Meet the Kalibrate team: Tom Hatton, Head of Product Management for Kalibrate Pricing
At Kalibrate, we believe our success is driven as much by our people as our technology. So, as part of our meet the team series, we’re showcasing some of the talent and expertise within the Kalibrate family. This installment features Tom Hatton, Head of Product Management for Kalibrate’s fuel pricing platform.
What’s your role at Kalibrate?
I’m Head of Product Management for Kalibrate’s fuel pricing platform — Kalibrate Pricing.
My job is to ensure that Kalibrate Pricing meets our clients’ needs — both today, and in the future. This involves strategically driving the development and launch of new features, as well as on-going improvements to the existing product. I need to be the glue that brings together many functions within Kalibrate to ensure that the software’s delivery and client utilization are as optimal as possible.
What does a typical day look like?
Each morning, I meet with the pricing product team to ensure we all understand the current actions for the product and are aligned with our priorities, workloads, and expectations. This helps me confirm my tasks for the first half of the day and I typically find that I spend most of my mornings reviewing requirements and translating them into documents for our delivery teams to work with. I’m Kalibrate’s first Head of Product Management to have actually used the platform as a customer in my previous role as Pricing Manager at Certas Energy — so it’s great to have the opportunity to leverage my real-world experience to improve the software.
I’m based in Ireland and work closely with customers and colleagues in North America, so my afternoons are often reserved for meetings. These can be customer-facing calls discussing the delivery of product functionality to their organization, for example, our data APIs. I also speak regularly with colleagues to inform internal teams about the direction we’re steering the product.
When I get a spare moment, I read a lot of internal documents to keep myself up-to-date with the details of our customers and our services. This can include feedback from our Net Promotor Score (NPS) surveys, as it’s important to consider how this customer feedback can be weaved into product improvement. I also take time to read the latest industry news to keep abreast of market trends and assess how this could affect the future development of our platform.
What do you love about your role?
It’s really rewarding to have the opportunity to build on my past industry experience. I’ve also really enjoyed learning about other fuel pricing operational environments different from that which I experienced personally.
I love collaborative working and my role puts me in the middle of several Kalibrate teams — including product development, client services, and operations. In this type of environment, to be efficient and effective, high quality communication with colleagues is essential for success.
Why did you choose to join Kalibrate?
Before I joined the company in November 2020, I was a Kalibrate Pricing customer for five years and was always impressed by the people. I worked closely with Kalibrate and they often felt like an extension of our pricing team. I was also impressed by the functionality of the platform. At the time, we managed over 1000 stations using a small team of six, so Kalibrate’s pricing automation was fundamental to manage the estate’s pricing activity.
Further back in my career, before I was Head of Fuel Pricing and a Pricing Manager, I was mostly focused on the provision of software and services to support organizations going through significant change.
Joining Kalibrate as Head of Product Management has given me the opportunity to bring together multiple aspects of my expertise — both my background in IT and my fuel pricing experience. This gives me a particularly customer-centric view of Kalibrate’s fuel pricing platform which makes me want to push for what’s best for our clients, not just what’s easy for us to achieve. Just as I was, I want Kalibrate’s current and future clients to be empowered to do more.
What do you think are the greatest challenges for fuel pricing teams in 2021 and beyond?
In 2019, I spoke at Kalibrate’s user conference in San Diego about the high degrees of automation that my pricing team had achieved as a Kalibrate customer.
There were many factors that we had to have in place to be able to do this: strong technical integration, error handling — but most importantly — a direct link between our fuel pricing strategy and the deployment of pricing rules within Kalibrate.
The intense focus on ensuring automated decision-making empowers pricing analysts to spend time reviewing performance data, which in turn can inform changes to the pricing strategy.
When the world is disrupted through a significant event like the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be all too easy to allow decision making to become manual which ultimately causes a disconnect with the strategy and prevents analysts from spending time adding value.
Instead of manual price intervention, consider addressing anomalies using manual strategy intervention. Strategy parameter management through a fuel pricing platform like Kalibrate Pricing supports a manual approach while ensuring alignment with your objectives.
Where do you see fuel pricing heading?
Fuel pricing practices are varied the world over and there are so many markets at different stages of maturity that there’s no single direction for all.
In many countries, deregulation continues to be a theme, but in other regions such as the UK, North America, Germany, the Nordics, and India, the consumer appetite for EV has recently passed the tipping point. Kalibrate is in a leading position to provide insights that will support investment decisions regarding EV infrastructure and the pricing methodologies that will follow.
Download Kalibrate’s free report “The Electric Opportunity — Mapping the habits, preferences, and needs of electric vehicle drivers” to get a head start on planning your EV strategy.
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