February 22, 2018

The Psychological Benefits of Fuel Pricing Automation

Fuel Pricing, Fuel Retailing, 2018

By Kalibrate Team

In the 1800’s, gin carts filled the streets of London as a way for factory workers to cope with transitioning from farms to factories. The impact of repetitive tasks clearly can take a toll on certain individuals.

From factories to office buildings, most of us experience repetition in our day-to-day lives. Repetition is not necessarily a bad thing. It can provide a sense of comfort and accomplishment. It can help us develop what Noel Burch's model, The Four Stages of Learning, calls "unconscious competence." It can help us learn to understand patterns. Repetition of words is, of course, how we learn new languages. But most of us see repetition, especially of menial tasks, as emotionally taxing.

Today, repetition of menial tasks is becoming less and less a feature of our daily work lives. Indeed, these days, people fear for their mental health due to joblessness, caused by automation that has replaced humans in the repetitive task arena. But automation can be good. In the fuel retail profession, automation can “enable” members, rather than eliminate them. Ideally, in the future, very few repetitive tasks will need to be performed by the individual employee.

Minimizing repetition when it comes to fuel pricing has a few key benefits:

Empowerment

According to Gretchen Spreitzer from the University of California, the psychological definition of empowerment as it relates to the workplace is broken into four characteristics:

  • meaning
  • competence
  • self-determination
  • impact

Spreitzer’s study says that to have empowerment, an employee needs to feel a sense of meaning in the work they do. They need to feel capable at doing their job, have a sense of choice in their day-to-day actions, and have a sense of greater impact on the project or company.

Turning Pricing Administrators into Pricing Analysts

The impact of employee empowerment on the bottom line has been proven over and over again. Giving your employees space to grow and the ability to take on more responsibilities coincides with the innate human need to change.

Automating fuel prices and empowering your employees can change your pricing department drastically. Shifting your team from pricing administrators into pricing analysts will help your business in two ways. The time spent on the administrative side of data input will be reduced. This is going to provide bandwidth and time to your employees to analyze that data and provide greater insight into markets and trends. When the pricing team can focus their time on true analysis, they begin to view themselves in a different light.

Automation in the case of fuel pricing is not a detriment to the employee. As Dennis R. Mortensen, CEO and founder of x.ai, writes, "....automation will release humans from the need to perform specific tasks. Those will mostly be non-creative and non-personal tasks that can be broken down into relatively predictable parts. These are chores you didn’t want to do to begin with."

There is a growing sense of creativity, ownership and importance that comes from being able to perform true analysis. The pricing analysts who have less menial and more brain-engaging activity will provide even more value to your company. Automating fuel prices will allow your employees to have more confidence, take more ownership and ultimately feel a greater sense of empowerment in their jobs.

The Bottom Line

We all know that when the bottom line is improved, everyone feels better. The bottom line about automating fuel prices is that your employees, your profit margin and ultimately your business will benefit in a big way. The automation of fuel prices leads to getting prices out more quickly. It is one of the biggest clichés, but by now we all know that time is money. Automating fuel prices coupled with the productivity increase of having empowered pricing analysts will drive the bottom line higher, helping you double down on efficiency.

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