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Z Energy drives into digital with Fastlane and Office 365

Office 365 is about more than it appears, CEO says
Mike Bennetts (Z Energy)

Mike Bennetts (Z Energy)

Fuel retailer Z Energy is focusing on the customer and cutting cost to serve through digital.

The publicly-listed company said being great at digital will become increasingly important because customers are calling for innovations to move the company closer to them and to meet their expectations

That is why Z Energy established a digital business unit and externally recruited a new chief digital officer, CEO Mike Bennetts wrote in Z Energy's annual report, released today.

The company has developed a system called Fastlane to provide customers with new ways of fueling up without leaving their vehicles. 

"The Fastlane initiative may not have been rolled out widely yet, but it has shown that we can innovate quickly to deliver a product that customers love," Bennetts wrote.

"It integrates with the increasing digitisation of our business and fundamentally changes the customer experience. And it enables us to gather new insights about our customers that will improve our understanding while reducing our cost to serve."

An Office 365 roll-out was also a part of the company's transformation drive.

"At first glance, our roll-out of Office 365 is simply about improving our technology," Bennetts explained. "We took the opportunity to collaborate with Microsoft and used human-centred design to focus on unlocking capability and changing behaviours. 

"Giving our people new mobile ways of working increases our overall digital capability by freeing us to focus on what matters most — our customers." 

The new suite changes how Z Energy can work, he said, enabling it to involve people who might otherwise not be included and to work faster and more effectively. It therefore changes the shape of Z by enabling geographically dispersed people to stay connected and to reduce travel and carbon emissions.

The acquisition of 70 per cent of Flick Energy was also part of Z Energy's investment in future growth opportunities.

The deal will on one hand allow Flick to leverage Z’s scale and reach into the adjacent energy sector and Z Energy to pursue joint product development.

It will also support the transfer some of Flick’s digital capability into Z Energy, Bennetts wrote. 

"Longer term, Flick provides options for growth in each of the three market spaces we have identified for growth post 2020 - future fuels, mobility and the ‘last mile’. 

"Having a scalable, digital first platform at the centre of Z and Flick’s customer offers will support the change of customers’ attitudes to energy mobility."

Z’s plan for a more productive core business, Strategy 3.0, remains on track to deliver an aggregate $30 to $35 million of EBITDAF improvement by the end of the 2020 financial year, Bennetts said. 

At the end of 2019 Z Energy recorded $19 million of EBITDAF improvements net of costs.

“As a company, we are very focused on building a more productive and efficient core business. Two years into this three-year programme we’ve delivered on our promises and we’re confident that we’ll achieve our goals by the end of the current financial year.”