Interview: Megan Oakley – Beacon Business Systems

Beacon Systems is one of the leading Point of Sale providers to fuel retailers in Australia. Beacon is constantly updating and improving their systems for our ever-changing industry. In between installations, I caught up with Megan Oakley from Beacon to find out how their new forecourt controller is going. Megan spends a lot of time in petrol stations and provides some behind the scenes insights into what makes a great petrol station.

It’s been a few months since Beacon launched the Beacon Global Fuel Interface (BGFI), can you remind us about the benefits of your forecourt controller?

Our customers are really loving the new forecourt controller as it is really simple to use. Because of this, they can train their staff on how to use it very quickly. There is no third party interface, Beacon writes and controls both BGFI and Beacon giving us full control to develop new features as our customers’ requirements change over time.

The prepay feature has been simplified and a simple click of a button will change the pump from postpay to prepay on a single pump for a single transaction.

The forecourt controller is a windows embedded device allowing for remote support and stability. Scope to further develop integration into ATG, price boards and other auxiliary devices will be a simple task.

How many sites has it now been installed in and how many installs are planned for this year?

When granted our initial NMI certification it had a proviso of an initial 5 sites, then assessment for final approval. Our final NMI certificate was issued in April and we now have 5 sites in Australia and 1 site in Myanmar using the Fusion with BGFI. Now that we have certification we are full steam ahead with 4 sites being installed this week through NSW and NT and others scheduled in later in the month.

You would have received plenty of feedback from customers by now, what are people saying about the new controller?

So far customers are saying the controller is stable, fast and reliable which is great to hear considering this is what we set out to achieve with the controller.

We often see you out and about installing Beacon’s POS System in petrol stations. What sort of things do you see the successful retailers doing at their sites?

At Beacon, we are big on providing our customers with the data they need to help them make good decisions in their business. Regularly monitoring their bottom line through Price Book Management and Category Analysis reporting is so important.

The sites that I see are doing really well are utilising a partnered buying group to provide the customer with a great offer. They are also utilising the buying group integration to the POS to import promotions, promotional images and catalog updates. This saves them a huge amount of time rather than doing this manually.

Lastly, I would say successful fuel retailers are maximising their retail space and customising their offer to their local area. I do upwards of 20 onsite installs a year and it amazes me how many variations there are, particularly in country areas, where a Service Station is much more than ‘just’ a Petrol Station.