HELLENIC PETROLEUM is a leading energy group in Southeast Europe, with presence in 7 countries and activities spanning across the energy value chain. Its shares are listed on the Athens and London Stock Exchange.
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BUSINESS: 183 PRACTICES
The main axes - objectives of the Program EKO GUARANTEE:
The main target audience of EKO GUARANTEE program is primarily consumers of EKO fuels. The program aims to enhance the consumer awareness about the high quality products they purchase. However, based on market research conducted, it was found that among the customers whom the campaign encourages to frequently visit EKO petrol stations, 49% declare to be regular customers of a competitive brand and 67% would consider the EKO brand as a second choice. Consequently, the program EKO GUARANTEE is appealing to all fuels consumers, who become aware of the protection guaranteed by the program EKO GUARANTEE and select the EKO branded petrol stations for their supply.
The Program has been launched on November 2012 and is still in place looking to the future with an increasing number of petrol stations participating to it.
The program includes a series of checks at all stages of the fuels supply chain from the refinery to the tank of the customer’s vehicle. More specifically:
a) Multiple qualitative fuel analyzes in the refinery and the storage facilities.
b) Tank Sealing of the tank-tracks used for transportation.
c) Monitoring of the routes of the tank tracks with Global Positioning System – GPS devices.
d) Calibration of the retail stations delivering pumps and seal with safety film, conducted exclusively by certified maintenance teams appointed by EKO.
e) Availability of FREE spot test kits for in situ quality control tests performed by the customers should they wish to do so.
f) Unannounced quantitative checks of the delivering pumps performed by conventional vehicles.
g) Program of qualitative and quantitative controls by mobile labs run by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).
The program by design foresees strict criteria for a retail station to participate and an extensive training and audit program. If during an audit a diversion from the criteria is found (e.g. compromised safety seals), the station is excluded from the program. This is an innovative fuel control program of an international basis, that is already being implemented with great success by the Group's affiliate in Bulgaria winning the prize "Best Petrol Station Chain of the year 2015".
Each phase of the program is presented with video (in greek version): http://www.eko.gr/eggyhsh/
The petroleum sector represents one of the maturer and larger markets of the Greek economy. EKO, in respect of the company's policy for delivering high quality products and added value to the consumers, protecting them against phenomena of smuggling and adulteration, developed the program EKO GUARANTEE on November 2012, following the results of the annual survey "Brand Vitality Tracking - Greece".
With this program the consumers, who experience a really unsafe and unreliable environment, are reassured that they can feel confident for every liter purchased. According to a recent market research, 47% of competitive brands customers are willing to choose EKO because of the program and 57% of those for whom EKO is their second preference for refueling declare they intend to visit EKO petrol stations more often. So, the great impact of the program on the community is the confidence that the customer feels for the products purchased from EKO and the assurance of protection against adulteration and smuggling regarding the quantity and quality of fuels at all stages of the logistics chain. Consumer protection from fraud and smuggling has an additional impact for the environment because it prevents the use of inappropriate fuels (eg marine diesel). The combustion of these fuels leads to emissions of more harmful substances into the atmosphere.
The program EKO GUARANTEE is conducted across every point of the supply chain from the refinery and facilities until the final consumer tank with prominent implementation sites the petrol stations (spot test kits, delivering pump seals, checks by NTUA).
EKO, in cooperation with the Fuel Technology Laboratory of NTUA, carries out a continuous program throughout the year that comprises of quality and quantity checks at all gas stations across Greece with two mobile lab units.
As the program EKO GUARANTEE covers the entire supply chain from the refinery and storage facilities to the tank of the customer’s vehicle, the collaboration of many employees from different departments and levels of hierarchy is considered critical.
The findings of the annually conducted market research "Brand Vitality Tracking - Greece", have verified that the program EKO Guarantee:
1. Led to an increase in market share by strengthening the consumer's intention to frequently visit EKO petrol stations. This increase took place in a continuously decreasing market.
2. Created additional dynamics for market share growth as approximately one out of two consumers motivated to visit the EKO petrol stations declare to be regular customers of a competitive brand.
3. Strengthened the confidence of the consumer towards the EKO brand for providing quality, reliable and value-for-money products improving the brand credibility among consumers.
In more details:
a) Before the program EKO GUARANTEE, sales at the stations participating in the program followed the market trend. After the launch of the program, a clear improvement is displayed – slowing of sales decline initially and then showing a higher increase. As a direct result, the market share increased from 15.1% in 2012 to 16% in 2014 despite the decreasing total number of petrol stations. The stations participating in the EKO GUARANTEE Program show a clear advantage over those which do not participate and contribute significantly to the strengthening of the overall EKO retail sales.
b) Continuous quantity and quality checks of the fuel delivered, as a protection against adulteration attempts, are key criteria for the consumers to choose a brand and make the EKO brand a reliable selection as a company with high quality products.