Interview with Jesus Rodriguez: Unattended service stations: Are they the future?

February 20, 2013 1 Comment »


Jesús Rodriguez

Jesús Rodriguez

Who is?: Jesus Rodriguez Angelina.

Hobbies: Responsable de Ingeniería en la petrolera Saras Energy.

Experience: With extensive experience in the oil sector: Galp Energia: Development, Engineer and Technical Department Manager; Eni (Agip): Engineer and Technical Department Manager Commercial Retail Chief

Today we talk about the sector and the growing trend to create unattended stations:

Después de los años en diferentes puestos en Petroleras, ¿cómo ve la situación actual en el sector petrolero?

We are going through a period of profound change in the sector, especially note that the level of Downstream (Refining, sales and distribution), due to the proximity to the end customer who is suffering
rigorously the current situation economic crisis. Operations Upstream (Exploration and production), also being affected by the logic production chain - demand.

Low cost service stations

Low cost service stations


A few years experimenting with low-grade deposits due to high demand, today, the market returns to more traditional resources, enhances the gas natural, establishing global agreements to exchange crude masses looking for synergies between companies, yesteryear, antagonistic. The investments are intended more, focus solely on profitability patterns leaving aside criteria as image, the presence nationally, say that it is a more practical field, more pragmatic.

What about the future?

Future service stations

Future in the oil sector

The future is changing, as we have learned in recent 5 years old, in the field Service Stations, particularly, guess the next decade of optimization, facilities that will be able to adapt to an excellent balance between cost and income, eliminating the superfluous and concentrating its efforts on price and customer proximity. From my point of view there are two categories of stations, those low cost will play a price and traditional, with equipment more suited to the reality of the client and of course with an offer adapted to the new economic reality.

Do you think that in the world of the stations have to innovate?

The world of the Stations is no stranger to innovation, particularly from the industrial point of view as well as environmental protection; not so much in the field of marketing and advertising, where it seems traditional and customary use channels (tv, direct, written media) the detriment of the new communication technologies.

Where do you change? ¿Las petroleras innovan o cree que les cuesta salir de los estándares?

Oil companies are now more agile, small operators that do address new market initiatives, without naming, and are better able to read the very rapid changes of context; its great advantage: that, course, have more agility of movement that a large retailer.

With the special moments we are living, I mean the crisis, are growing stations in hypermarkets. Why the future is oil service stations unattended?

It is a part of the future, not the universal solution, but it is true that stations help keep operating unattended (and positive profitability levels) some stations for its location, equipment or competence level, were strongly touched by drastic reductions volume.

¿Qué inversión es necesaria para cambiar una estación de servicio tradicional a no atendida?

The average investment in unmet service station puede variar entre los 30 and 60 thousand euros, depending on the number of suppliers, the equipment already in the station, etc. Keep in mind that each team station service must be able to be controlled remotely, therefore such equipment must be adapted to bidirectional communication protocols, IP o similar que permitan interactuar con ellos. The payback can be in two or three years, obviously depending on the particular case.

What technical development needed?

The unattended stations come progressively implanted in Spain for a few 10 years old (Europe, for well over) My first experience in this regard occurred in 2005, and it is certain that the information technologies and, above all, the explosion of telecommunications (Carts IP, Internet Móvil, Smartphones, VPNs easier to handle .. etc) Fixed problem that just 10 years were real headaches for the implementation of a unattended station.

How do? What is the management, operation and internal management training?

Management depends on how you orient the project, it is best to tackle a project of integration and management of the station, being able to exploit the maximum capabilities of each technology equipment installed at the station. However, minimal manual intervention is required (maintenance, Fuel discharges, etc. ..)

What about maintenance and security to no change to their traditional?

Each element installed is able to make a diagnosis of your situation, reporting to the control unit or units (remote operators) messages that indicate the need for intervention. A level of security these stations be equipped, inter alia, with automatic fire and the best available technology for CCTV. In the projects I have recently been able to develop the integration of all systems has been total, you can control an entire season with a Smartphone or Tablet.

Are simple for customers? What are the forms of payment?

The payment standard is the credit card, these stations as the case may admit cash or Loyalty cards, is somewhat configurable depending on customer requirements, operator or manager station.

What is the impact on the price of fuel for the end if we talk about unmet stations?

Saving personnel cost not the only, in stations where only credit cards are accepted, for example, also saves costs and CIT, or even lighting costs down building or HVAC; All these costs can be derived to Price monolith, so the price for the customer end is usually quite attractive.

What advice can you give entrepreneurs of service stations from their experience?

Innovation, perseverance and above all, listening to the customer, are the best advice in this sector, and either, you can give a business to thrive.

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