Prudent: More than just a business

From the September 2014 issue.

Emphasising hard work, trust and a sense of community, Dominique Prudent’s approach to business is refreshingly old-fashioned in today’s highly corporatised world.

Located in the town of Louhans in the east of France, Dominique Prudent’s refrigerated transport and warehousing company is not your average mid-sized company. At a first glance, Prudent is just as computerised as any modern cold chain business and at least equally efficient, but at its heart, it is still very much a family enterprise.
While many expanding mid-tier businesses tend to lose that family feel somewhere along the way, Prudent has managed to weave in a certain warmth into the corporate agenda – some long-term employees call it a “soul”. 

At first sight, however, the Prudent head office doesn’t give away too much of that unconventional approach to big business. Outside the modern building, a row of neatly aligned trucks is waiting to be dispatched – each of them bearing the crisp blue and white Prudent livery everyone in the Burgundy region would be able to spot from a mile away. The company slogan ‘Fresh is our Daily Challenge’ is ubiquitous on the parking lot, reminding everyone that performance is key to making it in the highly contested marketplace that is commercial road transport.

But then there is Dominique Prudent himself. The 54-year-old entrepreneur can look back at a typical career in trucking – starting off with only one truck and himself as the sole employee, he virtually built Prudent from scratch through hard work and personal commitment. Until today, he is out in the yard every day to have a chat with drivers and warehouse staff and get a first-hand impression of how the business is faring.

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