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Wed 30 Dec 2009 12:25 PM

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ENOC eyes self service move in early 2010

Emirates National Oil Co says plan follows pilot project at 10 service stations last year.

Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) on Wednesday said it was looking at introducing a self-service concept across its network of service stations in Dubai and the Northern Emirates in early 2010.

ENOC said it has been evaluating customer feedback during the past year following a pilot project in August 2008, and the responses have helped the company "add customer-friendly technical and operational aspects to the new concept".

ENOC has also been looking into several ways to improve the self-service concept and make it more convenient to customers, the company said in a statement. It added that the self-service concept would provide an "option" for customers.

The company recently invested AED50 million to modernise and automate all its service stations, and enhance customer service, operational efficiency and environmental performance.

Services at the revamped stations will be managed from a remote facility, saving time and introducing new ‘interactive’ features for customers at the fuel pump. The new systems will be operational in early 2010.

The company added that "new advanced technologies...would help accommodate changing trends in the way fuel is dispensed, and provide more convenience to customers when paying for their fuel using the self-serve".

The self-service option is widely common in countries abroad, and is encouraged to bring about time and cost efficiencies, and also reduce the waiting time at the service stations.

Last year, ENOC introduced a pilot self service project at 10 service stations in the UAE.

At the time, Saeed Abdullah Khoory, group chief executive, said the project had accomplished its target of gauging customer response to self-service and helped the company to evaluate the social, technical and operational aspects of introducing this new concept.

"The pilot showed that acceptance of self-service varies according to specific customer categories. In general, the multinational and cosmopolitan UAE community understands self-service fuel retailing as it is common in many countries abroad," Khoory said in August 2008.

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Expat 10 years ago

lets talk about summer, wearing suits to get to meetings, nobody wants to get out of their cars.. so let this chill time pass by .. wait for summer.

Jeremy Clarkson 10 years ago

They should think more about letting customers pay with a CC or debit card. Also self-service jet washes for people who just want to give their car a quick once over instead of hanging around a garage for 2 hours while 20 people set about their vehicle with vacuum cleaners etc. Also what about some healthier food in the shop bit - does anyone really need to choose from 50 different types of canned nuts?

Ex-expat 10 years ago

OK Guys, Time to bite the bit and confess , ENOC are not really moving to self service because they want you to have a more personal feel of their slick operations. it is to SAVE MONEY. The amount they will probably save by getting rid of the petrol pump attendents is going to be trivial compared to their profits . One thing I have always liked and admired was the fact that you could get your car filled with petrol without having to get out of the car , it almost reminded me of a bygone age when customer service really amounted to anything. Now back to the cruel reality of making money for the sake of it , Class sometimes you have it ENOC clearly dont. K

The Pundit 10 years ago

No, not that ENOC wants to go with Self Service, something that is common in the rest of the world, but that some folks have a problem with this. My goodness, pump your own fuel and quit whining. It isn't that difficult and, if you don't want to pump it, then go into the Full Service lane and pay more gallon (if they have a full service lane, that is).

Ahmed 10 years ago

Did Enoc thought about the poor guys who work at the fuel stations? each one of them is supporting a family back home and now Enoc will remove most of the staff and create unemployment in the name of Modernisation. I am not against Modernisation but also find some new employment means for those people so that the families attached to them dont suffer. I hope that Enoc is someting about this.

sultan 10 years ago

hey people! what on earth r u thinking?! why should enoc not think about their cost savings?! i bet if enoc were to be a publicly listed company you would all hail its decision to move to self service! i do not see any reason not to move to self service, in fcat i think this is a very late decision, everyone here in the UAE is pampered so much they cannot do anything themselves anymore! wake up its 2010 already! its time we mkoved our buts and did something rather than having people do it for us! seriously this is really unbeleivable how many comments are against enoc's desicion, i just cant beleive it, if you guys are worried about these poor people then why dont you pay them some sort of pension or something! moreover, petrol in the UAE is so cheap compared to other countries, so whats wrong with enoc saving on their costs? ENOC,way to go! you are doing the exact correct thing! (by the way i do not and have never worked for enoc)

Rainigade 10 years ago

Self service petrol stations are the norm back home and have been for many many years now. But Belgium's weather is different from Dubai's. When its really cold outside, you can layer up but when its really hot and humid... ugh.. perish the thought of having to fill up on your way to work or a meeting, kitted out in a suit. Another point - in Belgium, there are payment terminals next to each pump. And yes, payment is made with your debit or credit card. Its the easiest thing in the world. You pull up at a pump, swipe your card, punch your pin and it activates the pump you're at. Fill your car and off you go. No queuing in the shop, no problems with cash and exact change, no dealing with attendants of any type. Easy peasy! But not only do we have the summer heat against us, they're choosing the complicated, slower option. Yikes! I certainly hope Emarat and EPPCO don't follow suit... coz I'll be avoiding ENOC for sure.

Raj 10 years ago

if implemented, i should go in midnight to get my car filled in. once i entered to self-service to get it done by myself, first i have to go the shop counter, stand in que, already 5 ppl there, get the token and then fill. i simply went to the next station to get it filled and paid to the filler guy, which was more easy. i dont mind self-service stations as i prefer doing my work rather than depending on others, but what is the problem if a guy accepts the payment at the bunk rather than in shop, it saves good amount of time to many.

Omar Shamma 10 years ago

Unless I am mistaken both Enoc and Emarate retail distribution chains are incurring heavy losses due to the cheap cost of petrol in the UAE. With no political will to increase petrol prices (why should Abu Dhabi the producer do so?) these distribution companies need to cust costs. Self service is a good way to go. I only hope that that this will be done properly with the customer in mind, e.g. pay at the pump by credit card or even mobile phone, rather than have to queue up at a congested cash counter. With the very varied demographic profile in Dubai you will of course have to have more than one method of payment (cash, credit card, ENOC account, mobile phone payment, etc.). There are of course other ways to tackle fuel distribution in the Emirate...e.g. open the marekt up to encourage other players to enter. In Europe competitiveness in the fuels retail market is now with those that subsidise the costs of fuel for the sake if increased revenues froim other operations. If you go to the UK the market is in the hands of the major retailers (Tesco, Sainsbury, etc.) who subsidise the costs of fuel distribution to encourage customers into their hypermarkets. ENOC and Emarate are in my opinion slow and unimaginative in looking at new business delivery models that would significnalty add value to their business. They need to reevaluate exactly what there business is and what value they deliver (can deliver) to the customer.

J Smith 10 years ago

Omar, Fuel stations stopped accepting credit cards years ago. You have cash or payment card - that's it. This is not about service improvement it is purely to stem losses due to the price of fuel (MOGAS) which is bought on the open market. When the price of oil was around $140 bbl ENOC would have been losing over AED 1m per day. They are still losing money now. The move to self service follows the (quietly made) cut of the window wiping service that the attendants used to offer. These service stations have stooped to new lows.