A New Service Infrastructure
As the proliferation of electric and fuel-cell vehicles continues, the demand for gasoline is expected to decline. Consequently, service stations will need to change in order to remain relevant. Anticipating this transformation, Idemitsu is expanding its service infrastructure to support a broader spectrum of “car life.” The Autoflat car-leasing service and the Pit in plus online car-maintenance reservation system are two examples of our commitment to the future of service stations.
The Idea Man
“In addition to fuel-oil sales and car-care services,” says Tadasuke Hanawa of the Sales Division, “our job is to come up with new ideas for service-station-based businesses.” The goal is to create a system through which customers have access to a range of services that are not associated with traditional service stations. Originally working solo, Tadasuke’s New Business Team is currently made up of five specialists. The team is heavily focused on the Pit in plus online car-maintenance reservation system. This exciting innovation is very close to Tadsuke’s heart, as he has championed its development from the beginning.
When There’s No Path,
You Create One
Increasing the number of Pit in plus users is the team’s primary objective. As its popularity increases, Tadasuke intends to expand Pit in plus offerings to include a variety of peripheral services. By their nature, new business initiatives have no precedent, so there is no path to follow. “Putting a new initiative into practice is far more difficult than creating it,” Tadasuke asserts. Without a definitive answer, the team sometimes finds themselves at odds with the Head Office. Nonetheless, they manage to create their own path forward.
No Small Feat
The Autoflat car-leasing service has become a priority for the Sales Division. Created by a small team, it has made an impact on all the division’s operations. This is no small feat, given that new business initiatives often lack the resources required for their development. “I’m happy that this initiative has gained such recognition,” Tadasuke affirms. Already, he is anticipating his next project, which will surely benefit from the knowledge and experience gained from his previous successes.
A Pillar of the Future
Demand for fuel-oil-supply services is destined to decline. And as society changes, so too will Idemitsu – offering new services and creating new value where it is needed most. “I want the initiatives we create here to become a pillar for the Company in the future,” Tadasuke declares. And if they are successful in Japan, they could very well be introduced internationally. “I love these sorts of challenges,” he says with a smile. “They make life more fun!”