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Best-in-class construction material supplier

Bodymat and the BigMat success
Reading time
4 minutes

The BigMat brand of construction material suppliers has rapidly gained market share in Wallonia in recent years thanks to the smart investment strategy of franchiser Bodymat SA. “We want to be a household name in the Wallonia construction industry and be recognised as best-in-class,” says Bodymat properties director Jacques Latouche. The creation of the logistics centre in Ciney confirms that ambition.

The BigMat brand was established in France in 1981. Over the years, it has become well-established across large parts of Europe, including Belgium, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic. BigMat offers construction professionals and large-scale DIYers a range of high-quality building materials for new build and refurbishment, acting as the main link in the professional ladder between the manufacturer and the customer.


Knowledge and experience

In Belgium, Bodymat SA currently owns thirteen BigMat sales outlets. Jacques Latouche tells the story: “Bodymat has in fact grown to become a major holding company for construction material sales outlets. We started in 1984 with one outlet in Namur and gradually expanded by acquiring additional outlets across Wallonia. Thanks to this growth we’ve been able to negotiate important discounts from manufacturers. We also streamlined the activities of the different outlets, allowing us to significantly improve customer service. For example, we make sure that our sales people have the necessary knowledge and experience to provide the best advice to our customers. Our customers appreciate that.”



We make sure that our sales people have the necessary knowledge and experience to provide the best advice to our customers

Centralising logistics to improve service

In recent years, Bodymat has adopted a strategy of centralising logistics to further improve customer service. Jacques Latouche elaborates: “One of the things we did was establish our own transportation and handling business, Transnam SA. This means we can respond faster to customer needs. Then in 2009, we built a logistics centre in Malonne where we could store large quantities of fast selling materials. This quickly proved to be a success. As a result, we decided last year to go a step further and build a second logistics centre in Ciney, where we store supplies of heavy materials such as vaults, concrete and cellular blocks, beams, and tanks. This enabled us to further speed up our delivery to customers. Time is money, certainly in the construction industry.”

Cranes-Standard Cranes-BigMat


Portal crane

The logistics centre in Ciney was equipped with a portal crane to make operations easier. “At first, we were not sure whether we would need a portal crane,” says Jacques Latouche. “But during a business trip to the logistics centre at Pauli Beton in Hoeselt we saw that a portal crane is the most effective solution for moving heavy goods around on such a platform. You could also use forklifts, but then you would need to provide access roads and so lose a lot of storage space. The loading and unloading process is much easier and faster too with a portal crane.”


TCS designed, engineered, manufactured and installed the portal crane at the Ciney logistics centre:

  • 8 tonnes portal crane spanning 40m with 8m overhang
  • Crane class M5/2m, hoist class M6/3m
  • 40…4 m/min long-travel speed, limited to 20 m/min in overhang
  • 30…5 m/min cross-travel speed
  • 5+0.8 m/min lifting speed
  • 3 compensation bars 8T x 4.75m/6.25m/3.45m
  • 4 LED lights
  • Radio frequency control
  • Platform with electric boards, accessible through cage ladder
  • 2 x 90m rail

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