GreatGas is a national oil company based in Ireland that operates 70 sites nationwide. The business wanted to establish Ireland’s first unmanned network of sites and selected Tokheim as its partner to help develop the concept. Tokheim looked after the project management, assistance with legislative paperwork, right through to the installation and maintenance of all the equipment. Paul Farren, Tokheim Ireland, General Manager said, “We were in consultation with the banks, credit card companies and the legislator to help provide a viable unmanned solution. Working closely with our customer, GreatGas, we developed a solution that is not only profitable but one that is safe and secure for the public.”
The first unmanned service station opened at GreatGas’s, Airport Road Service Station in Dublin. One of the key factors was the change in law regarding the dispensing of petroleum on an unmanned site in late 2010. Tokheim consulted with the local government for more than two years prior to this to help bring about a change in the legislation. GreatGas then liaised with the local Dublin Fire Officer who approved it as the first site in Ireland to sell petrol and diesel fuel unmanned.
Ray O’Sullivan, Managing Director of GreatGas, explained, “We’re of course delighted to be the first to launch this concept in Ireland. Our philosophy is quite clear – reduced fuelling times, overheads and fuel prices resulting in more happy customers. Safety and security is paramount on the site; we have 24 hour monitoring via CCTV and a security firm, as well as the latest environmental management systems on site. People cannot drive off without paying for the fuel as payment is first authorised by the bank on their debit or credit card.”
Tokheim provides a complete solution to the station from assistance with legislative paperwork, right through to the installation and servicing of all the equipment. On the GreatGas sites, Tokheim has supplied its Quantium dispensers with integrated payment terminals. Tokheim installed Quantium dispensers fitted with Crypto VGA DIT’s on the fully unmanned sites. All operations are managed via the Fuel Homebase solution that connects to dispensers, gauges, pole-signs, and OPT’s. Credit, debit and fuel card transactions are authorised via OASE. Security on the unmanned network is controlled via Tokheim EYE and a control room allows for release of the pump for unleaded transactions (a unique legislative requirement for the Irish market).
GreatGas aims to roll out this model across the country in the coming year. The new model not only allows motorists to fuel quicker without having to pay at the shop but it also has the added benefit of reduced overheads for GreatGas who then pass this on to their customers. In addition, an unmanned site like the one at Dublin Airport is open 24/7 365 days a year which is very convenient for early/late flights to and from airport as well as for those customers filling up before returning their rental cars. Another unforeseen benefit for parents is that they can keep an eye on their children at all times and don’t have the hassle of having to take them out of the car just to pay for fuel.
So what about stations who are making all their money from their shop, why should they care about unmanned? Farren says, “they shouldn’t care about unmanned, but they should consider pay@pump. For motorists, a very busy site with a successful shop can have forecourt congestion which reduces the opportunity to sell fuel because people are parking at the pump and going into the shop. By using outdoor payment technology to complement their business, retailers can reduce congestion to give those customers in a hurry a convenient option. Fast lanes dedicated to pay@pump is also a simple but effective way for busy sites not to have customers driving away because their forecourt is jammed.”
GreatGas was awarded ‘Best Oil Company Initiative’, at Ireland’s Forecourt and Convenience Retailer (IFCR) Awards, for its fully unmanned concept. The IFCR Award recognised GreatGas’s “professionalism and entrepreneurial spirit in retailing, innovation and commitment while, at the same time, helping to raise industry standards.”
Our philosophy is quite clear – reduced fuelling times, reduced overheads, reduced fuel prices and more happy customers. Safety and security is paramount at all times on the site with 24 hour monitoring via CCTV and environmental solutions.