Verifone's Sapphire Site Controller and Event Manager Case Study
The petroleum business is as competitive as ever and it’s critical for pricing controls to be designed to protect margins. Carroll Branded Fuels worked with Verifone to get the most out of its investment in Sapphire technology and introduce advanced automation into its reporting and data management processes.
Leverage POS systems to automate reporting and controls between Carroll and its commissioned agents
Carroll Branded Fuels has started to use a pay-by-volume commission system to sell its fuel through agent locations. To manage this kind of system requires strong controls and a tight working relationship between IT, Accounting, and Operations.
Part of the design of this new system involved having the ever increasing group of agents migrate to a combined Verifone Ruby SuperSystem and Sapphire site controller and web server. Migration to the Verifone system allows Carroll to replace paperbased processes with automated ones to improve information flow between Carroll and the agent locations.
With fuel prices changing frequently, and the ongoing pressures to effectively manage financials, Carroll’s in-house IT department was already experimenting and devising a state-of-the-art approach with the Sapphire controller to help them transition to the agent network. Combine this with the regional focus of the Carroll operations and the operations team’s willingness to embrace technology, created an ideal situation for a new solution. A solution that is positioning Carroll to not only have effective controls in place but to also garner market-leading results.
Carroll is able to leverage Sapphire information to trigger alerts, new reporting, and new data feeds
Carroll’s team had already learned about the benefits of the Sapphire Management Suite, which gave them remote web access to sales systems, and how it could impact information sharing and processes. Carroll wanted to continue to apply these techniques, as well as implement email alerts, new data feeds, and new custom reports to automate additional pricing controls and commissions. Carroll began working with Verifone system engineers to utilize the Transaction Set Archiver (TSA) – software which allows users to configure and execute specific, eventdriven triggers.
“We immediately began saving person days in IT & Accounting on reporting preparation, and in the field, our control of prices increased significantly,” says Bryan Lazarson, PhD, Carroll’s Manager of Network Services. Carroll accomplished these benefits by eliminating paper-based systems. The event-driven automation enabled by Sapphire allowed Carroll to do analysis and reporting they hadn’t previously considered. Alerts for example began to prompt managers in the field immediately of any price changes and with integrations to agent signage these same managers could control street prices 24x7 from anywhere.
“Real-time pricing is to our advantage,” said Dr. Lazarson, “because we are always in control of volumes and our margins.”
Carroll is saving man hours on data management and new controls are helping audit costs & increase revenues
Not only did Carroll begin to immediately save person days on the handling and input of data, and improve revenue controls on pricing, but reporting also improved audit processes. With period-end reporting automation, information is available more frequently and errors created by poor fax quality or human-error on data entry have been eliminated. Data feeds for inventory and commission payouts are integrated directly to Carroll systems. And improved reporting has allowed Carroll to more consistently ensure they are charging agents for all appropriate card fees passed through the Verifone payment systems.
Carroll Brands Fuels was able to implement email alerts, new data feeds, and new custom reports to automate additional pricing controls and commissions with Verifone's Sapphire site controller and event manager.
Bottom line, every group is benefiting from the advanced automation enabled by the Ruby-Sapphire combination. Accounting is saving time on data management and has more time to help with value-added analysis and service. Operations is more efficiently controlling the street price and therefore controlling volumes and margins. IT is maximizing the use of the Verifone technology and enabling an appropriate new system for Carroll’s agent network.
Carroll plans to install more Sapphire systems over time and continue to roll out these “real-time” controls to more locations.
Sapphire Benefits to Petroleum Marketers
- Remote data access allows fast, real-time downloads
to and from your stores
- Save time processing multiple transaction types and managing integrated peripheral solutions from a single server — fuel, loyalty programs, lottery sales, prepaid, remote fuel price signs and more
- Expanded peripheral control enables more revenue stream opportunities
- Increased number of PLUs makes it easy to add new product lines and improve in-store traffic
- Integrated and customizable loyalty features for increased visitor frequency
- Standard and custom reports for real-time tracking of inventory, sales, promotions and more Sapphire Benefits to Petroleum Marketers
- Less travel to stores
- Reports on demand
- Upload data to Back Office
- Helps eliminate safety concerns
- Eliminates “Cut & Paste” theft
- Concentrates on environmental compliance
- Takes corrective action in “real-time”
- Change prices in real time
- Drive the street
- Maintain contract compliance
- Concentrate on store sales