Are Fuel Pricing people too isolated to innovate?

  • Are Fuel Pricing people too isolated to innovate?

    Rafe VanDenBerg is the editor-in-chief at MindBrew and contributor to PricingBrew, the online community for pricing professionals. He just wrote an article titled “Are pricing people too isolated to innovate?”. While this article was addressed to B2B pricing professionals, the questions discussed are directly applicable to fuel pricing strategies in the c-store business.

    The article is based on results from a recent research study, and there are two critical statistics that apply to c-store fuel pricing:

    1. 70% of the respondents have worked for fewer than three companies in their career.
    2. Most people reported that their go-to source for pricing information and education is people within their own company.

    First of all, in the c-store industry, it has been my experience that people stay in the business of c-stores often for their entire careers, and frequently work for only one company the whole time. That is certainly true for family run businesses, and even when the family is not involved, moving from company to company is somewhat rare and only happens several times through a person’s career. So there’s no doubt that the first point in this study is true for our industry.

    Second, it has also been my experience that fuel analysts without fuel pricing software commonly price their fuels “the way it’s always been done.” That way is typically based on what others before them did, like the father or grandfather of the business. And if there is no fuel software to provide insight and analysis into what is really happening in the market, can you blame them?

    The article raises the question that if fuel analysts follow in the footsteps  of others before them, how can these people tell if there is a better way, to innovate, and to gain competitive advantage?

    PriceAdvantage fuel software has proven that with its analysis views, reports, and optimization, the fuel analyst can evaluate whether or not they are using the optimized pricing strategies, and where there may be places to increase margins or volumes. Data and information is pulled from disparate sources and presented in a consolidated location, in a user friendly way, so that trends can be evaluated and what-if scenarios can be explored. And that is the enabler for fuel analysts to innovate and break out of the way it has always been done, to bring out profits never seen before.

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