by The Kalibrate Team
Strategy for fuel and convenience retail in Africa is never “set it and forget it.” A solid strategy is like a steady hand on your shoulder that keeps you from rash decisions—the more volatile the environment, the steadier your strategy needs to be.
Even after investment capital is committed and operations are underway, a strategy must account for the possibility to shifting conditions from any corner. This means ongoing attention to all aspects of the business and the environment—a more intense ongoing strategy process than many retailers are used to.
Where markets are volatile, stability is the aim. Where stability is established, competition follows, pushing established retailers to differentiate their offerings and optimize operations. Executives at retailers that are succeeding are always asking
- Do my performance benchmarks make sense for the market?
- Is each site performing as well as it should?
- How do I improve the parts of the business that are underperforming?
Automation has emerged as a crucial area of brand differentiation and performance improvement. Automated forecourts offer a boost in consumer convenience (especially for the growing number of smartphone users), helping to prevent fraud, and gathering POS data needed to improve management decisions. POS data is an important window into site performance that can lead to incremental margin improvements.
Every sliver of improvement counts, because Africa’s uneven infrastructure results in higher retail operating costs. That’s the reality, and it puts an even higher premium on each site’s ability to perform as well as possible. Increasing revenues and reducing costs on a site-by- site basis is another aspect of succeeding with “a lot of littles.” Underperforming sites have to be identified and adjusted quickly, so their contribution to the overall profit picture isn’t compromised.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Strategy is a living, breathing document that can help retailers avoid overinvestment and mismanagement. You don’t do it once and put it in the drawer until next year. Think of strategy as a constantly iterated process, informed by overarching goals against current results and conditions on the ground.
KEY IMPLICATION: This constantly evolving strategy requires frameworks that are both stable and adaptable, so you can execute a plurality of market strategies that align with an overarching, unified direction.
KEY QUESTION: Do you like being in dynamic business conditions that reward clear thinking in complex situations? Then investment in Africa’s fuel retail sector may be right for you. And if you do, ask if you have the right framework and expertise to invest and manage for optimal profit. No one succeeds in Africa alone. If you’re up for the ride, consider Kalibrate your ally.
Kalibrate's 7 Elements for Fuel and Convenience Retail Success is the industry’s best-in- class management framework. It enables corporate strategies to adapt to local needs while maintaining an overarching network viewpoint. Kalibrate enables Total Site Visibility for Total Site Profitability. We are the trusted adviser to global brands and ambitious independents in Africa and five other continents. Our strategic expertise and technology solutions deliver fuller visibility, truer insight and more effective control over your fuel and convenience retail network. Your adaptive edge.™