Gilbarco Veeder-Root: current innovations will redraw the boundaries of service areas
Interview with Federico Barbati, sales director of Gilbarco Veeder-Root
Federico Barbati, sales director for Italy and Cyprus, introduces us to Gilbarco Veeder-Root’s experience on the Italian market in recent months. The company boasts a customer base spanning more than one hundred countries and in 2021 developed a series of products and services that redesign the refuelling context for both operators and end users. “During 2021, Gilbarco introduced a series of important innovations impacting the economy of service areas by redesigning its boundaries,” he summed up.
With just over one month to go until the end of 2021, can a balance sheet be outlined?
“2021 was a very positive year for Gilbarco Veeder-Root. Various markets restarted with some momentum over the year, providing life blood to the automotive sector as a whole and consequently to the fuel and energy sector. From a certain point of view, one might think that this was thanks to the pandemic but the situation must be analyzed case by case. Some areas were somehow already ready, with a predisposition towards to change, and were able to take advantage of the stand-by situation generated by the lockdowns to innovate and implement new technologies. This is the case of Gilbarco, generally all over the world yet especially in Italy. Over the last 12 months, we have implemented significant investments and launched innovative payment terminals on the market. Some were already presented as FlexPay Osp and others will be premièred at the Oil&nonOil trade fair. We have also completely updated our platforms sales and communication in service areas. Today, using a single Passport Mobile device, we can provide a fully portable cash point integrated with the management system right on the forecourt of station stations; Passport Mobile prints receipts, unlocks the fuel dispenser by sending the payment sum and allows tracking by single operator, including cash transactions, without the need for manual reconciliations on closing the service area. We have also been working for some time to launch infrastructures on the cloud and accompany our customers along the digitization path; the new Insite 360 Experience portal allows anyone, on site or remotely, to manage audio messages, advertising images, web applications and video spots displayed on payment terminals.”
Let’s move on to the topic that everyone is talking about at this edition of the trade fair: the energy transition. What has been achieved so far?
“Before reaching any judgements, we must acknowledge that Italy still lags behind the European average when it comes to switching to electricity. It is undeniable, on the one hand, that this entails significant delays that cascade down along the entire supply chain. On the other hand, however, the delay has given us time to think in more detail about which solutions we should invest in, by also looking at the experience of other countries further ahead as regards electric mobility. We recently launched the EVerse cloud platform to accompany entrepreneurs towards discovering the new approach involved in supplying electricity. To help them define the offering in terms of creating recharging networks and remote management of columns. EVerse offers the chance for remote setting of sales prices and provides a user app with a customizable brand that offers consumers the possibility of geolocating and booking columns, paying for recharging and obtaining client loyalty benefits. In order to present all these innovations, during 2021 we reached out to our customer base by organizing five webinars (the sixth and last of the year is scheduled in December) to demonstrate the new solutions, their functions and their contribution to the economy of the new service area, while also creating very important occasions for contact with our customers.”
What is Gilbarco doing to help developments in the sector?
“Covid accelerated certain processes that were already underway. Inasmuch, we find ourselves enjoying the effects of this acceleration today. The leap forwards achieved as regards digital payments is enormous. Some analysts believe that the changes that, under normal conditions, we would have seen over a decade have been compressed into just over a year. The digital transition has become not so much an opportunity as a real need for everyone. We will display at the event in Verona an innovative product, the FlexPay Osp, which is connected to a flexible and scalable management system, and a cloud platform for managing and analyzing data in real time. This is where Gilbarco’s skills emerge: focus on innovation by identifying standards that are effectively ready, stable and safe to launch on the market. Since technology must facilitate, simplify and expand the earning possibilities of entrepreneurs in the oil and non-oil supply chain. If it does not go in this direction, then innovation is pointless. This is why we no longer want to be seen only as suppliers of equipment for the distribution of conventional fuels. We are expanding our mission: we want to become 360 degree mobility solution providers. In conclusion, from the point of view of future developments, I can say in advance that we have already made and are continuing to make investments in the electric field, and much more. Another interesting and widely discussed topic concerns hydrogen and here too Gilbarco is evaluating effective investments. We invite everyone to follow us through Gilbarco’s official social media channels, especially our LinkedIn page Gilbarco Veeder Root, to keep up-tp-date with all the news we will announce in coming months.”