During his long career Niels has witnessed huge developments within the fuel industry. Technology has evolved significantly, and it is these constant developments that have continued to drive Niels year on year. Watch the video and read his story below…
My career in the industry began at a time when petrol stations ran using mechanical counters from Veeder Root and Kienzle and the level gauges were a beech stick with some lines on from which you could roughly read the level in the tank.
In the store, at the larger stations, there was a self-service system connected to the mechanical pumps via pulse generators – the self-service system was often connected to a cash register via an interface, but certainly not always.
It was not until the end of the 1970s that the electronic petrol pumps and more advanced systems, including various forms of payment solutions, really got going.
This development happened gradually around Europe, but Scandinavia, in many ways, were the forerunners of the rapid development. Coming from Denmark, I was lucky to be on the express train when it came to showing the way to digitisation on service stations.
At many petrol stations today, it is simply a matter of pulling up a screen and getting a full overview of everything that is happening in the store and on the forecourt and if that is not the case, be sure it will be in the very near future
In years gone by, a skilled service station attendant or district manager who with great care, and of course with help from HQ, calculated the prices. Today, oil companies can get help from advanced systems, which through the use of advanced algorithms and the use of artificial intelligence, can catch far more data than what even the most seasoned teams managed to do – and also with a much higher accuracy, providing both higher sales volume and button line.
It is an advantage to any organisation to have the younger generation who are skilled in the latest technology alongside employees with experience. This has been a great strength of the companies I have been a part of over the years.
I am incredibly happy to have been able to follow this exciting development very closely over the years and, not least, to be constantly inspired by the ideas and knowledge of the many new talented engineers. Without being part of the constant development that happened within this industry year after year, I would never have been able to stay in the industry for so many years.
Since my time at Doms (now Gilbarco) I have been involved in the development and equipment side of the entire value chain; from the oil refinery to the depot; from the truck to the fuel station itself. I have been, and still am driven, by how technology can contribute to new, more complete, and secure solutions. But also, how to migrate current and slightly older solutions together with the latest technology – it rarely happens that you can buy the latest technology without having to connect it with something that already exists.
It is an advantage to any organisation to have the younger generation who are skilled in the latest technology alongside employees with experience. This has been a great strength of the companies I have been a part of over the years – it promotes motivation and creativity on both sides.
A2i is a perfect example of this. Until I started at A2i 11 years ago I had only ever read about artificial intelligence and had never used it directly in any development.
Now, I know that this technology can and will be used for much more than “just pricing.” PriceCast Fuel reflects the very latest technology, deep knowledge of the environment and behaviour at a service station making it a future-ready pricing tool. But there are also opportunities to use this technology on the logistics side of the industry to make big improvements. However, as I mentioned earlier, these solutions will come step-by step. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.