Fortech: converting service stations into multi-service stations is well underway
Interview with Giovanni Santomasi, the company’s marketing manager
Giovanni Santomasi, marketing manager of Fortech, the leading provider in Italy of services for fuel service stations and manufacturer of automation equipment, explains in this interview how the sector is changing and how his company is responding to the need for change. Santomasi points out that the infrastructure has not yet adapted to the spread of electric cars associated with the energy transition but that new solutions are being developed. Fortech is also working on innovative solutions and will present its latest developments at the coming edition of Oil&nonOil.
How is 2021 gong for you following the resumption of activities after the Covid-19 pandemic?
“Fortunately, our market has never locked down, even during the Covid-19 pandemic itself. Inasmuch, in 2021 we have finalised a number of important projects and continued the service and support activities we have always provided to our customers. What makes the difference is without doubt the return of events where we can meet our target audience again. This is why Oil&nonOil is a return to pre-Covid-19 normality but also an opportunity we want to take advantage of to the full. We hope that the event will be a fine occasion for meetings for the sector as a whole. We will attend the event, as we are accustomed to do, with many new items of interest to network operators and managers.”
How is the energy transition affecting the petrol services stations? How will the sector change in coming years?
“Ours is a mature sector which is currently undergoing significant changes. Service stations are currently and increasingly being configured as ‘multi-service stations’ which on the one hand sees the conventional fuel sector now flanked by the electric field, albeit still in the experimental phase, and on the other the launch of new services on offer in this context. The energy transition is certainly one of the topics on which attention is being focused. Although car manufacturers are increasingly moving towards building electric vehicles, at an infrastructure level, the sector is faced by a largely blank page. Against this background, Fortech has developed ‘e4self’ – a solution that allows the replication the self-service refuelling experience in the world of electric vehicle recharging which has already been widely tested in conventional service stations. One of the obstacles to smart mobility is the inconvenience or difficulty users encounter when recharging their vehicles. We are therefore working towards a ‘user experience’ capable of ensuring that service stations can satisfy all types of customer. Our solution also includes infrastructure based on the Fortech Electric Gateway (FeG), i.e. the system used to manage the entire infrastructure of the recharging area, from the mobile application to the issue of electronic invoices and sending payments.”
What is Fortech doing to help developments in the sector?
“The DNA of our company has always included the desire to promote innovation. An example of this is Fattura1click, the app for electronic invoicing that now has over 200,000 customers and is the most widely used in Italy. Our goal is very clear: provide services, products and solutions that bring about better performance of service stations. We achieve this on several levels, by optimizing all the processes of daily service station operations, with data collection services, our SmartPOS management system and the entire family of terminals, as well as from a marketing point of view by client loyalty tools to service stations such as Cards 2.0 or even dedicated apps for individual points of sale thanks to Cards Mobile. We can therefore unquestionably say that our customers appreciate us because we know how to improve the performance of their points of sale through highly reliable, widely acknowledged top quality and robust solutions.”