Coordinating Vital C-Store Technology Upgrades on a Tight Schedule

November 8, 2019

Overview

McCon’s extensive network of service contractors and key vendor partnerships allow them to coordinate, manage, and execute projects nationwide. In this case, McCon’s project management team was engaged by a global convenience store brand to take over a major system update project that was running behind schedule and in danger of missing an important deadline.

Key Competencies

  • Ability to coordinate complex operations from afar

  • End-to-end Project Management capabilities, including planning, facilitating communication between contractor teams, site inventory, logistics, equipment procurement, and installation

  • Capacity to manage a high volume of work, completing operations at ~3-5 sites per day

Problem

A leading convenience store brand had received a mandate from one of their stakeholders — a global petroleum company — to update the control systems at all of their sites with the petroleum company’s proprietary software. They were given a firm deadline by which all updates must be completed, and any stores that weren’t updated by the deadline were subject to being closed down.

In total, 92 separate locations needed to be updated, spread across 8 states: Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. As the deadline approached, the client realized they were not on track to meet their mandated deadline. At this point, they reached out to McCon, and McCon took on full project management duties less than 2 months ahead of the deadline.

One of the biggest challenges in executing the project was gathering a full list of all the relevant equipment currently in operation at each site — including forecourt controllers, the model and version of the current POS software, and the network device — without having the time to conduct site surveys. Finishing the project on time would require fully leveraging McCon’s extensive network of service technicians, along with McCon’s experience at creating, coordinating, and rapidly executing an action plan.

Solution

McCon began by compiling a list of existing on-site equipment at each location using all available sources, including vendor records, previous site survey records, and relevant environmental databases. From there, a comprehensive list of new equipment requirements for all locations was created.

Once this information was compiled, McCon rapidly created an implementation plan and installation schedule. This included:

  • Identifying the scope and details of necessary updates for each site
  • Developing a site-by-site installation schedule
  • Directing and monitoring an expedited equipment procurement process
  • Engaging and coordinating service technicians stationed throughout the region to complete the installations
  • Communicating the details, schedule, and other expectations of the installation process to store managers

Several factors made McCon uniquely suited to handle the specific challenges of this project. To begin with, McCon’s nationwide network of service contractors allows them to mobilize a crew of highly-trained technicians on short notice at locations across the U.S.

In addition, McCon’s leadership (including their project management professionals) have comprehensive knowledge of all vital aspects of the fuel retail industry. In this case, the project management team’s exhaustive understanding of fuel systems, POS systems, and network integration allowed them to develop and execute an appropriate action plan. This was done under a tight schedule in which there was little margin for error. McCon’s experience in coordinating projects across geographical distance was also a vital factor.

Outcome

The project was successfully completed on time despite the aggressive installation schedule, with 88 of the 92 locations completed by the mandated deadline. The remaining 4 locations were identified as having additional issues that required attention before updating, and were granted a waiver by the petroleum company to continue operating while those issues were being resolved.

Once the project was complete, the newly installed technology improved day-to-day operations at the updated locations and met the network standards the petroleum company required.

As a result of successfully completing the project, the contracting client was able to stay in good standing with their stakeholders (the petroleum company) and leverage the company’s global brand name in key markets. Additionally, the client received a financial incentive for completing the transition on schedule.