Message from Mike Bennetts, CEO


Message from Mike Bennetts, CEO

At our Investor Day in September last year, we advised our shareholders that we were switching from an asset led strategy to a capability led strategy.  This meant we were no longer looking to spend growth capital on assets and continually expanding our physical footprint.  There certainly are opportunities to invest in growth assets but we will fund these by selling off our least productive assets and reinvesting the cash elsewhere.

In making the shift, we are primarily focused on five capabilities that we believe enable us to operate a more productive core business this side of 2020 and succeed in the next decade as NZ transitions to a lower carbon future.

The most critical capability is Customer Experience, sometimes abbreviated to CX.  In Z we have always thought about customers but CX is going to a whole new level.  For us CX is the sum of the experiences at every touchpoint and every interaction a customer has with Z, through any of our family of brands.  It takes a whole company working together to deliver a world class customer experience, and that includes how we work with our suppliers.

We have mapped our customer journeys in Z or Caltex Retail and are close to finalising the journey for various Commercial customers.  Instead of looking at just a part of the transaction or experience, the customer journey map documents the full experience of being a customer. So we now have a greater understanding of what our customers go through when interacting with any part of Z.

That’s a big deal for Z given the multiple touchpoints our customers have.  They obviously connect with us physically when refuelling or buying from our convenience stores.  Often this happens by connecting with people who are not actually Z’s employees.

Customers also connect in so many other ways – our call centre, website, mobile platforms, social media channels, and so on.  Sometimes the interaction is prompted by us, other times prompted by them. 

By getting great at CX, we will look for the pain points and opportunities across all of these interactions throughout the thirteen steps of the customer journey.  As we get clear on these we will prioritise our actions by starting with the largest CX delta – in the eyes of our customers, not what is easy or obvious for Z. 

The other four capabilities we are focusing on are:

  • Innovation – a mindset, not a department.  It comes from a customer-centric approach to problem solving through human-centred tools and methods.      
  • Productivity – doing more of what matters most, with less.  What matters most must reflect insights about our customers and we need less resistance to experimenting and sensibly taking risks.
  • Digitisation – integrating technology into every part of our business, changing how we work so we can deliver more value for our customers.
  • Brand – or more accurately, our family of brands.  We’re not talking about our logo, but our brand as a true representation of who we are and how we keep our customers at the heart of what we do.

I have no doubt that in growing these capabilities our requests of and interactions with our suppliers may change.  Like any of the other changes in Z over the years – the switch from Shell, our IPO, the deal with Caltex – we’ll approach this with a strong commitment to partnership and working together for mutually beneficial outcomes.  That’s the Z way, now through a capability led strategy.

Perhaps the most notable thing we’ve been involved in recently is the launch of the Climate Leaders Coalition. 60 businesses making up nearly fifty percent of New Zealand’s emissions have joined forces to tackle the issue of climate change, and we’re calling for other leaders to join us.

Mike Bennetts, CEO