Oil Company initiative: certas energy
Certas Energy won the Oil Company Initiative award for its SuperStation competition. SuperStation was introduced in 2012 with three main objectives: reinforce the retail credentials of the then GB Oils as a relatively new supplier within the marketplace but one with ambitious plans for growth; signal to customers that the firm cared about them and their expectations; and celebrate success in a fun and friendly competition. One particular point was the fact that GB Oils staff inspected and marked sites in conjunction with dealers and their staff. SuperStation immediately got dealer approval with 85% of them entering the competition.
Keith Jewers, head of retail sales, North at Certas Energy, says: "SuperStation is a guide, a benchmark if you like, that allows the dealer and us to look at various parts of the operation and see if there is room for improvement. It can lead to discussions on sales best practice or the introduction of something new, but the end result is the same to make the business more profitable."
Ramsay MacDonald, director of retail sales at Certas, adds: "As a result of the implementation of SuperStation, site presentation and the quality of customer service, including available facilities, have risen across the entire network.
"There is also a much greater appreciation of the benefits of standards-related disciplines as part of day-to-day housekeeping and an enthusiasm for maintaining good practice at all times."
Retailer champion of the year: Brian tew & susie hawkins
Simon Smith Retail is a small, family business based in Gloucester, which runs a chain of seven modern, well-developed forecourts. The company was formed nearly 40 years ago by Brian Tew, when he left Shell. Daughter Susie joined as partner in 2004 and wasted no time in making her presence felt in the industry, winning the NACS Global Scholarship competition in the same year. Her success was swiftly followed the next year by her becoming the youngest-ever winner of the Forecourt Trader of the Year awards in 2005, at the age of 28.
The company completed a knock-down-rebuild in Daventry in 2012, featuring a 2,500sq ft Budgens store, Shell-branded forecourt and its first Subway sandwich shop.
Ensuring the customer has a positive experience on-site is at the heart of everything Brian and Susie do. For example, the design of their Daventry site is futuristic and friendly to create a bright, welcoming environment.
"Every aspect of the design has been focused on the customer, with the pumps having significant space between them to enable traffic flow at all times as well as ample parking for shop customers," explains Susie. The Budgens complements the modern and attractive feel of the forecourt and Susie says it provides a "superior one stop shop for all her customers’ requirements".
Simon Smith Retail’s Daventry site won Best Environmentally Friendly Outlet and Best Car Care and Lubricants Outlet.
Highly commended: maxol
After unveiling a new brand identity, Maxol needed a way to roll out customised point-of-sale (pos) material to all its 230 service stations in one go. Its solution was BrandKit.
This comprised 50 different consumer messages across posters, shelf-edge labels, counter displays and customer leaflets. In all, 200 individual pieces of material were produced.
Each forecourt then received a customised set of advertising and pos messages, highlighting areas that were specific to that site such as off licence, café or car wash. Each item has been printed on durable, weather-resistant material so it can be re-used.
Each site’s BrandKit is housed in a 1m tall x 50cm wide, designed to be sited in a permanent position in the back office. The kit is regularly updated throughout the year to support new promotional campaigns. Ad hoc replacement of lost material is handled via Maxol’s online shop; a handling fee is charged to encourage retailers to look after the pos.
Maxol’s chief operating officer, Brian Donaldson, says the BrandKit project has been a great success in speedily rolling out material to the entire network.
"Feedback from retailers has been very positive as the BrandKit proves to be a valuable tool for their businesses, always ensuring they have a full range of advertising and promotional material on site. It has brought efficiency and ease to the management of on-site marketing materials and has, and is expected to continue to, deliver significant cost savings to Maxol."