Supply chain consultancy Tokema launches digital marketing arm

29 May 2018

London-based supply chain consultancy Tokema is venturing into the digital world with the launch of Tokema Digital, a digital marketing agency for the logistics industry.

Tokema was co-founded five years ago by Pierre Liguori and Dominique Bartoli. The firm operates with a small core team of highly experienced supply chain consultants and a network of freelance consultants to bring the right expertise depending on the project requirements.

From its London base, the firm provides consultancy and hands-on implementation services to both sides of the supply chain and logistics industry: manufacturers and retailers on one hand; transport and logistics service providers on the other. “We help companies to optimise their operations and have successfully implemented several complex transformation projects,” says Pierre Liguori, who is also Managing Director.

Such efforts have included a Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) project for a renowned global e-retailer and a series of successful warehousing and distribution projects. Tokema is currently designing an optimised supply chain process for a global manufacturer with seven plants, while completely rebooting the client’s supply chain footprint.

Supply chain consultancy Tokema launches digital marketing arm

Demonstrating the advisory firm’s full-spectrum expertise, Tokema also boasts deep experience in Third-party logistics (3PLs), helping firms take their operations processes, performance, and productivity to the next level. “Our ultimate goal”, says Liguori, “is to boost our clients’ bottom line profitability”. 

Building on its track record, the consultancy has a growth plan, of which expansion into digital is a key pillar. Liguori: “We have an aggressive 3-year plan to boost our services in the digital field.” This plan is based on a clear market gap for digital expertise. “While most logistics service providers – especially small and medium-sized businesses – understand the need for a consistent digital marketing strategy, they however often don’t know how to approach this subject.”

Launching Tokema Digital

Tokema’s digital arm offers clients the full menu of services, from digital marketing to website design and development, visual identity and marketing collaterals design, social selling, community management, email campaigns and marketing events organisation.

From a client perspective, the key takeaway is that they can boost their online visibility courtesy of Tokema’s targeted range of high-impact digital strategies, while simultaneously leveraging Tokema’s world-class logistics expertise.

For a logistics services provider Tokema’s integrated offering has tremendous benefits. “Non-specialised digital marketing agencies don’t fully understand the needs and challenges faced by the logistics sector”, notes Liguori. “Tokema Digital has over 40 years of logistics expertise and combines it with an in-depth knowledge of digital marketing. We even act as the external marketing department for most of our clients.”

The benefits are especially profound for medium-sized 3PLs and transport companies who can save time, money and energy through a consulting partnership which combines in-depth industry experience with marketing savvy and digital expertise.

Quote Pierre Liguori, Founder

Opening a fully-fledged digital operation has been a transformative experience not just for existing clients in the logistics sphere, but for Tokema itself. Though at the beginning the firm’s logistics expertise was the main draw, Tokema is now winning clients who come to them initially for help with digitisation, but then are deeply impressed by Tokema’s pedigree in logistics and supply chain optimisation.

“Clients are looking for experts who both can execute daily operations and work on continuous improvement initiatives as part of their overall supply chain performance”, says Liguori, “but this is not project based work but an ongoing activity that also involves investment in digital technology platforms to support such programs: TMS, control tower, connected devices and AI, among others”.

This last point is important. Liguori, Bartoli and the entire Tokema team are keenly aware that logistics and supply chain optimisation will be even more interconnected with the emergence of Industry 4.0. What Liguori describes as the “supply chain revolution” will see Tokema leverage its logistics and digital expertise to help clients navigate a brave new world of smart contracts, lean transport and blockchain technology. The firm will have to evolve as quickly as the technology its harnesses. Fortunately, “Tokema is ready for the challenge”.

Related: Three quarters of supply chain leaders believe more digitisation is needed.

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Four ways digitalisation is transforming car brands and dealers

16 April 2019

From changing expectations from the customer to new stakeholders entering the industry, the digital transformation of global automotive industry means it is facing the wholesale transformation of its business model. In a new white paper, global consulting partnership Cordence Worldwide has highlighted four major digital trends that are transforming the relationships between car brands and dealers with consumers.

With digital transformation drives booming across the industrial spectrum, automotive groups are no different in having commenced large digital transformation programmes to improve productivity, efficiency, and ultimately profitability. Falling sales figures mean the automotive sector is facing an increasingly difficult road ahead, something which means companies in the market are even more hard pressed to find new ways to improve their bottom lines.

While it offers major opportunities, the industry’s move to digitalise is not without complications. It has triggered a series of major internal changes, which have presented automotive entities with the challenge of becoming a “customer-oriented” industry. A new report from Cordence Worldwide – a global management consulting partnership present in more than 20 countries – has explored how automotive companies are navigating the rapidly changing nature of digital business.

New business models

The level of change likely to be wrought on the automotive industry by digitalisation is hard to overstate. Automation could well lead to significant reductions in the number of accidents, higher vehicle utilisation and lower pollution levels, while leading to a $2.1 trillion change in traditional revenues, with up to $4.3 trillion in new revenue openings arising by 2030.

As a result of this colossal opportunity, it is easy to see why almost all automotive groups now have digital departments, with generally strong communication within the digital transformation and the customer approach. The changes to society which this may have are potentially distracting automotive firms from the change it is leading to in its own companies though, according to Cordence’s paper.

The automotive market is dead, long live the mobility market

Because of this, the sector’s business model is set to transform over the coming decades. With digitalisation speeding up the appearance of concepts such as car-sharing, a subscription package model will likely become more palatable. At the same time, car and ride-sharing models will cater to the sustainability criteria of millennials, who will rapidly become one of the automotive market’s leading consumer demographics in the coming years.

Antoine Glutron – a Managing Consultant with Cordence member Oresys, and the report’s author – said of the situation, “These ‘old school industries’ are now working on creating new opportunities, but in so-doing are facing challenges and threats: new jobs, new technologies, new ecosystem of partners, necessary reorganisation, different relationship with customers, and even new businesses. The customer approach topic is in fact a real challenge for car companies as it implies changing their business model and adjusting their mind-set to address the customer 4.0: from product-centric to customer-centric, from car manufacturer to service provider.”

Digital customer experience

In the hyper-competitive age of the internet, even top companies face an uphill challenge when it comes to holding onto customers through brand loyalty. Digital disruption has resulted in changes to consumer behaviour, which is forcing a range of marketing strategists to reconsider their old, possibly out-dated strategies. As modern customers wield an increasingly impressive array of digital tools and online databases, they and are now able to quickly and conveniently compare prices, check availability and read product reviews.

The automotive sector is no exception to this trend, according to the study. In order to adapt to the needs of the so-called ‘customer 4.0’, car companies will increasingly need to change their business model and move away from product-centric companies to customer-centric ones, from car manufacturers to service providers.

Glutron explained, “As an automotive company, you can no longer expect customer loyalty simply with good products; you must conquer and re-conquer a customer that “consumes” your service. The offer now has to be global, digital and personalised. Your offer has to be adapted to this customer’s needs at any given moment. A key issue related to data control is to build customer loyalty by creating a customer experience 'tailored' throughout the cycle of use of the 'car product': purchase, driving, maintenance and trade-in of the vehicle.”

One way in which the sector may be able to benefit from this desire for a tailored experience is via connectivity. Consumers are generally positive about new connective features for automobiles, and many are even willing to pay upfront for infotainment, emergency and maintenance services. Chinese consumers, where the connected car market is set to hit $216 billion, are already particularly interested in paying a little more for navigation and diagnostic features in their future new car. This can also enable automotive companies to exploit a rich vein of customer data, enabling them to rapidly tailor their offerings to consumer behaviour.

New automotive segments

Digital transformation has also brought with it the rise of completely new application areas. As mentioned earlier, the most well-known example is the autonomous or self-driving car, where the last steps forward were not taken by major automotive groups but by technology companies such as Tesla. While this may have given such firms the edge in the market briefly, a number of keystone automotive names will soon be set to take the plunge into the market themselves, leveraging their car manufacturing prowess and huge production capacities to their advantage.

Before companies rush to invest in this market, however, it is worth their while to remember that the readiness and uptake for such vehicles differs greatly geographically. For example, following a study published in 2018, 92% of Chinese would be ready to buy an autonomous car, compared with only around 35% of drivers in France, Germany and US. Meanwhile, the infrastructure of different nations will also be significantly less accommodating of the new technology.

Use digital for steering thr activity

Elsewhere, Cordence’s analysis has suggested that hooking the cars of tomorrow into the Internet of Things is also likely to see a rapid change in the business model for car maintenance, providing real-time diagnostics for problems. This presents chances for partnerships to improve the connectivity of cars, especially with tech companies; for example, PSA partnered with IBM for a global agreement on services in their vehicle. Meanwhile, data could also be sold to other parties with an interest in this data, such as the government, which could use it to manage traffic levels, or ensure that only adequately maintained vehicles take to the road.

Glutron added, “With the increase in the amount of client data and connected opportunities, the recommendation is to set up data-centric approaches. The value is now in the customer data. The general prerequisites are to rework the data model and the Enterprise Architecture and generally build up a data lake including data from all sources (internal and external, structured and unstructured).”

From automotive to mobility

Relating further to the idea of connectivity, the report claimed that automotive firms must now adjust their models in line with the provision of end-to-end mobility, rather than treating the sale of a car as an end point in their relationship with the customer. In order to realise this transformation, transformations are likely to become more and more important.

A network of partner companies means automotive firms can provide a global mobility experience. As the vehicle is increasingly connected to its environment, new partners can also be cities, governments, and other service providers within the global mobility services industry in which the car brands want to take part.

According to the study, the target is clear. Companies must look to a holistic transport service, offering to move customers from A to B in a unique and pleasant way – otherwise they might as well take public transport. At the same time, they should extend the services reachable “on-board” (especially the enhancement of the connectivity between the car and smartphones or other connected devices), and reach high standards in terms of user experience (online sales, online payment, customised experience during and after the use of the car).

Concluding the report, Glutron stated, “These mobility market transformations could be considered a threat for the car manufacturers. Quite the opposite: if they take up the challenge and review their business model so that they become the service provider – communicating no longer to a driver but to a ‘mobility customer’ – they can then take advantage of their expertise and their position as a historical player. The most convenient means of transport are cars, and building a car is highly-skilled work.”