Interview with Christophe Burel from ATN Platforms

by Sophia Wamberg

23.09.2020 0 2172

The ATN company was created in 2000, and the first products marketed were our famous PIAF vertical mast tracked and then wheeled aerial work platforms.

1) Could you tell us the history of ATN Platforms?


The close link between ATN Platforms and access industry made it possible to develop other machines, all united by the same philosophy: machines with superior technical features, and built to be used by rental companies.


In order, the Zebra machines appeared in 2009. Here again, ATN has innovated both in the technical characteristics of its machines, by offering a diesel articulated aerial work platform with a working height of 12m but with an offset equivalent to the 16m platforms of our competitors, and also with the man-machine interface. Having a diagnostic console integrated directly on the machine, allowing quick and accurate interventions by technicians, was a revolution.


In 2013, the plant moved to the premises it uses today. A factory of 20000m² on a 6Ha land. These facilities allow us to look forward with confidence to grow in the coming years.


With the receivership in 2018, a page of the company has been turned and a new chapter written.  ATN Platforms enters the FASSI group, alongside another French industrialist: MARREL. The first step in the resumption of activity was to restart the production tool. Once this step has been successfully completed, the focus is on trade, and just as important, service to our customers.



2) For one year, you have been part of the FASSI group. Can you tell us more about this change?


 As I was telling you just now, the first step was to get a distended supply chain up and running again. Many customers remained loyal to us and were waiting for their machines to be delivered. I can never thank them enough for their patience and especially for the trust they have shown in us.


Today, the manufacturing process is once again reliable, and these same loyal customers are joined by new customers seduced by the specificity and quality of our machines. This is the same reason that drives us today to use the services of MachineryScanner: word of mouth is our best advertising!


Being part of the FASSI group also opens up new export prospects for us. Of course, the customers are a little different, but many rental companies use trucks equipped with FASSI cranes for their deliveries. In addition, this vast network of importers is extremely efficient from a technical point of view and focused on customer service.



3) What are your flagship products? And what differentiates you from other manufacturers?


The PIAF range is ATN Platforms' DNA... for the past 20 years, tracked PIAFSs have been an undeniable success. For 20 years, these electric machines have been working on all terrains, whether in the mud of an outdoor construction site, on wooden floors inside gymnasiums, or on the stage of many theaters!


The latest machines launched by ATN Platforms at the BAUMA show... are also PIAFS... a new range of vertical masts with electric propulsion! What will set us apart from our competitors is that we offer these machines with a working height of up to 13 m and 6.05 horizontal offset. This range of machines also differs from the fact that the counterweight always remains within the machine gauge. This quality is highly appreciated by industrial customers.


In the other product ranges, I have already told you about the Zebra 12, which, when it came on the market, was an innovative machine both in its characteristics and in its technical choices.


We have 2 other aerial work platforms that have a somewhat similar philosophy. Machines that are extremely common in rental fleets, for which ATN stands out from the competition with technical advantages that make them unique and highly appreciated by users.


The first is the Zebra 16 with stabilizers. A 16-meter articulated aerial platform, as we can find in all rental companies. However, in the case of ATN Platforms, it is available with stabilizers. This not only makes it possible to work on slopes of up to 19%. This makes sense not only in areas with sloping terrain but especially in the heart of cities when the machine has to work straddling the sidewalk and the street. How many times have you seen machines balancing on wooden planks to catch up with the height of the sidewalk? What's more, this machine is often a source of savings for the user who can work with a more compact machine, closer to his work area, instead of renting a larger machine to go over the steep area.


The second is the CX15: a 15m diesel scissor. Nothing exceptional you might say... except that the ATN Platforms machine is able to move at full height with its full load... That's what makes it unique! Our competitors usually impose to go back down to 10m, even 3m for some of them! A colossal waste of time for the operators. Once again, we note the marketing power of word of mouth ... It is not uncommon for rental companies to report that their customers specifically request the ATN machine as a gondola.



4) How does your sales and distribution system work?


In France, ATN Platforms machines are distributed through different sales channels. Directly for fleets, or via specialized resellers in a particular field of activity. Our goal is of course to sell our machines to as many people as possible to ensure that the factory in Fauillet (47) has enough work for each employee. Coming back to distribution, it seems to us that it is vital to meet this volume objective in the long term, that customers have the most rigorous after-sales follow-up of their machine. This is why we have chosen a dealer network that is as close as possible to our user customers, both geographically and by sector.


For export, we apply the same strategy in Germany, which is also our largest export market. We have been fortunate for many years to be able to count on the local support of one of our employees to carry the brand's colors high. Elsewhere, distribution is mainly carried out via importers who are responsible for distribution in the country for which they are responsible. Export now represents 50% of sales for ATN Platforms, mainly in Europe. On other continents, ATN Platforms can count on longstanding partnerships in Australia, South Africa, China, and many others who join them thanks to the openness offered by the FASSI group. We are currently working on ANSI certification in order to respond to the numerous requests we receive from North America...



5) What are the new products and the next innovation planned?


We are actively working to develop new solutions to increase the service life of our electrical machines. 

Moreover, ATN took advantage of the last edition of JDL tradeshow to announce a major partnership: the import and distribution in France by ATN Platforms of Sinoboom BV, the European subsidiary of the Chinese manufacturer, a specialist in scissor lifts. Following the opening of the European subsidiary in Rotterdam, SINOBOOM BV entrusts ATN PLATFORMS with the development of its sales in France while also relying on the existing ATN PLATFORMS service network. 

In addition to the obvious synergy of the ATN PLATFORMS and SINOBOOM BV product lines, it is a long-term partnership that unites us with a dynamic and competent team. We are very happy to distribute SINOBOOM aerial platforms on the French territory. 



6) Recently, you have been working with the "MachineryScanner" platform. Can you tell our readers what drives you to collect the opinions of your customers?


Several things led us to work with MachineryScanner.


The first is that we believe that our customers like our machines, and that's our best advertisement. The rating and review system seemed to us to be a perfect fit with our desire to ensure that our customers can give their opinions, without filters, and share their experiences with ATN Platforms. Experiences not only on the machines but also on the support they can receive from the manufacturer of the machine they use on a daily basis. We are happy to share these experiences, just as we are happy to show our production site to customers and prospects who are interested in seeing and understanding how their machine is made.


The second is to gain visibility on the internet. Today, it is essential to gain visibility on the Internet. MachineryScanner's expertise in both the web and the machine was completely in line with this objective. The best proof is that you are reading these few lines today!


Finally, it is also the meeting with people, and yes, behind the internet there are also people... It is the kindness, professionalism, and support of the team before, and since we have been working together that makes us where we are today.


Thank you to them, and to all our customers for making the French industry exist.


Sophia Wamberg

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