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TotalEnergies Puts Their Expertise to Work for Local Businesses

Autosphere » Mechanical » TotalEnergies Puts Their Expertise to Work for Local Businesses
Olivier Gauthier, Michaël Peralta, Maria Neumann, Pascal Tran and Nathalie Lauzon are part of the team behind TotalEnergies’ success in Canada. Photo Bianca Diorio

Global multi-energy company TotalEnergies is celebrating its centenary this year.

Established in Canada for 15 years, TotalEnergies offers all mechanical lubricant solutions with an outlook and services that are resolutely focused on the future.

TotalEnergies supplies energy to clients in 160 countries throughout the world. Not only oil, biofuels and natural gas, but also, and increasingly, green, renewable energy. The company’s Canadian operations will be significantly impacted by this increased commitment to new energies. In a nutshell, TotalEnergies represents much more than just lubricants on a global scale.

Since it’s been in Canada, the company has established a reputation for the quality of its automotive sector lubricant products. Developed in Europe, often in close collaboration with automobile manufacturers, most of these premium lubricants are produced here, at the company’s Montreal plant.

Despite the gradual transition to electric vehicles, internal combustion engines will remain a reality for some time to come. TotalEnergies doesn’t intend to downplay the importance of this aspect of their operations, especially since both conventional AND electric cars have moving parts that need to be lubricated and cooled to ensure energy efficiency.

“In the early 2000s, we were among the first to patent a Fuel Economy line of lubricants,” recalls André St-Jean, Chemist and Head of the TotalEnergies laboratory in Montreal. “Here, we perform research and development with a view to adapting products developed in Europe to our markets. We have our own particular climatic conditions and different uses that need to be validated for our clients.”

The lab also serves to provide clients with value-added expertise. Lubricants used in client equipment can be analyzed here to detect warning signs for potential issues. Indeed, the presence of various elements in the lubricant can be indicative of internal part wear, which could lead to a major failure. It’s a bit like testing human blood.

And when it comes to product quality and the consistency thereof, we have Operations Coordinator Alexandre Ustiniuk to thank. As he sums it up himself: “I’m the one who checks everything. We have procedures and best practices in place, but if a problem arises, no matter where in our operations, I’m the one who investigates and finds the source of the problem and works to implement a solution with the team or individual concerned. It could be an equipment breakdown or just a matter of assigning training to one of our technicians.”

Ustiniuk knows his team well, having been with the company since its very beginnings in Canada, and is always pushing to do better and to keep abreast of technical developments in the field of lubrication.

André St-Jean oversees product quality control and conformity before lubricants hit the market. Photo Bianca Diorio

A local approach

The company likes to work closely with clients and relies heavily on its Canada-wide customer support team. Agents negotiate directly with shops to match their needs to the perfect TotalEnergies solutions. Their team is supported by 24/7 customer service representatives. Andy Mpore is one of them.

“We offer a lot of information and tools on our portal, where clients can find product specifications, as well as order them,” explains Mpore. “Or sometimes clients have a question about a delivery or an invoicing item. It’s important to us that they be able to get in touch with a human who speaks their language and understands their needs. This centralized service saves clients from having to wander from one department to another in search of answers.”

The conversation turns to deliveries as Florian Barbier, Transport and Logistics Coordinator highlights the importance of his role within the company. “Shops want the right product at the right time,” he states. “It seems simple, but Canada is a big country where the unpredictability of the weather is legendary.”

Barbier has been in charge of optimizing product deliveries to client shops since he began at TotalEnergies Canada. Products must arrive on the scheduled date at the garage, but since they’re committed to reducing their carbon footprint, they have to do it in the most efficient way possible.

In this regard, Barbier’s expertise plays a major role, especially since he knows how to combine it with the best management tools. A concrete example of these tools are the intelligent storage tanks that workshops can use to automatically order the right grade of lubricant before stock shortages become inevitable. “Clients appreciated these since they no longer have to worry about lubricant inventory shortages,” he says, “and on our end, they allow us to plan delivery routes more efficiently.” Barbier works with clients to anticipate future demand using algorithmic analysis to ensure that shops always have the products they need on hand.

Florian Barbier, Transport and Logistics Coordinator makes sure that the right product is available at the right time for all TotalEnergies client workshops across Canada. Photo Bianca Diorio

A completely different service offering

So, while TotalEnergies Canada is still focused on automotive sector lubricant manufacturing and distribution, management representatives insist on the fact that Canadian operations will be significantly impacted by company expertise gleaned here and abroad.

Olivier Gauthier, recently appointed President of TotalEnergies Canada, spoke with us enthusiastically about the company’s shift towards more eco-responsible transportation, stressing that this shift was being supported by concrete actions. TotalEnergies, for example, recently sold its Alberta tar sands/oil mining operations.

TotalEnergies has made major inroads in this matter over the past 10 years on the American side, where it has established wind and solar panel farms. These green technologies will also be offered on the Canadian market. “The energy world of tomorrow will be based on multiple technologies and represents an immense playing field for us,” adds Gauthier.

As Quebec is already spurring the electrification of transportation, TotalEnergies is considering the province for the potential implementation of gas-free service stations. Already being tested in Europe, this concept would offer quick charging stations, a car wash, a food stop, a work area, as well as several other services that are currently under consideration.

Commercial Director, Pascal Tran emphasizes that sustainable transport solutions will involve a multitude of converging strategies. “Our ground team can make this transition actionable,” he says, “but we can also build on TotalEnergies’ global expertise, particularly in terms of lubricants and fluids for electric vehicles. In fact, our line of eco-responsible lubricants is still expanding.”

As TotalEnergies celebrates its hundredth anniversary, the company would like to assert its presence and boost its brand recognition within Canada. Tran says that one strategy in this regard involves growing the number of Quartz Auto Services centres in partnership with independent mechanical shops. “Consumers will still need fast lube services for quite some time to come,” says Tran, “and we want to continue providing them with the quality products and services they’ve come to expect. By combining this approach with our all-electric fuelling station project, we aim to position ourselves as the truly innovative company that we are.”

 

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