Z Energy is a national fuel retailer in New Zealand with 200+ locations, 60 million customers per year and 2,500 service staff.
Z Energy had a $2 million problem on its hands – drive-offs were impacting its bottom line and put staff and customer safety at risk. For a company that prides itself on customer service and views staff safety as a core value, something needed to be done.
The easy answer would have been to simply put the pumps on prepay. But that didn’t fit with the company’s customer-first philosophy.
“In the environment we operate in, it’s a significant competitive advantage for us to have open pumps, because that’s what customers actually want. They don’t want to have to be waving to have the pump opened, or having to walk in to prepay,” says Wayne Kennerly, a Z Energy Retailer responsible for 20 locations. “When you come to our sites, the pumps are open so customers can fill up quicker and get about their day.”
Rather than make the issue of drive-offs become the customer’s problem, Z wanted to find a different way to tackle the problem.
Z needed a different and innovative approach, and selected Auror for a limited trial to see if it could help reduce drive-offs while also allowing for Z staff to retain a focus on the customer. General Manager of Retail for Z Energy, Mark Forsyth, says Auror represented the innovative type of solution Z needed.
“Particularly with Auror what we were looking for was something very untraditional compared to what you’d usually get,” says Mark.
Previously Z had been recording and reporting its drive-offs using a paper-based system supported by spreadsheets, often getting information about incidents to police only weeks or months after they occurred, limiting the opportunity to affect arrests or any recovery from the drive-offs. Wayne recalled how time- and labour intensive the process could be:
“In the past if we had a drive-off, a staff member would have to fill out a form and write down details. Our site leader would then have to review CCTV, and you can imagine how much time it would take having to track it down, watch the footage, and then capture it.
“It would then get sent to the head office, it would get reviewed, we’d then file a police report, et cetera. It was massively time consuming.”
But Auror helped change all that, using its platform to radically streamline the incident reporting process so that what previously took hours to report now takes minutes. Auror also integrates with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems, so if a drive off occurs Auror can automatically log the licence plate associated with that vehicle. Auror will then alert staff if the same plate enters a Z station again so the pump can be switched to prepay for that vehicle only—eliminating the opportunity to drive away without payment.
“These days that staff member on the counter can report a driveoff, that information is instantaneously communicated across our cluster so that the number of repeat subjects has dropped dramatically and the information is real-time. There’s not weeks or months in the delay,” Wayne continues.
With a faster and easier reporting process, Auror also helps share intelligence across Z about drive-off incidents so the company has insights about subjects and vehicles across the company.
Christine Woods, an Office Manager for Z Energy, sees firsthand the data Auror provides and how it’s made a difference in the visibility and reporting of drive-offs to Police.
“We get access to really good information straight away. We can utilise that to let other sites know what’s going on around our areas, and we can use it as a preventative tool and a way to see things developing and resolve issues before they become problems.”
Vikas Dutta is on the front lines as a Site Leader, managing the pumps at Z Energy at Lakewood Court. He says Auror makes a big difference in his day-to-day work and ability to serve customers.
“We use Auror daily for our drive-off reporting. It’s really helpful for us to communicate with police for reporting the drive-offs and make reports for that. It’s way easier than the way we used to do it before, and it’s much faster too,” says Vikas.
“We think Auror is a great win-win. It lets us keep the criminals off our sites, and take our customer service to another level.”
In the trial across South Auckland, Auror reduced drive-offs for Z by up to 70%, representing a significant improvement for the company, or in the words of Mark Forsyth, “that sort of savings is real money.”
“So far the staff that have been involved in the Auror trial have loved it,” Mark continues. “It makes their job easier—which is always great, because that gives them time to get onto doing the stuff that matters most — talking to customers and doing their job.”
Wayne sees it the same way at his Z sites: “There are a lot of benefits to the Auror crime intelligence platform. Not only does it save money, but it allows my staff to focus on providing great customer service, and I get to keep them safer.”
The information shared through Auror also helps Z have a more collaborative relationship with local Police by sharing incident notifications and intelligence to help Police catch the criminals responsible for drive-offs. Christine says:
“Auror has helped us progress our relationship with the local police. We already had quite a good one, but this gives us a better way of sharing information with them and vice versa.”
Auror is being rolled out nationwide to Z service stations, and continues to help Z Energy manage a safer, customer-oriented business.
“We think Auror is a great win-win,” says Mark Forsyth. “It lets us keep the criminals off our sites, and lets take our customer service to another level.”
Learn how Auror can help prevent crime and drive-offs at your location. Contact us today and we’ll be in touch.