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Systemic Improvements by Retail SBU

Automation has been successfully established as one of the major key reforms in Retail business of HPCL. Retail SBU is the first amongst oil marketing companies in India to launch the new age fuel stations under the brand e-fuel station .As on today, all HPCL retail outlets are automated taking total automated outlets to 16614. All these retail outlets are connected to Central Head Office server of HPCL from where outlet activities are monitored. All outlet transactions are being captured locally and then transferred to the server. Following systemic improvements incorporated in the automation system towards ensuring transparency in all the business transactions at our retail outlets:

  • Auto price update is implemented at our retail outlet and thereby ensures that products are sold at correct prices to customers.
  • Mandatory interlocks are enabled towards ensuring Good Fuel Promise to the customers and for enhancing Safety Standards at Retail outlets. These interlocks such as Testing/Decantation/Tank High water/ Tank Low product/Preset vs Actual ensure stoppage of sales in the event of any intended attempt to surpass them.
  • Integrated payment solution with automation ensures that what is filled is billed to the customer

Enrolment of customers in Drive Track Plus Fleet card program which was a physical form process since inception. The process involved many places of manual intervention at several levels. Manual process may lead to capturing wrong customer data and so on.

In Jan 2021, first time in industry, we have introduced an online digital platform for customer enrolment thru a RBE Mobile Application. The online enrolment process resulted in to a transparent fast and accurate enrolment of fleet customers in to Drive Track Plus program. The mobile app is integrated to fetch real time data for customer validation, vehicle validation and capturing digital authentication using OTP. We have started the process with PAN Validation of the customer, which ensures correct name and PAN number combination. Vehicle number validation with Vahan database helps us in getting correct vehicle type and correct fuel type which is first in industry to be deployed for a fleet card program. The application form is submitted after authentication by customers thru one time password (OTP) sent to the registered mobile number, which is captured by the system. The entire process has helped customer enrollment into Drive Track Plus program, in a free, fair and transparent manner with full visibility to all stake holders and with minimum manual intervention.

Forecourt Retailing was always seen as a business model where fueling and billing are separate activities. Since fueling and billing are two separate processes, there is always a doubt in customer’s mind about the accurate fueling or over charging. The doubts are expressed by customer by way of complaints. We have streamlined our systems to provide accurate filling by way of Retail automation, however the missing link between fueling and billing is something which we need to bridge. HPCL introduced Integrated Payment Solution (IPS) with the idea of “what is filled is billed”. The IPS POS at the forecourt fetches the fueling transaction from automation and payment, billing is completed on the IPS POS, thereby avoiding any manual intervention. The IPS solution is again first in industry to provide a unique solution combining Retail Automation and Payment Systems to provide a seamless fueling experience.

It is said prevention is better than cure and in payment system there has to be orange flags and red flags added to avoid any possible misuse of by FSMs, dealers or any stake holder. A new innovative Audit tool is introduced for Drive Track Plus and HP Pay which monitors the transactions. The audit tool compares the pre-set flags and provides alert to marketing officers initially. The new audit system has proved helpful in monitoring possible misuse and created a discipline amongst the dealers for recording transactions on real time basis. If the dealership crosses the red flag, all the terminals get hot-listed and no further transactions can be done at the retail outlet. Immediately system provides alert to marketing officer and till concerned Marketing Officer checks genuineness of the transactions no further Drive Track Plus or HP Pay transactions are allowed. The entire process is designed to make use of online digital data sources as dip stick and complete the audit. The new Online Audit Tool has given a useful digital tool to provide alerts and avert possible financials loss for dealer or HPCL.