HTEC has introduced new real-time features to its ab-initio platform, enabling retailers to respond to market changes far more quickly.

It is the first major feature upgrade of the ab-initio Retail Management System platform, and gives forecourt retailers control over fuel pricing, paired with the ability to see the actual tank stock across all sites with out-of-stock forecasts, and at the same time with full visibility of transactions at every site, as it happens.

Typically, retailers in the forecourt sector run a mixture of complex, legacy systems to operate their business processes, and on a far less frequent basis than supermarket chains.

This gives them a number of significant issues, in key areas such as fuel stock management, which is typically done at the store level because tank information is not available at head office.

Equally, ordering fuel is often up to the store manager, who will make a decision based on current tank levels and their personal judgement. In a busy store, the manager may not have enough time to calculate the optimum time to order to maintain stock and prevent a run-out.

The new forecourt features in ab-initio address these problems, primarily because all sites are linked to the single central database and live tank information is visible at head office. This allows orders to be managed centrally and stores can be prioritised in order of need.

Not only does ab-initio display live tank levels for every tank in the estate, but the forecasting algorithm then uses transaction data to predict when a tank will run out - down to within 30 minutes. The ab-initio live fuel dashboard brings all this information together, alerting management to the stores that need attention.

At the same time, the new features also enable a forecourt operator to respond to a rapidly changing market, because of ab-initio’s centralised, real-time, core.

Darragh Fanning, chief product officer of HTEC said: “What we’ve developed with ab-initio-for-forecourts is a platform that’s built for these times. These new features give forecourt retailers the power of real-time visibility and control, so that they can work accurately and at speed to really maximise every aspect of their business, to succeed in the challenging times that we now work in.

“We are immensely proud of the quality of the work by our teams to create it, the power of the capability that we have enabled for the Forecourt sector, at a time when this level of command and control is absolutely critical.”

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