BP Retail expects to save up to £600m over the next few years by standardising business processes and IT systems at all of its petrol stations around the world.
The retail division of the petrol giant has earmarked £280m to spend on the systems overhaul over three years, during which time it will transform the systems used on forecourts in the UK, US, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Australia.
The company has already started the ambitious programme in the UK.
Janelle Hill, vice-president of research at analyst firm Gartner, said, “There are lots of reasons for doing this programme, but the main one is reducing the ongoing cost of maintaining multiple environments.
“This is probably very similar to Tesco’s business process standardisation programme across 14 countries and 3,000 stores.”
BP Retail has called the global business process standardisation programme Delivering Advanced Retailing Technologies (Dart).
Buyers will use SAP Merchandise Management software for ordering goods, and SAP Assortment Management will enable each store’s product range to be tailored for the local market.
JDA Floor Planning and JDA Space Planning systems will be introduced to improve the display of goods in BP stores.
Because most of its forecourts have legacy till systems that could not handle the functionality of the new applications, BP Retail is rolling out a point of sale system from Retailix across its outlets.
Ed Alford, chief information manager for convenience and retail at BP Retail, said, “Under the programme, when a country goes live, it will be a big-bang switchover.
“In the UK, we are already getting reduced out-of-stocks and better availability through our food service.”
The retailer expects to save £60m by centralising its IT function globally. It has established support centres in India and Bratislava in Slovakia, and national IT operations will be phased out one by one.
Plan to roll out Simply Food to BP petrol stations
Marks & Spencer interfaces to boost collaboration
BP Retail’s standardisation programme in the UK, which is expected to cost £13m, will include new systems interfaces with Marks & Spencer.
Last November, Marks & Spencer announced that it would be establishing its Simply Food stores in up to 200 of BP Retail’s 285 UK forecourts following a successful trial.
Ed Alford, chief information manager for convenience and retail at BP Retail, said, “We are talking to Marks & Spencer about how we can collaborate better on the in-store display of goods. At the moment, I send them a feed from my store systems, but integrating the systems is a really exciting opportunity.”
Gartner vice-president of research Janelle Hill said, “Integration would give them a more effective process and better end-to-end visibility.”
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This was first published in May 2007