Business Opportunity: Eni expands its franchise network to better advise professionals
New business opportunities are emerging with the Eni franchise network. A supplier of gas and electricity in more than 66 countries, Eni has been present in France since 2003. 15 years later, the company supplies energy to more than 1,000,000 individual customers and more than 73,000 business sites. With nearly 32,000 employees and some 70 billion euros in sales in 2019, Eni is now looking to strengthen its national presence (2). To do this, the company is launching a campaign to find new franchisees in order to further mesh the French territory. In addition to marketing energy offerings, Eni Energies Services Pro distributors also have the official mission of finding the most suitable formulas for each customer and providing their expertise to improve their energy performance.
Valuing service offerings, the stated goal of the Eni franchise network
Known in particular for its blocked-price energy offerings, which can only be revised downwards, Eni is now seeking to make itself known and recognized for its complementary services offerings. Which are aimed primarily at professionals.
Thus, the company offers an all-inclusive Assistance Pro Pack, including energy, assistance and troubleshooting. In case of problems, the procedure takes place within a few hours and is taken care of to avoid unpleasant surprises.
In addition to this classic assistance, Eni seeks to stand out through an energy efficiency assessment. By carrying out an audit of the building, equipment and consumption, he draws up a map of energy consumption and makes recommendations for achieving sustainable savings.
In the same vein, its Flash Energy Diagnosis also seeks to enable customers to better control their bills. As well as following a plan to improve energy efficiency.
It’s not enough to forget the company’s rickety reputation over the past few years. For good reason, 2019 and 2020 again saw a record increase in reports of disgruntled customers and stories of commercial behaviour that were unseemly to say the least.
By developing its network of local franchises and multiplying its actions in favour of green energy,Eni is therefore seeking to restore its image in a highly competitive sector. It remains to be seen whether these announcements are really a desire for ethical change or more a desire for better economic results than those of 2019, well below forecasts (2).
Franchise Eni, the advantages to seduce distributors
In any case, buoyed by the strength of a more than half-century-old energy leader, the Eni Energies Services Pro franchise network is expanding in France. It currently has 26 franchised agencies across the country. However, large areas and many departments do not yet have their local agency. This is evidenced by the map of the franchise network. Eni therefore sets itself the goal of opening more than a dozen new agencies, as close as possible to professionals.
By committing itself to the long term and guaranteeing a substantial support, the company develops a franchise offer that is reassuring and secure. Combined with a profitable, unavoidable market, it offers solutions for the success of franchisees. Thus, Eni commits for a minimum of 7 years. In addition, it guarantees exclusivity over an entire settlement area in order to avoid cannibalization. In addition, Eni sells the B to B client portfolio already under contract in the area so that the franchisee starts with cash revenue already.
In addition to these practical and financial arguments, the company is also working on renewable energy and environmental protection. Its new strategic plan also aims to “significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its portfolio”. This approach appeals to both professional and franchisee customers. For example, in 2018, research in this area has required investments of 197 million euros. Of which 74 million for decarbonization. Eni also announced that it would provide a budget of 480 million euros over 2019-2022 to continue the research and development work.
It remains to be hoped that the loss of revenue in 2019, due to lower crude oil and gas prices and geopolitical tensions, will not dampen investment (2).
The end of regulated tariffs, an opportunity to promote advice to Eni business customers
As of January 1, 2021, regulated rates no longer exist for professionals. As a result, companies, from large groups to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have had their contracts automatically reclassified as market offers. However, these offers are not necessarily the most suitable for each. (3)
For good reason, where historical suppliers were the only ones to benefit from regulated tariffs, now all energy suppliers can be competitive. Professionals can therefore freely choose their energy supplier and negotiate the terms of their contract.
However, it is still necessary to do so. In the absence of support and clear explanations of what the end of regulated tariffs entails, the reaction of small and medium-sized enterprises in particular is more to maintain the status quo. For good reason, the supply of energy is often considered too complex and companies are already trying to recover from the containment. Thus, 68% of professionals affected by the end of regulated tariffs would prefer to stay on their default subscription (4).
By developing its franchise network, Eni aims to reach more professionals, both by guaranteeing them a local service, and by building them a personalized energy consumption offer. This approach is all the more important for the company, as 56% of the managers of TPE – SME opt for a good value offer. On the other hand, only 24% put the price as a single criterion for decision.