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montrans success story

The history of the company's foundation begins in 2003 in Chelyabinsk, when the transportation monitoring industry in Russia was just beginning to emerge. At that time GPS-tracker was a curiosity, navigation maps were classified and in general the development of the industry was presented as the promotion of something new, modern and unusual for the Russian common man. The name of the company was chosen as an abbreviation for "transportation monitoring", a little later the domain MONTRANS.RU was registered

MONTRANS Group is a leader in the field of fleet digitalization. Developer and manufacturer of complex business solutions for the automation of transportation companies. Manufacturer and supplier of telematics equipment and software.
In 2010, together with the opening of the head office in Moscow, the established startup was rebranded into Omnicomm-Service LLC under the key supplier of Omnicomm. A strong friendship over fifteen years helped Omnicomm-Service become the No. 1 partner in terms of sales volume in Russia and CIS countries for fuel consumption control and transportation monitoring products.

And only in 2018 the company rebranded again, abandoning the umbrella brand and became MONTRANS. This is how we returned to our roots and the MONTRANS.RU website that existed for many years and became the strongest company in transportation monitoring.
The founders' personal savings were invested as initial investments in the creation of the company, and as uniqueness the experience of employees' work at the customers' facilities in both installation of telematics equipment and preparation of analytical reports on the operation of this equipment was used. Since then, "MONTRANS" has been operating without the use of third-party loans and external borrowed funds. The total amount of investments at the time of opening did not exceed the cost of a passenger car, and now the company's fleet of service vehicles alone exceeds 35 units
The start was not an easy one. For more than 3 years, the startup has been looking for itself in this niche, trying out different types of equipment and suppliers. The vector remained unchanged: navigation, communication, cartography. It was only when experience was gained and the first mistakes were made that it was decided to take business development seriously.
The very idea of moving from a startup to a full-fledged organization came about only after the need for cashless payment from one of the first major customers, such as Rosneft. Until then, the startup team had been operating under subcontracts for the installation of satellite monitoring terminals at remote sites in the north of Russia, as well as supplying and working for cash.

From 2003 to 2007 the current Managing Partner of the company (then one of the founders) Dmitry Zhuravlev himself was engaged in business development, website promotion, direct sales and installation of equipment throughout the vast country. One month - sales, one month - installations.
In 2010 there was a need to open another office for full coverage of the whole Urals and the choice fell on the city of Perm, but after one very important meeting with the largest supplier, the company "Omnicomm" in Moscow, it was decided to open an office not in Perm, but in the capital of Russia. The company also took the name "Omnicomm-Service".

All the funds accumulated since 2007 were directed to the opening of the head office in Moscow. The total investment in the opening amounted to more than 7 million rubles, which eventually allowed the company to reach profitability in four months, and in nine months to achieve a return on initial investment. In addition, part of the equipment was provided on credit from the manufacturer Omnicomm, which dissolved its service division. An old fleet of vehicles, tools, and part of the staff of engineers were also inherited from it.
In the period from 2007 to 2010 the company's staff grew, sales, installation and accounting departments appeared. Five new branches were opened in the Urals. The company survived the crisis period with its head held high and continued its active development, even during the difficult economic period managing to completely renew the sales department and get rid of managers who did not want to sell equipment with the words "Everyone is in crisis, there is no money". At that difficult time Dmitry Zhuravlev answered them very succinctly: "If your salary is paid on time, it means that you do not have a crisis, so pick up the phone and continue working with customers!". This is how the export division came into being.
The multiple risks were successfully covered by the opportunities offered by the huge Moscow market with comparable financial expenses for the first start. In addition, within the framework of agreements reached with the manufacturer Omnicomm, a new office was opened in Moscow, which took over all service functions, thus freeing the manufacturer from the headaches of maintaining all previously delivered equipment.

Besides, within the framework of competitive analysis of Moscow, all partners of Omnicomm were interviewed. It turned out that most of them do not provide the demanded service of service engineer visit to the customer to carry out works and these problematic positions were successfully closed by "Omnicomm-Service". Not without losses - additional offices in the Urals were closed due to low profitability. However, the Company kept the main thing - the staff of engineers in the cities of presence.
In 2012, after completing a very large order, it became necessary to scale the business and abandon the previous employee options. The company was completely reformatted with an increase in production space. In the period from 2012 to 2016, the organization was continuously developing, new offices were opened across Russia, investments in basic working tools - company cars, computers and office equipment - increased. Unique in-house developments allowed to improve the quality of works while reducing their cost. Every year the turnover of "Omnicomm-Service" steadily doubled and by 2017 exceeded the cash turnover of its closest competitors by two or even three times. In the same year there was a move to a new large and beautiful office on Marshal Rybalko Street - the company was actively leasing equipment, lending equipment and working with customers, but nevertheless the financial indicators of profitability stopped growing, because at that time there was an increase in the cost of components, strong dumping in the market, increased competition and refusal of some manufacturers from lending to their partners.
In 2018, all this led to the abandonment of the umbrella brand and equipment lending - a course was set to build our own MONTRANS brand with its own line of equipment, software products, and services. A new legal entity was opened, the trademark "MONTRANS" was registered, a brand book was developed, a product line was selected, and business boiled over.
Each turning point in the company's development took about three years and was cyclical: at each such cycle the company's development strategy, employee qualifications, format of work were completely revised, as well as the transition from micro-enterprise to medium-sized business, which took place over 15 years.

The main problem that the company faces on a daily basis is, of course, personnel, as fleet management is an industry where there are no specialized institutes, it is not taught in any educational institution, there are no special courses. Therefore, we have to recruit more or less similar specialists with related experience from the labor market and completely retrain them for our industry and specifics.
As a result, in the next three years, MONTRANS renewed its previous and opened additional offices in nine regions, established its own production of the entire line of equipment, expanded its range of products, developed unique products such as a fuel controller for refueling trucks, a system for monitoring the driver's condition, and much more. Software products began to include not only the monitoring platform, but also alternative solutions to help the customer in building transport monitoring and analytics. Training conferences on the digitalization of vehicle fleets began to be held.
The company almost completely abandoned paid advertising, first in print media and then contextual internet promotion, as all paid promotion tools carry an element of advertising and raise many questions for the customer. The format of promotion from an expert position was chosen. Analytical Center "MONTRANS" is actively promoting. For greater brand awareness, it is quite competent not just to talk about analytics in fleets and the use of analytical tools, but also to hold training conferences for customers, joint exhibition stands with partners that can help in the digitalization of the enterprise.
Marketing in "MONTRANS" has always been somewhere on the last positions for the simple reason that the best salesman is word of mouth, but, nevertheless, the company has not abandoned advertising or marketing activities and has never completely stopped. The company has been saving with love and warmth all customer feedback about the work of "MONTRANS". There were always some information occasions, participation in exhibitions and meetings, which brought additional incentive to develop marketing direction, to participate in different events, to promote the brand. Today MONTRANS brand is a recognized leader in terms of recognition in the transport monitoring market in Russia and CIS countries.
Today, the company has 25 regions of presence, more than 30 installation teams and over 30,000 units of vehicles and special equipment under management. Clients include more than 1000 companies, including Norilsk Nickel, Aeroflot, Sheremetyevo International Airport, AP Gazprom, Transneft and many others. MONTRANS works on strategically important infrastructure projects in Russia and the CIS, such as Power of Siberia, Yamal LNG, Turkish Stream, and the Central Ring Road.
Regional office teams are built in "triplets" when, in addition to the manager and service engineer, there is someone in the office who is in contact with the customer, and there is a central link in the form of an assistant who works with the customer to obtain certain papers. It turns out to be a rigid and at the same time convenient bundle, when one employee sells, the second one supports, and the third one deals with document flow.

The main consumers of MONTRANS products are companies with fleets of three or more units. As practice shows, good organizations that are set for growth and have big, interesting projects ahead of them, choose strong players to scale up with them. Therefore, all companies that have fleets of trucks, special equipment, railroad transport, diesel power plants, autonomous compressors, derricks and so on - these are all our clients.
MONTRANS' mode of operation is the same as everyone else's - B2B (business to business), five days with active work throughout Russia, so our offices are located in different time zones. There is no seasonality as such, as most contracts are won back after budgeting by large customers, while medium-sized businesses are engaged in transport optimization and expenses are continuous, so all activities related to customer engagement are evenly distributed throughout the year.

In terms of personnel, we have drawn up a universal scheme for the development of regional offices and the presence or need for a service engineer in a particular region. This depends linearly on the number of vehicles serviced and the number of customers in the region. As an example: for a service engineer to be located in a region, at least 500 vehicles need to be serviced.
The level of competition began to increase rapidly in 2015 and by 2018 there were no major players with large market shares in the telematics market, companies began to occupy narrower niches, and dumping became the norm. At the same time, the MONTRANS team of experts staked on the development of analytics products and a comprehensive approach to fleet equipment. Today we equip all types of transportation and fuel suppliers for it, thus, our analytical product contains the whole chain of fuel movement at the enterprise, as well as all fleet maintenance costs, which we receive from various sources. It can be your supplier of fuel, spare parts, information from the site of public services, fines and much more - all these costs can be collected in one interface. Thus, the unique product "MONTRANS.ANALYTICS" solves the manager's tasks on fleet costs within one to two seconds.
The coronavirus in 2020 brought many innovations in working with clients: while previously only face-to-face meetings were highly efficient and effective, after the quarantine it became the norm to hold a meeting with clients in Zoom. Thus, communication with regional offices and clients has improved, and technical support has risen to a new level, as the client no longer requires the live presence of a manager or technical engineer directly at the site. Since we are actively working in the cloud, our solutions were in great demand during the quarantine period. We managed, as they call it, to open a second breath in the growth of our services.

In addition, in 2020, when businesses went into quarantine, we transferred all employees to remote work, sent computers to home and everyone continued to work in the same mode. The result was staggering! At the same time, the amount of money we invested in the development of IT infrastructure, literally in two months exceeded the annual budget for all implementations. In this short period of time, the products that we had previously implemented for six months, a year, or were only looking at them, were introduced here in just one month.
In 2021, we started export operations in Europe and CIS countries, and in 2022 we were already rebuilding logistics to friendly countries, opening offices in Dubai (UAE) and Hyderabad (India).
"Over the last 5 years, we have opened offices in 8 Russian cities, and in 25 cities we have ensured engineering presence. In 2022, amid the withdrawal of foreign vendors from Russia, the company's revenue growth exceeded 56% with 7% growth in the number of employees. We are among the 'innovation gazelles' - fast-growing companies - according to SME Bank."
Dmitry Zhuravlev
A lot of ideas and projects that MONTRANS is currently testing in pilot mode are exhibited at various startup competitions, analysts study the demand for them, and we receive awards for the realization of ideas. Of course, we aim to use our know-how to conquer the market of Russia and friendly countries, we plan to modernize the line of existing equipment for a greater "capture" of the market. The story of MONTRANS is just beginning!
The total turnover of "MONTRANS" today is about half a billion rubles a year and in 2023 we plan to start storming the mark of 1 billion rubles a year.

Our future plans include further promotion of our flagship product "MONTRANS.ANALYTICS", as well as our own equipment, which is currently in high demand in transportation companies. Our solutions allow large customers to build a unified telematic platform to manage both their own fleet and contracted transportation, improve its efficiency and safety.
Today we are a leader in the segment of fleet digitalization for the commercial sector. Our ability to work with complex projects gives us unique competencies. MONTRANS is best characterized by the fact that most customers come on recommendation and have been working with us for many years".