Kuzminblog

Changing the world for better… at least the world of gas stations)

Tag: Alexander Kuzmin (Page 1 of 3)

Does Fast-food Industry Really Need Catering?

Fast-food industry and c-stores are shaping the lifestyle of on-the-go consumers. They have always been looking for portable and more convenient snacks. So, it seems like there is nothing new in the foodservice at first sight. However, catering starts playing a huge role when it comes to customers’ loyalty and satisfaction. Why do fast-food and c-store chains really need catering? How can it be helpful?

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Even A Wise Man Stumbles

Any professional community should have a strict hierarchy based on some fundamental criteria. The hierarchy is supposed to feature both proven leaders and outsiders as well as highlight bold rookies and former jet sets in a particular industry. Everyone takes an appropriate position that fits the level of trust and reputation.

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IT Solutions for Non-Fuel Business and Gas Station Chains

What does the term “smart gas station” mean? What features it should have? How can IT solutions boost its operation in relying on all aspects of the non-fuel business and gas station chains? These are the question we are going to discuss in this article.

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Why сonsulting does not always work?

Alexander Kuzmin, RusHOLTS CEO, spoke at the conference “Global and local markets of oil and petroleum products: the analysis, pricing, trade flows“, presenting the report on the non-fuel businesses of filling stations. Development and marketing of modern gas station chain have become relevant and even a prime-time topic for Russian gas station chains, both large and small. Request for an effective program of roadside service comes from the top of the Vertically Integrated Oil Companies’ management which is good. On the other hand it is sad that in the minds of many leaders the level of understanding of the non-fuel business development remained at the 2010 level.

Recently, representatives of the world’s leading management consulting companies have spoken a lot about the need for Russian gas stations chains to develop their potential of non-fuel businesses. In most cases, to the audience’s attention are offered the “best practices” based on the experience of more mature foreign markets with no less than half a century of history. Why are these recommendations still not massively implemented in the Russian conditions?

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Is it possible to get the “George Clooney effect” coffee sales at the gas stations?

Let’s talk about the habit of drinking coffee outside the home in Europe, Canada and Russia. Drinking coffee at the gas station, taking a cup of coffee to go on the way to work are the new habits of the modern metropolises inhabitants which change the coffe-drinking traditions in different countries around the world.

Mornings in the establishments of the Canadian coffee chain  in any city of Maple Leaf Country starts in the exact same way. The crowd of visitors sweeps stocks of coffee and pastries in the blink of an eye – the nation is one of the most coffee-addicted in the world, which is confirmed by the impressive figures of consumption and the degree of prevalence of drink among absolutely all categories of citizens in terms of monthly income, place of residence, occupation, etc. .

In 2015, the country has topped the list of 80 countries in terms of coffee consumption, calculated in liters per capita that are bought and cinsumed in catering establishments – mostly in the cafes. In terms of absolute consumption, including the volumes of coffee beverages drunk at home, Canada is the third in the world with 152 liters per person each year. Ahead are only Netherlands and Finland coffee fiends, confirms the authoritative Euromonitor study.

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Fully functional Internet of Things for gas stations is ready to take off

The Russian market of IoT solutions has a pronounced contrast compared to Europe and the United States in terms of ensuring connectivity of networks for M2M-technology devices. Its potential is regarded as a very high one. Therefore, analytical firm J’son & Partners Consulting in its research on the results of 2016 for the market of distributed systems and telemetry, remote monitoring and control services paid some special attention to the Russian Internet of Things market. Non-fuel businesses of filling stations may become the exemplary ones for the whole IoT industry, because the industry has a request for major changes to be made. It’s one thing when startups are looking for new items, and quite another one when such a request comes from the leaders of Vertically Integrated Oil Companies (VIOC).

What exactly J’son & Partners Consulting analysts evaluated?
Both the level of penetration and scale of systems that were examined in the study in the were assessed by the amount of wired and wireless devices in the segment of machine-to-machine (M2M), which are automatically (or with minimal human involvement) produce and transmit data collected by telemetry systems, and execute commands of these systems. Devices with built-in data processing functionality were not taken into account. The main objective of the study was to evaluate the prospects of transformation of distributed telemetry systems in the light of Internet of Things (IoT) future development.

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Why I invite Costa Express in Russia or «Welcome and No Trespassing»

“Without my friends there’s a little bit of me, but with a lot of friends there’s plenty of myself” – lines from a soviet children’s song perfectly describes the essential meaning of co-operation in any business. You can be the author of most innovative solutions, to develop breakthrough technologies, but it’s only going to be possible to bring it to a state of “finished product” by going through a complex chain of cooperation with a number of business partners.

And this is true even for applied business initiatives of the microscopic, compared to the market standards, formats. Opening a small shop selling two or three positions of coffee beverages and about the same range of pastries (i.e. we’re talking about literally micro scale of business, not even SMBs), immediately causes the owners of such an enterprise to the need to acquire the suppliers of coffee machines, cups, coffee beans or ready-to-use blends , semi-finished products for baking, microwave oven – and so on and so forth.

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Costa Coffee: supply chain as a growth factor

When traditional logistic models and the organization of the supply chain have jeopardized the dynamic growth of the company, the owners of Costa Coffee went all-in. The company completely changed the leadership, adopted a new strategy for the organization of supply, hired a new logistics operator, and also introduced a new enterprise software to provide a new level of benefit from the telemetry component of its system. We believe that the final result speaks for itself.

Author’s note
When I was preparing this article, i was surprised by how similar problems had to be solved in RusHOLTS around the same time. An illustration of the similarity could be invention of the rad by Marconi and Popov. The problem is in the air and solution comes to those who are looking for it. Only RusHOLTS had to be tis own “new” logistics operator because of the lack of worthy proposals. No “regional partners”, no services outsourcing – only our own trained and well-managed structures that guarantee the high quality of work.

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Project Marlow – сoffee GOELRO* plan

In 2011, Costa Coffee, the second largest chain of coffee shops, decided to expand its portfolio and hit the vending area.

The movement in the new direction began with the acquisition of the Coffee Nation chain – thus Costa Express brand was born. Costa decided not to lose time and quickly started to transform the quality of vending coffee to new heights.
The main tool for the breakthrough was going to be a new approach to the implementation of the vending machine itself to make it an example of all that people usually invest in the concept of “innovation”.

Brewing high-quality coffee “from-grain-to-the-cup” via the vending machine – it’s a constant challenge. At some stage it was even a challenge to the very common sense. Getting a consistently high level of quality in the long run was not allowed by the specific historical moment’s technology.

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The “Marlow Project” team

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Efficient Solutions to Reduce Human Factor Errors at Filling Stations

My colleagues often blame me for inventing efficient tools that reduce the influence of human factor. They often say I don’t like people.

Well, it’s true. You can’t like all the people, anyway. However, every time I share my ideas on the human factor, it does not mean I reproach filling station operators or other employees for being negligent or low qualified. You can always find a responsible and initiative person as well as those who suffer from a lack of ambitions being unable to perform an extra move. Some employees try their best to follow their duties and fulfill their every responsibility while other do not give a damn what employers expect from them. Others make efforts to be a real pain in the neck interfering with devices operation without having enough knowledge and operational skills.

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