growing among the general public, and we are ready for it.

 

 

Authored by: Tim Harrup