There are three major fuel retailing companies in the Sultanate of Oman, Shell, Al Maha and Oman Oil Marketing Company. We have done a great number of courses, pressure Qookers and bootQamps at the latter. From 2012 on, we have seen many inspired faces, but also gained huge insights into the specifics of the oil and gas industry.
The oil and gas industry obviously is a very turbulent industry as it is, with the dualistic pressures of short term benefits vs long-term sustainability and corresponding investments. Also in a country like Oman, there is a growing consciousness about the fact that alternative long-term goals have to be formulated, as the dependencies on this industry is over 80% looking at the Omani economy. At this moment, preparations are being made for establishing a wider tax system, VAT will be introduced, (fuel-)subsidies are reduced thus increasing prices at the pump for the Omanis by over 50% since we started coming to Oman.
Without going into some strategic considerations we like to do, in such a turbulent environment it is of vital importance that companies, fuel companies in this case refocus on their intrinsic core competencies. Are you selling fuel, or do you have a logistical network? And if you conclude the latter, what might be the opportunities for a long term vision, mission and strategy?
All of these exciting developments make us very happy to share our inspiration and experience with Al Maha Petroleum in Muscat, Oman. And after two very successful and exciting worQshops in Customer Care, called “C4: Customer Care Crash Course”, we designed a tailor made program for the fuel retail division of Al Maha.
Two of our inspirators/consultants, Hilal Al Harrasi and Arvid Hendriks consequently provided two inspiring, effective and energetic bootQamps at Al Maha Petroleum, lasting 5 days each
And as usual, we neither like nor design slide-flipping sessions, where participants make notes and ask some questions maybe. These inspiration sessions, which we call “Retail in Detail: the ultimate fuel retail bootQamp” are aimed at utilizing the experience of all of the participants.
The BootQamp is organized around the four major themes in fuel retail:
Theme 1: About customers and building relationships
Theme 2: About the market and meeting demand
Theme 3: About leading the team and making it work
Theme 4: About managing the site in safety and efficiency
Finally, we integrate a little bit of our Continuous Improvement philosophy in this bootQamp, which we will describe next.
Our main principle is that this bootQamp should not start from scratch, as participants don’t start from scratch either. They have many years of experience in some cases, so the program is designed around that experience and focuses on the future.
That is why each session is divided in a morning and afternoon session. The morning session is an interactive presentation of concepts, discussions, best practices, current events in the specific area and more. It focuses on the themes mentioned above and after the morning session, teams with participants prepare a site visit to one of the sites we selected to fit the daily theme the best.
The preparation is the composition of a mental execution plan, in order for the teams to get all of the information and ask all of the questions to customers, suppliers, site teams and site managers and publics around the site about that topic. In the first theme for example, teams prepare a customer survey to get all of the information about that customer.
Every day implies a new mental execution plan and upon returning to the bootQamp location, the teams prepare a presentation on a number of items that can generate continuous improvement within the theme of the day.
On the fifth day, teams are guided and coached into selecting the best idea of the week and producing a project plan for that idea. At the end of the 5th day, a panel of VIP’s within the organization are invited to judge the presentations and ideas and select the best team.
In the period following the bootQamps, the winning teams are coached further in establishing truly remarkable and effective, innovative ideas for implementation. In a final stand-off, they present their ideas once again and the winning team will see its idea implemented in the organization.
For Q management, the thing that is truly ultimate about this ultimate fuel retail bootQamp, is the fact that the experience and knowledge, creativity and motivation of the participants is a central fundament of the program. Furthermore, the organization shows their commitment to continuous improvement from within: its people.