In the not-so-distant future, automation will transform retail businesses by using real-time data and analytics to cater to the ever increasing customer expectations. It will enable companies to save time, avoid unreliable delivery issues and provide a sense of control over buying behavior exhibited by customers, thereby creating a seamless retail journey and improved customer experience.
In a bid to better connect with their customers and bring in a uniform experience for them, privately-held downstream oil company Nayara Energy began using automation to improve the journey from producer to consumer through a project called WeRise—in collaboration with IBM.
Project WeRise aims to bring connected experiences through automation of fuel retail outlets. Nayara has a fuel retail chain with over 5,400 operating fuel retail outlets, which have come up in last five years; driving growth in the retail business at close to 43% CAGR. “Being a franchise business model, we feel enhancing customer centricity is the key to ensuring that our customers are getting a better customer experience, irrespective of where the retail outlets are located across the country,” said Madhur Taneja, CEO – Retail, Nayara Energy.Nayara had three key objectives to achieve from the adoption of automation:
For this, IBM served as an ideal partner. “We selected IBM because we wanted to bring key benefits to our customers. We wanted an international partner with global experience who would understand our needs and comprehend the complexity of the project to be run nationally within a very tight timeframe. While we did go through a process of finding the right partner, I think IBM was a natural choice because of its global experience in oil, gas and retail where they had done similar projects,” shared Taneja.Parag Risbud, Program Delivery Executive, IBM Services, had envisaged Project WeRise to comprise strong planning and processes in place for such a large and significant automation roll-out across India. “We knew from experience that for such a large-scale program to be successful we need to ensure meticulous planning and well-established processes and procedures,” said Parag. According to him, there were five factors that led IBM to succeed in this project. These were: