erpecnews feature - What's going on at Dover Fueling Solutions?

This is a feature from erpecnews magazine, issue 85 - To read the feature in the e-book, click here

When Dover Corporation brought together two of the world’s leading dispenser manufacturers, Wayne Fueling Systems and Tokheim, in 2016, speculation was rife. What did the acquisition mean for these iconic brands? Would we soon see a Dover Fueling Solutions branded pump?

left: The team hard at work in the facility. right: The team regroup after lunch.

left: Editor Nick Needs and David Crouse, President of Dover Fueling Solutions. middle: Dion Butler, Director of Operations North America, shows ENTV around the factory. right: Michelle Saab, Global Director of Marketing & Communications for Dover Fueling Solutions.

The answer in short is no. “We’re going to keep all of the brands, not as businesses but as product brands. These are world leading product brands, but they will sit under one operating company,” explained Michelle Saab, Global Director of Marketing & Communications at Dover Fueling Solutions. Dover Fueling Solutions is comprised of six product brands; Wayne Fueling Systems, Tokheim, ClearView, ProGauge, Fairbanks and OPW FMS, each a major industry player in its own right.

Stand out from the crowd

Over the last few years both the Wayne and Tokheim brands have become known for their innovative advertising campaigns, the likes of which have rarely been seen in the fuel retail industry. From Wayne’s Marilyn Monroe to Tokheim’s Transformer, the latest campaign features a woman with a Wayne Helix fuel dispenser tattooed on her bare skin alongside the tagline ‘Designed for you.’ The ad looks like what you’d expect from the latest Dior campaign. It is bold, eye-catching and dare I say…sexy. “There’s always a lot of talk about our advertising,” said Michelle. “We’ve always wanted to be out there to gain attention in the marketplace. This industry has always been very conservative. We want to move away from what everyone else has done and gain the attention of our customers and distributors,” she added.

When 6 become 1

With the product brands securely in place and gaining plenty of attention, much of the focus has been on creating a company culture that spans the individual product brands. Just like Wayne’s Helix dispensers and Tokheim’s Quantium dispensers, which were displayed proudly side by side for the first time at PEI NACS 2018, the six companies had to find a way to coexist in this new era. Whilst some may view the coming together of six companies as a logistical nightmare, the optimists at DFS saw this as an opportunity to cherry pick the very best ideas and processes.

“The investment thesis of Dover Fueling Solutions was to create value above and beyond the sum of the individual parts.”

David Crouse, President of Dover Fueling Solutions

“The investment thesis of Dover Fueling Solutions was to create value above and beyond the sum of the individual parts,” explained David Crouse, President of Dover Fueling Solutions. “In the second year of existence we are really starting to see this coming through. From my perspective I believe the synergistic core competencies that are really coming out are around customer engagement. All of the six companies were very customer-centric, but together the energy around engaging with customers is really fantastic. “It’s also about engineering, research and development and driving innovation. All of those companies are very innovative but together, leveraging everyone’s capabilities we are really seeing some extraordinary innovation. “But most importantly it’s all around our people, all of those companies had great people and when you get everyone together I really believe that the capabilities that are coming out are well above the sum of the parts.”

A commitment to culture

As the ENTV team journeyed around the Dover Fueling Solutions headquarters in Austin, Texas we witnessed the new company culture statements hanging proudly on the wall. These are not the carefully crafted words of marketing gurus but are instead formulated by the thoughts and opinions of the Wayne, Tokheim, ClearView, ProGauge, Fairbanks and OPW FMS employees from across the globe. What we very quickly learned was that these statements were not blue sky thinking, far from the realms of the realities of the factory floor but ideals embodied by each and every one of the team we encountered.

Martin Lugalu has been with the company for 10 years, starting as an operator he has worked in roles throughout the factory and eventually progressed to the role of Team Captain in the area responsible for chassis and electronic assembly. “We try to make sure that with everything we do, we put our customer first. We need to make sure we build with integrity and that the team under- stands it’s not just about coming here and getting a pay check, its about caring,” Martin explained. On our tour of the former Wayne factory we were able to see first hand what goes in to making the dispensers. Our guide, Dion Butler, Director of Operations for North America was bursting with pride as he showed us his team at work and the key ingredient to their success – communication. “There is an overall commitment to continuous improvement. There has been major investment, support and funding to make sure we are best in class, driving lean operations globally. We share best practices between each of the former companies allowing us to continue to communicate and grow as one company,” he explained.

On our factory tour we watched zone captains coming together to solve problems and share ideas. This was one cohesive team, each responsible for their specific area but always looking for ways to support each other. Their success is measured not by their individual achievements but by the positive response of their internal and external customers. In the staff break room the ‘selfie wall’ is adorned with images of the team with pumps in locations around the world, beaming with pride as a dispenser they have helped to build, delivers fuel to customers hundreds of miles away.

Invest to be the best

As well as commitments to culture and the people, Dover Fueling Solutions has also made significant investments to support the long-term development of DFS. “There has been a major investment in a Centre of Excellence in India and we’ve just opened a new engineering facility in Poland to give us a huge leverage as we prepare for the launch of EMV and also for new product launches and technologies,” explained Dion.

The facility in India was built to fulfill the company’s aspirations for the Indian marketplace and surrounding areas. Wayne and Tokheim have been leading brands in the region or some time but factors such as oil price deregulation, the withdrawal of marketing subsidies and mobile payment has left room for further growth.

The new Software Engineering facility in Krakow, Poland, which opened earlier this year is primarily focused on building software for the next generation of DFS’ fueling and convenience retail solutions. By the end of 2018 it will be home to a large team of software architects, developers, and testers. The software group will be tasked with developing innovative solutions and services to support automatic tank gauges, payment systems, remote diagnostics, cloud data services, and global wetstock management initiatives.

Both these new investments show that Dover’s intention is not to simply bring the best parts of the companies together but to continue to drive the company forward as one to meet the changing needs of the industry. “The challenges I believe our industry is facing is firstly around the changes in the regulatory environment. The environmental regulations in North America that went in to effect in October of this year are creating a lot of work for people who own and operate service stations. We’re also seeing regulation changes in Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and China. “We also have EMV which is starting in North America and has to be in place in October 2020. Our global presence and global engineering depth is going to help us help our customers meet all those regulatory challenges.”

Click here to watch the first-part of ENTV’s three part series on Dover Fueling Solutions.