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Today, we can hardly imagine a modern office without coffee. It is not just a casual beverage for employees. The drink may influence the level of productivity as well as create a harmonious atmosphere for communication and creativity. On the other hand, coffee may turn a typical office into a beneficiary niche from business perspectives. Is it possible to turn a coffee room into an efficient business model? It certainly is. We will tell you how.
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?
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.
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.
Vending as a sales technique is good – but only when it comes to newspapers, chocolates and chips, as well as personal care products. He who presses the button is the one who got the goods. Just pushed it – and continued their own way. Coffee beverages vending business now comes with minimum human involvement.
Coffee vending tend to vary in terms of product quality from “Lord, what is this ???” to “Well, okay.” Why is that? Because making of coffee – is a complex process with a thousand of nuances. No exceptions. The only thing that differs very much from a good “vending coffee» to a vending of a bad coffee” – is a chain Costa Coffee called Costa Express Company.
Costa Express Coffee – is an unexpected example of the coffee business in terms of a combination of indicators varying from “country of origin”. How this company was able to appear in the UK, a country of a totalitarian tea cult – it is a mystery. Nevertheless, it was there in 1971 when this brand appeared, which not only takes a confident second place in the World after Starbucks but represents today the very notion of “premium coffee vending” that tend to vary in terms of product quality, from “Lord, what is ???” to “Well, okay.” Why is that? Because making the coffee is a complex process with a thousand nuances. Virtually no exceptions. The only thing that is very distracting from the association with «vending coffee –is a vending of a bad coffee” – is a chain called in Costa Coffee.
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.
RBC TV tried to find out whose coffee business is better – McCafe’s & Starbucks’? Classic children’s question: “Who is stronger, an elephant or a whale?” And a boring grown-up answer: “Two subjects must be compared on common parameters”. It is strange that none of those present in the studio have not identified these “common parameters”, having lost sight of that in the competition between the two world HoReCa market leaders we observe frontal confrontation between players using virtually the same automated technology of coffee preparation and not the difference in the “approach to the consumer”.
Starbucks is having problems. Again. At this time, customers in California believe they have not enough milk in their latte. IMHO (personal opinion of the author), whatever has been written about Starbucks it’s more popular than all other coffee houses in America put together.
Any American shopping mall is full of coffee establishments, but half the tables there are usually free. Only at Starbucks you may see a line of people from opening morning hours till late at night before closing. It’s coffee culture and “spiritual braces”.
You can only manage what you can measure
Still, there’s actually a real problem remaining. Underfill of milk is the most common complaint of customers at gas stations. You will be surprised how easily it can be solved. Milk actually is poured badly because the coaffee machines aren’t being washed properly.
This conversation has been translated in English with some abridgements. Full version >>
Line personnel from procurement departments is recommended to refrain from reading.
Alexander Kuzmin is an expert with over 20 years in non-fuel business of gas stations and the implementation of projects of its reorganization. With this huge experience, Alexander is ready to offer the plan for the changes to the chain of stations of the federal scale in just 30 minutes.
His partner in this conversation is the head of federal chain which is bringing together more than one thousand stations located over the entire territory of the Russian Federation. In our dialogue, he will be called the Leader.
Leader: Alexander, you promised to tell me about the most important changes that I need to carry out so that customers perceive our stations on a par with the best European chains. And you promised to do so in just 30 minutes.
Alexander Kuzmin: Before you begin the conversation i would like to clarify what are the specific goals you want to achieve?
Leader: For over the last five years there has been a significant strengthening of the position of vertically integrated oil companies, whose major shareholders are various state-controlled structures. In the eyes of the vast majority of Russian citizens oil companies and their corresponding chains of gas stations are clearly perceived as being a part of the “state”. All attemps to prove them otherwise had the opposite effect.
Alexander Kuzmin: In simple terms, Russian drivers should take your gas station as being the same as “cool” foreign ones. Is that so?