Keeping the World fueled up - from Palmy

The team at Integration Technologies Limited (ITL) supply a critical piece of tech to retail petrol stations in 64 countries worldwide.

21 Mar 2023

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Integration Technologies Limited

136b The Square
Palmerston North 4410

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Keeping the World fueled up - from Palmy

Chris Deere, Managing Director describes their Enabler© Forecourt Controller as "the brains" of the service station. It's essentially a complex translation device, exchanging data and communicating with other devices onsite.

It tells the attendant how much petrol is in the fuel tanks below the forecourt and controls the price signs and the fuel pump. Without a forecourt controller like Enabler, customers can't refuel.

With Shell and BP on their customer list, the Enabler is installed at over 30,000 petrol stations around the world, from Australia to Ireland, Morocco to Thailand – not bad for a small company with 20 staff.

"With a global perspective, we're thinking about what the world needs" - Dwight

ITL is locally owned and has been around for 25 years, making it one of the city's big tech pillars. Chris' vision is to be here for at least another 25. "There's still a long runway for us to continue to do some pretty cool stuff in the forecourt world," says Chris. "Yes, the world is changing. The way we fuel our cars is changing but at our core, ITL is and always will be an entrepreneurial company. We adapt. We constantly evolve to where our customers need us to be."

Chief Technical Officer Dwight Holman says while some countries have very aspirational goals in terms of transitioning to new electric vehicle sales, other parts of the world simply don't have the infrastructure to support the technology yet. The transition to electric cars is complex and will take time.

"With a global perspective, we're thinking about what the world needs. What do customers in different countries need?" says Dwight.

The team continues to see growth opportunities close by in countries like Australia or further afield through Asia and South America. Most of ITL's competitors are multinationals based in the US and Europe that manufacture a wide range of products, including forecourt controllers.

"Our approach is to provide a key component of the site system and really focus on the excellence of delivering that one piece, which is a bit different than what the other guys have been doing.

"We have two main customers; Retail Oil Companies (like BP) and what we call System Integrators. So that would be someone in the middle between us and the oil company, that creates their own software that compliments ours."

The team at ITL design and write the software, while the physical product (hardware) is manufactured by PEC in Marton.

"When customers order, we ship everything out of our office so we can check the quality before it leaves. Nothing leaves ITL without one of our team touching it," says Chris.

The team are always on hand to troubleshoot over the phone if their customers are having problems with the equipment. Sometimes they even visit customers onsite in other countries.

"Our customer service is second to none... its our true competitive advantage" - Chris

"Hand on heart, our customer service is second to none," says Chris. "It's the main reason we have continued to win in an ever-changing marketplace, next to the technology it's our true competitive advantage."

ITL's team are a diverse bunch. There's a mix of ages and cultures. Several staff are Massey graduates who have been with the business for well over a decade – a testament to the team culture they've created.

Dwight has been with ITL for nearly 21 years and thrives on working with a variety of people around the world.

‘making culture' has always been something that motivates me

"We might be dealing with an organisation like BP or Shell, which is a gigantic multinational, but it's still made up of people and everyone we deal with, they're like us. They're people who might be living in a different place, speaking a different language, but they're still people and we need to be there to help them solve real problems."

"As an engineer or technology person, that ‘making culture' has always been something that motivates me, and I think motivates a lot of the team here."

Recruiting staff has been a challenge over the past two years due to COVID-19, but Chris is optimistic about the future.

"New Zealand has a global reputation for getting things done and our industry attracts the same kind of people. Software Engineers and Developers by nature are problem solvers. The joy comes from solving the complex and making it look easy for the end user. My job is to continue to make ITL an attractive place to come and solve some of those complex problems."

-- by Renee Murphy