Powering the Connected Fuel Site

Full article published in the ForecourtTech magazine February 2021


Lee Bennett, Business Development Manager at EvolveODM discusses how their managed network solutions are increasing site uptime, providing top-level security and helping retailers to better understand their customers.


POS systems, CCTV, lighting, wet-stock management, fuel dispensers – technology on a retail fuel site is continually evolving. Fuel station operators can see exactly what is happening on a given site from anywhere in the world, allowing them to make data-powered decisions, detect issues and drive profits.


As the fuel station becomes increasingly connected the need for an unwavering, secure connection is paramount to keep the business moving and that is where EvolveODM comes in.


“We are focused on uptime for the sites because we understand that this is critical for the business. We want our customers to have the ability to focus on growing their business and not worry about IT related issues,” explained Lee Bennett, Business Development Manager at EvolveODM.


EvolveODM specialises in managed network solutions, creating bespoke packages for customers across a range of industries since its inception in 2005. The company offers a full end-to-end range of complementary services including global SD-WAN solutions, GDPR compliant public Wi-Fi, fast and reliable broadband, global carrier management and global M2M Roaming SIMs, which provide backup 4G connectivity in devices, ensuring no service disruptions.


The reality of the modern fuel station is that onsite technology comes from a range of different suppliers. EvolveODM work with these suppliers to ensure everything runs seamlessly from the cabling companies through to the point of sale. This service is also backed up by a 24/7 operations centre, which monitors and responds to alerts and deals with any enquiries.


“Our 24/7 operations centre is monitoring all the alerts so they will see as soon as a site moves over to 4G or a site goes offline and immediately action that alert. In addition, 4G SIMS are integral within our units so critical services can automatically switch to a mobile network in case of interruptions to broadband, without causing any delays in service,” said Lee.


Security first

As well as uptime, another key concern for most retailers is protecting customer data. EvolveODM’s ‘ODMSecure+ specialises in making top-level security accessible to organisations of any size. The solution is fully PCI DSS Level 1 certified. This ensures that all customer’s payment information is protected and avoids hefty fines or, in the event of a data breach, irreparable damage to a businesses’ reputation.


Growing with you

Destination fuel stations, featuring multiple vendors are becoming increasingly popular as retailers look for ways to diversify and future-proof their businesses. It is here where EvolveODM’s technology excels. The company’s background in hospitality, working across multiple vendors means they are well placed to advise on the best ways to grow your business.


“The technology we deploy is already capable of growing to support larger locations. It is a common solution at a site level that we deploy across every single location.


A fuel station could initially start out with a small number of pumps and grow to a be a 45-pump location with a KFC and a Starbucks and it is the same technology,” explained Lee.


Lee added: “Our technology allows us to bring together multiple brands in a single location. We can provide connectivity across individual retailers using a single connection whilst still providing individual security for each of those brands. It’s no longer just about fuel delivery, it’s about how can customers order their goods and services for all the other brands onsite.”


This has proven even more critical in the current climate as onsite restaurants and food services have witnessed a significant move from walk-up customers to click and collect and delivery services through third-party providers such as Deliveroo and Just Eat.


“One of the big requirements we’ve noticed during the coronavirus pandemic is an increase for more Wi-Fi in locations. Delivery companies all have their own tablet solutions that work on Wi-Fi so we need to ensure they have full connectivity and reliable service so they can fulfil their orders,” explained Lee.


Customer insights

EvolveODM provides fully GDPR compliant public Wi-Fi on sites. As fuel stations continue to evolve into destinations and dwell time at the sites increases, this service becomes even more valuable and not just to the customer. The data generated from EvolveODM’s public Wi-Fi remains the property of the customer and in the age of targeted, customer-driven marketing, is an essential tool to be able to track customer behaviours and offer timely, personalised incentives that are of value to the customer.


“A growing number of our clients are using data to map customer behaviour to build a picture of how customers spend their time within the location. For example, the data may show a customer regularly refuels at Shell and then picks up a coffee from Starbucks. The site can then send them offers and discounts relevant to them,” explained Lee.


Your IT partner

EvolveODM view themselves as an extension of a business’s IT team, taking a partnership-based approach to projects.


“We have grown from a service provider relationship more into a partnership now and moving forward that is where we see ourselves sitting. We are not the type of business that just wants to do a piece of work and that is the end of it. We want to work alongside a business as they develop,” explained Lee.


He added: “We proactively work with our clients with the introduction and implementation of new technologies to support their business, and as a result, they trust us and involve us at an early stage when they are considering new development areas or are buying a new location.”


The company, based in Skelmersdale in Lancashire, UK works with companies of all sizes. Those with a handful of sites to ones with 6000+. The increasing popularity across the globe of bringing big-name food brands to the forecourt has seen EvolveODM come into its own. The company’s vast experience in multi-site retail locations has resulted in an adaptable solution, which is equipped for handling any number of sites anywhere in the world. EvolveODM currently operates across Europe, Australia and North America, working alongside in-country partners who know the market requirements and regulations to ensure a smooth installation process.


The key for EvolveODM is not about the size of the customer’s business but the ambition, and through their global, flexible solution they can provide a solid, innovative IT partnership wherever you are in the world.


For more information contact Lee Bennett at lee.bennett@evolveodm.co.uk

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