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

Month: October 2015

Remote coffee machines monitoring – Saving 2 billion… Round table in the office of RusHOLTS

Рart 1. The secret of success are not the coffee beans, but the type of coffee machines and proper setting

Much has been written about the gas stations – it is a unique segment of the market, interest in which won’t disappear as long as there is a need to fill cars with the fuel. According to the standard classification businesses of any gas stations network are divided into two main categories – fuel (fuel) and non-fuel (nonfuel) ones.

“Cafe at the gas station” not only creates the “atmosphere” of the gas station, but also has a huge business potential that has yet to open on the Russian market. Indicative is the experience in Europe, where sales of non-fuel products account for about 60% of the overall gas stations’ profits. The Russian players have this figure in the range between 5 to 20%. There is some work to be done.

Interestingly enough, gas station is the only place where the business linked with the global product №1 (oil and oil-based products) is closely related to the business linked with global product №2 – coffee. So it is not surprising that these two businesses, each in their category are the main sources of profits for gas stations. Without going into the intricacies of stock prices and the prices of green coffee beans, we decided to discuss the development of this category in the domestic market and to answer the question of how the modern Russian gas station managers might enhance the effectiveness of coffee-related businesses of their chains.

This round table was attended by:

Alexander Kuzmin – an expert who has spent more than 20 years in non-fuel businesses in Russian and foreign gas station networks;

Ksenia Van de Kamp – managing partner of BMS (USA);

Artem Astafurov – Managing Partner, Senior Vice president of DataArt (USA);

Moderator – Dmitry Petrov;

Dmitry Petrov:  Today we have a rather unusual audience to talk about coffee – there are no famous barista or traditional suppliers of coffee grounds for HoReCa market among us. Instead we have an expert on non-fuel businesses for gas stations, innovative marketing specialist and IT-manager of a global level company, a rather peculiar team of participants to discuss a business, traditionally surrounded by an aura of mystery and magic of coffee aroma. Don’t you think?

Coffee machines remote monitoring – BMS Coffee Control. To be continued

We’ve met Ksenia Van de Kamp, managing partner of Breakthrough Marketing Solutions, both in the United States and Russia at the round tables on the non-fuel businesses of gas stations.

Since then, we’ve had a lot of hard work on a system for coffee machines remote monitoring – BMS Coffee Control. Adaptation of a breakthrough marketing solution to the Russian realities turned out to be a rather difficult. Ksenia and her team create really “breakthrough marketing solutions” for retail and HoReCa, and I say without hint of irony. And her developments don’t stop at coffee machines monitoring systems only.

Even programmers of our IT department like to put on a modest air. “Is the data transfer from machine to machine a miracle by modern standards?”. Not only they are wrong, they’re saying only half-truth. If it was so easy all microwave ovens, coffee machines and washing machines would have been connected to each other long time ago. But the market is trying to repeat solutions that provide great economic benefit. Yesterday Ksenia sent feedback on the work of our Russian colleagues. She compared the functionality of BMS Coffee Control and one of the Russian products.

“Dear Russian colleagues from “ctrl + coffee” made a step forward, almost repeating the starting IT-solution of BMS dating back to 2010-11. My congratulations!

Of those materials, which were presented by them, I saw a number of fundamental differences of their solution from BMS Coffee Control functionality as of 2015:

1. The authors are positioning their product as a “coffee machines remote control system”, but it is the “remote control” functionality is lacking from their presentation materials. Simple activation of the touch screen using a barcode scanner and a cloud service is not yet its remote control. Remote control is possible only in the mode of two-way communication with a coffee machine that, judging by the description, is not yet implemented.

2. According to the materials submitted, the solution does not exclude coffee drinks cross-picking after activating the touch screen of coffee machines, as barcode scanner simultaneously activates all the buttons of coffee machine’s display.

3. Collection of data about the actions of the coffee machine is a standard factory option from any modern producer. The task of remote monitoring system – an automatic analysis of the coffee machine and delivery of email alerts when critical errors occur with the possibility of remote fixing. These basic functions are implemented in BMS Coffee Control.

4. The solution is presented as an option for coffee machines Thermoplan. How universally applicable it is and suitable for coffee machines from other manufacturers such as BMS Coffee Control?

Conclusion: so far the solution is not a rival for the latest releases of BMS Coffee Control.
In order to approach the level of BMS Coffee Control 2015, you must:
– develop solutions for the real two-way coffee machines monitoring;
– create software for monitoring center for its operators could not only monitor, but also correct the coffee machines work remotely in real time;
– develop a solution to activate coffee machine only one button, activating pouring of a drink, which was purchased by the customer, according to the barcode recieved;
– develop a solution for selling and control of beverages, purchased with regular office passes used in modern business centers.

Good luck!”

In an emergency, you do not go up to the level of your expectations, but will fall to the level of your training! Let’s raise the level of our industry together, dear Russian colleagues.

WMF in Russia – back to the leadership!

Choosing a partner for long-term co-operation is always preceded by a deep market analysis. Of course, the most promising seems working with the leaders, or at least top 3 players in the chosen segment. That is why when choosing a partner for equipping modern gas stations with automatic coffee machine we made our decision in favor of the German company WMF. It produces not the cheapest, and truth be told – one of the most expensive solutions. However, WMF is usually chosen by HoReCa leaders, therefore, in almost every corner of the world you can find a WMF coffee machine.

After-sales service – a moveable feast
The times when the price of the goods was the only instrument in the competition, are long gone. Today, the winning side is not the one who sells cheap, but the one that is able to provide a truly high-tech product with good functionality and decent reliability. However, many manufacturers producing excellent hardware after some time start to lose their position in the market, where, apparently, they should “divide and conquer”. The reason is really simple: ok, you closed the deal, but what’s next? Who will provide the equipment with quality consumables and will conduct timely maintenance works? Many manufacturers mistakenly believe that after-sales service is the exclusive concern of the operating company, in our case – of gas station’s owner. Mind games, but any malfunction even in the world’s best hardware usually attributed by the customer to the poor quality of production. It’s a proverbial speck in someone else’s eye. And it never occurs to admit the damage caused by the desire to save some money on maintenance works or on use of Chinese spare parts while repairing.

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