Meet the team Arlen Armenta — Customer Success Consultant
At Kalibrate, we believe our success is driven as much by our people as our technology.
Our meet the team series showcases some of the talent and expertise within the Kalibrate family and this instalment features Arlen Armenta, Customer Success Consultant based in Mexico.
What’s your role at Kalibrate?
I look after Kalibrate Pricing clients in Latin America, as well as some in the US and Canada. As Customer Success Consultant, my job is more than just teaching people to use the features of Kalibrate Pricing, I’m here to help them really put the tool to use and get the maximum benefit from it.
Working across both LATAM and North America is really interesting. I find that clients in different parts of the world have different objectives, depending on the sort of markets they operate in. Up in Canada, they are well established and are fighting to increase margins by just a few cents, whereas in Mexico they’re still evolving and are more focused on competing for volume and increasing market share. Despite the different external focuses, I often find they have the same internal challenges, and that’s something I’m there to help with.
Everyone is short of time, and getting different team members to buy into new tools and invest the time needed to set them up can be tough. I’m there to assist our clients with implementing the pricing system and getting their strategies set up properly. I’ll speak to their team members to discuss and demonstrate how to get the most benefit from Kalibrate Pricing. Used properly, it can save pricing teams a huge amount of time. It doesn’t completely take away the need for decision making — but allows them to focus their valuable time on the things that really need their expertise.
What does a typical day look like?
I regularly review where our clients are up to with our support teams, create and update statements of work for new projects, and work closely with Kalibrate’s sales representatives. But my main focus is supporting our clients, providing that expertise and knowledge that they can tap in to whenever they need an extra pair of eyes or a sounding board for an idea.
I’m always on hand to help. I have monthly or two-monthly scheduled calls with each of my clients — usually with the Pricing Manager — to catch up, discuss their needs, and make sure everything is on track for their teams. They also know they can contact me whenever they need advice or have encountered an issue, and together we’ll find a solution.
What do you love about your role?
I love the team at Kalibrate. It makes me feel so comfortable being surrounded by people who are outstanding in their fields. I believe that learning never ends and there’s always something new to learn about at Kalibrate. The team is always happy to answer questions and share their knowledge.
The leadership at Kalibrate is fantastic. The approach is supportive and there is real encouragement to grow professionally. There’s a fantastic culture here and it makes it a wonderful place to work.
And I love to travel ― going out to meet my clients is the best part of my job.
Why did you choose to join Kalibrate?
I began my career in the fuel retail industry as a Coordinator for Corporate Sales at a chain of fuel stations in Mexico. Over the years my work evolved, and I took on more of a Business Analyst role, where I was responsible for collecting and analyzing data for different arms of the business. In the nine years I spent with that company, we grew from less than 30 sites to over 120 sites. So, I’ve seen first-hand how using data to inform decision making can drive growth.
After nine years, I needed a change, and Kalibrate seemed like the perfect fit. I could take my industry knowledge and my love for data analysis and use it to help other fuel retailers. It was scary at first, leaving a role I had had for so long and working for a global business when English is not my first language. But I swapped my fear for enthusiasm and have never looked back on that decision.
What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities in the fuel retail sector?
Globally the fuel industry is adapting and exploring ways to deal with their environmental responsibilities and climate impact. In many countries, EV adoption is rising and fuel retailers will need to build strategies that align with this. There are other countries, where the population have lower incomes, that won’t make the shift to EV so quickly — but environmental responsibility is still a factor. For retailers in locations like these they will need to look for other ways to improve their carbon footprint to attract more environmentally conscious consumers.
In Mexico, political flux has caused uncertainty and retailers are unsure about the future of fuel reforms. It’s a difficult time for fuel retailers here. The reform presented a great opportunity where retailers really got to “level up”. They had to learn quickly about how to influence customer decision making, how price sensitive their customers were, and how to set successful pricing strategies. Those that learned the fastest have really prospered.
Right now, the threat of increased regulation is a huge challenge for fuel retailers in Mexico. Growth in new sites may not be possible, but retailers can optimize their existing sites to improve their performance and make the most of their existing network. Kalibrate’s 7 Elements for Fuel and Convenience Retail Success can be put to use to drive effective strategies in volatile times like these.
Where do you see the fuel markets heading?
I personally think the market in Mexico will be fully deregulated in the future — although how far off that is remains to be seen.
A deregulated market allows retailers to properly differentiate their offerings. As deregulation evolves, margins will drop, but retailers will adapt and become more creative. We’ll see them introducing complimentary offerings, like convenience stores, and other services, to better serve their consumers, and increase their profitability.
I believe that data is the key to success — both today and in the future — with scientific tools to interpret that data properly and efficiently. It’s the only way to make decisions, particularly in volatile times.
A good understanding of your offering, your consumers, and the market around you will lead you to make great decisions for your future. And a transparent pricing strategy based on robust data will allow you to quickly and confidently adapt if regulation decreases.
Putting the right data at the heart of decision making will secure a prosperous future for fuel retailers, not just in Mexico, but globally.
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