Orange Traffic: at the intersection of innovation and enthusiasm
“We approach research and development through experimentation,” asserts Patrick Lauzière, Vice President of Technology and Development for Orange Traffic. “We give our clients the chance to tell us what they are dreaming of. We listen. Then, we propose innovative options, which stimulate the conversation… we definitely tend towards agility in our client approach, as well as in our execution.”
A green light for tech adventure
“With the goal of improving the safety and fluidity of roads with innovative products, Orange Traffic offers its Canadian and American clients products that allow them to resolve core problems, in addition to responding to their obvious needs,” indicates Patrick. “We change the dynamic of traffic management with new business models and different ways of doing things.”
Orange Traffic manufactures and distributes a vast array of devices for road safety, from pedestrian and traffic lights to solar-powered LED signs, while using vehicle detection and counting systems, as well as collecting statistical data on traffic movement.
After having launched his career at Honeywell, and travelling around the globe, Patrick Lauzière created a company that developed and marketed a vehicle location system. Several years later, he decided to join forces with his current partners, Roger and Philippe Fugère, two experienced entrepreneurs in search of a new challenge after the sale of their previous company, Lecavalier Automobile, to the multinational LKQ.
In 2012, during the merger of several companies specializing in the development, manufacturing and distribution of traffic control products, the partners took advantage of the opportunity to launch Orange Traffic, “a name synonymous with dynamism that is both contemporary and easy to remember.”
The road to success
With strong revenue growth, Orange Traffic and its 45 employees are not lacking in energy or creativity in taking on both small and large traffic management challenges. Major investments have been made, first for the construction of a new factory in Mirabel, then for the creation of new products, as well as for operations management and marketing. The result is a dynamic company that stands out in the industry.
“By calling upon experienced consultants, the management team prepares the company for its next steps. For example, Cléo Maheux has been guiding us through the Gazelles coaching approach for close to three years,” states Patrick. “Our marketing team, accompanied by François Duchesne tirelessly work to communicate the value of our products,” he adds, while describing to what point Orange Traffic prioritizes marketing, design and corporate identity.
The company dedicates close to 6% of its revenues to research and development, and places great emphasis on it. “R&D has greatly evolved for us,” relays Patrick with enthusiasm. “We have people who concentrate on the creation of totally weird stuff, and those who work on the innovation and improvement of products – still a little weirdness, but less. We work as a multidisciplinary team with very versatile people,” he continues. “Everyone on the team does electronics and mechanics, as well as SolidWorks and 3D modelling. Because everyone touches on everything, we can always challenge each other.” Along its innovation path, the company also collaborated with Concordia University and the Institut de développement de produits. In addition, their clients stimulate the marketing of products by putting Orange Traffic’s new products to the test.
A flagship product for road traffic
As the creator of numerous innovations in the past, including the pedestrian countdown module that can be found throughout North America and Europe, Orange Traffic will soon market a new concept in its sector: the Intersect Platform. This groundbreaking technological tool intends to usher the company’s clients towards the smart city of the future.
With Intersect, Orange Traffic teams up with various partners (like software and application developers, young companies and more established players), aiming to offer a privileged access to intersections. “The developers of new applications will not have to install equipment themselves,” explains Patrick. “Like TESLA and its remote updates, the client buys the hardware and then later thinks about the functions they will need.”
As for technology, the platform ensures security and protects privacy in every one of its transactions. “We protect the system with the help of five levels of security. We also partner with security experts specialized in transport, like Trustpoint, to manage any threats,” details Patrick.
With a presence at every intersection, clients can, for example, use the application to detect the passage of a vehicle from its fleet without having to use a cell phone, or to know the number of users in the surrounding area in order communicate useful information to them in real time. “Our partners can even use this to obtain demographic statistics on traffic. Rather than just knowing that 18 vehicles passed, they can know the number of people, their average age, their average income... The data is much more advanced,” specifies Patrick.
Benefitting from challenges
Challenges abound in the industry and Orange Traffic rises to them all, while taking advantage of their experimentation to advance and learn.
“In 2014, we aggressively bid on a major tender to ensure that we received the mandate,” recounts the VP of Technology and Development. “Because of that, we had a very slim margin of maneuver. An additional challenge was that the US dollar climbed 35%. We had to work with providers, optimize product manufacturing and reduce production costs. At the same time, functional improvements were requested on the same product, so we had to promptly react.” In this way, the new Techno-Hybrid unit was born, offering their clients great functionality at a competitive price. “We are now known for this innovation and we are proud,” underlines Patrick.
One of the major challenges the company faces is definitely the rapid transformation that arrived on the transport market with, among other things, autonomous and connected vehicles. Patrick states, “We foresee a radical change in the market and we are preparing for it. We put much thought into offering a good range of products and distinguishing ourselves in the industry.”
According to Patrick Lauzière, what Orange Traffic clients particularly appreciate is the quality of client experience. “In our field, each project comes with its share of challenges, due to a difficult operational environment that is very technical and where many norms apply. We’re here to accompany clients by offering them a real solution, as well as all the support necessary to optimize it,” he says.
Smile, you’re innovating
Team spirit, an attribute aspired to by various players in the tech scene, is certainly present at Orange Traffic. Friendly employees who feel they belong and who visibly take pleasure in their work – that’s what shows in the impeccable offices of this flourishing company.
Source: Mélanie Pilon, Writer for the ICT Partners Vitrine TI Program