The changing nomenclature in the oil and gas industry becomes more baffling when applied on its retail sector as it changes over time and usage of terminology differs in certain regions. For instance, the very words ‘items’ and ‘equipment that are observed to be used interchangeably especially in the gasoline service station language. However, in my observation and opinion, ‘items’ are generally used as a checklist in the business lingo to see if the gasoline service station is completely stocked with the right operating items. Further, ‘Equipment’ is used in the maintenance and repair lingo as a checklist if these are functioning well as expected in the gasoline service station.
What is a forecourt? The forecourt is the fuel location thus, the main service area of the service station. It is where the fuel pumps, underground tanks and the roofing canopy of the service station are located. In decades old gasoline stations, a sales office is built under the canopy thus, offering other sales such as lubricants and greases, fast moving groceries and the cashiering are located. Basically, a modern service station should have the forecourt area, convenience store, lubricating and washing services area and other ancillary areas such as for the Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Air and Water check station and lighted parking areas. Bigger service stations will have a building for rent housing other co-locators like fast food restaurants, barber shops and salons, and ice cream parlors.
Basically, the forecourt should have operating items such as fire extinguishers, fuel dispensers, forecourt safety signs, water containers, water dispensers, trash bins, squeegees and squeegee holders, lubricants and greases merchandising racks, air hose(s) and dipstick(s). Normally, the Dealer, his/her Station Managers and the company’s Area Manager has and should perform a checklist audit to ensure all of these operating items identified are present and in good working order.
The Site Audit
The Site Audit or the External Site Audit specifically is the checklist used as form of audit- due diligence on record. This is done monthly, weekly and even daily to ensure safety and compliance with an/all customer and regulatory expectations. To its extremity, failure to comply and pass the External Facilities Audit is subject to review the Dealership Agreement, if the agreement is for renewal or for termination!
Forecourt Operating Items Requirements
Essentially, the External Site Audit will be eyeing the availability of each operating item, their functionality and cleanliness:
- Fire Extinguishers
- There must be one fire extinguisher per pump island.
- Contents should be dry powder or chemical and can be used to extinguish Type A, B & C fires.
- It should be checked on a regular basis to prevent caking of its contents.
- Fuel Dispensers
- Ensure that all fuel dispensers are well maintained and are in good working condition with no damage. This inculdes the ff. parts:
- Nozzle Holder
- Displays (Transaction total, Liter wheel, Price per liter)
- Approved PTT product stickers
- Fuel dispensers should be clean and should have no signs of excessively damaged or peeling signage
- There should be no obvious dirt, dust or oil.
- Forecourt Safety Sign
- Approved PTT safety signs must be present on each dispensing pump.
- Safety reminder include:
- No smoking
- Turn off engine
- Turn off cellphone
- Safety sign should be readable and clean at all times.
- Water Containers
- There must be one approved PTT water container per pump island.
- Water container should be clean.
- Exterior of water container should have no traces of dirt, dust, stains, oil or damage.
- Water bins should contain clean and clear water.
- Contents should should be at least half full at all times.
- Water Dispenser
- There must be one approved PTT water dispenser per water container.
- Water dispensers should be clean
- It should have no traces of dirt, dust, stains, oil or damage.
- Trash Bins
- There must be one approved PTT trash bin per pump island.
- Trash bins should be clean.
- Exterior should have no obvious sign of dirt, dust, stains, spills or damage.
- Contents should be maintained less than half full.
- There should be no foul odor eminating.
- Squeegee Holder / Trash Bin
- There must be one approved PTT Squeegee holder/trash bin per pump island.
- Squeegee holder/trash bin should be clean.
- Exterior should have no signs of dirt, dust, stains, oil or damage.
- Contents of squeegee holders should contain clean soapy water.
- Water should be changed at least once a day.
- Contents of the trash bin should be maintained less than half full.
- There should be no foul odor eminating.
- There must be one squeegee per pump island.
- Squeegee must be well maintained and in good working condition.
- Squeegee should have an intact sponge with netting on one end and a straight rubber blade on the other.
- Avoid accumulation of oil and grease on the sponge and blade by cleaning the squeegee regularly.
- Lube Merchandising Rack
- There must be one lube merchandising rack present on the forecourt area.
- The display rack should be clean and free of dust and oil spills (shelves and products)
- Product labels should be fronting the customers at all times.
- Products on the shelves should be clearly seen and there should be no obstructions to the customers sight.
- Air Hose
- There must be one air compressor in the station.
- It should be well maintained and in good working condition.
- It should be free of obvious dirt or dust and handles should have no grime or grease.
- There must be at least one dipstick in the station.
- The dipstick must be in good shape and should not be tampered.
- It must have the proper protection (made of brass) at the base.
- The graduation should start from ZERO and the markings should be easy to read.
As a prelude to the checklist, here is a snap shot itemizing the forecourt operating items in the External Site Audit. Enjoy until next topic.