Energy company St1 Oy and ICT services company Fujitsu Services Oy have entered into agreement on the delivery of the E90 point-of-sales system, hardware and related services to the 200 St1 service stations across Finland. The choice for a new POS system was largely based on the opinions of the service station retailers.
The agreement covers a POS software project, installation of hardware and software as well as hardware maintenance and user support services.
In the summer of 2007, St1 acquired the oy Esso ab service station chain. St1 needed a uniform POS system to replace the current Esso system and to have all St1 stations incorporated in an integrated system infrastructure. The purpose is to ensure consistent services to customers at all service points.
”The lifecycle of our old POS system is coming to an end. We sent out requests for proposal last spring, among which Fujitsu's system was considered the most appropriate for our needs. The most decisive criteria for us were compatibility to Finnish service station environment, comprehensive service network; well-oiled hardware maintenance service and software support. Our technological requirement was EMV chip card capability. In addition, the system would have to be compatible with our current service station environment," says Project Manager Antti Kettunen of St1
POS system plays an important role at an attended gas station. ”Tills take care of all payments, money transactions and reporting, which means that the system must function smoothly and reliably. Fujitsu's full-blown software seems to answer our needs very well, and the price was also competitive," says Director Mika Aho of St1.
St1 retailers were closely involved in the supplier selection process.
”Our retailers made the final decision, as they are the ones who know the needs and the operational environment best. We at St1 serve as the coordinators and facilitators of this project," Mika Aho says.
One of the five contributing retailers was Seppo Rautalin of Esso in Nokia – a future St1 station. He considers it important to include user point-of-view when making procurements such as this, despite the fact that it made his already hectic life even busier. ”The process kept me really busy, but I find this sort of opportunity to contribute very important for the entire chain. Our voices were heard and now some of the system features were designed according to our wishes. This approach makes users more committed to the system than before; earlier the retailers' wishes were not considered," Seppo Rautalin says.
”We find Fujitsu's POS system a very robust and professional machine. Hardware and systems used at service stations are subject to harsh conditions; they must tolerate dust and fluctuating temperatures. Out of the two suppliers who made the final round Fujitsu is equivalent to an SUV, while the competitor is a regular car," Rautalin compares. The POS system project is already under way, and first systems will be up and running during next spring. The entire project is scheduled to finish in a year's time.
The E90 service station system is the result of Finnish development work. Fujitsu's development centre for service station software is located in Kajaani, in Northern Finland. Service station systems are essentially different from regular POS systems. For example, they must incorporate features required by gas pump meters. In other words, the litre and euro information in the gas pump meters outside must transfer to the tills inside. Reporting is also different, and fuel prices are given with the precision of three decimals.
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Date: 31 October, 2007
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