Retail Network Efficiency Improvement Project
Essay Preview: Retail Network Efficiency Improvement Project
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Prepare to lead
At the 3rd year after I joined in BP group as a global management trainee, I was assigned to be project manager in BP-PetroChina, a joint venture which operates 500 retail sites in south of China. The purpose of the project is to create a site cluster solution by clustering 500 sites in different group base on their market environment, and differentiate operation tactics for different site clusters, ultimately to improve operation efficiency and maximize profit.
This project has been suspended for one year before I came onboard. After spending several day to listen feedbacks cross different departments, I figured out the main problem was that some department managers from PetroChina resisted this project because they were not comfortable to face potential big change of the current operation system. Although these managers also agree to improve operation efficiency, they prefer to cluster the sites just base on their experience and operation convenience, rather than on data analysis which proposed by last project manager.
Should I compromise to the managers because they are more familiar to the company, or conduct the project base on the data analysis which are more logical but unpopular? This decision become the very challenging one in the joint venture business environment.
Decision making process
I start to get support from critical stakeholders before making final decision. Adam Liu, operation manager of BP-PetroChina, faced persistent pressure about the low margin because of only one standard operation tactic to the whole 500-site network. By leveraging previous data analysis work, my team work out specific projection about the revenue growth and cost reduction by differentiating the site operation. After intensive meeting, I bring Adam Liu on the same boat with me by aligning his performance contract to the project outcome.
On the other hand, I try to reduce the complexity of the project to ease reservations. Through new data analysis work and feedbacks from frontline site manager, my team limited the number of site clusters to 5, creating a balance between differentiating site operation and minimize the impact to the current operation system and workflow of the supportive departments. Additionally, I promise to provide training and transfer two of my teammates to the IT department and Marketing department to assist the implementation. Finally, David He, the marketing manager, and Yao Jing Li, the IT manager both agree to support this project.
Base on the support from the stakeholders, I make the decision to push forward the project base on logical data analysis and leverage the valuable experience offered by those managers at the same time.