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Centralised operations, consistency, and flexibility key to future-proofing Petrocell operations

Petrocell is a unique business of forecourts and vehicle repair workshops, set up in 1974 by Dermot Dowling who ignited a passion for petrol retailing when he set up Petrocell Holdings. Fast forward 47 years and the Croydon based top 50 Indie company is a family affair with 10 locations across the UK, the majority located within easy access of the M25 and other sites in Devon, East Anglia, and Milton Keynes.

With a previous outdated legacy system in place, causing outages and frustrations to the business operations, Petrocell imagined a system that could offer a solution to all their multi-site requirements. As an essential business, there was a priority to quickly migrate systems to ensure they could remain open and operate to full potential.

Petrocell collaborated with CBE, from a single site trial to a 10-site agreement, to install several CBE products, EPOS, back office and specially designed forecourt solutions, to strengthen the business, improve the day to day running, manage functionality and to centralise and transform operations.

Tom Dowling, Director at Petrocell, talks about the incredible support offered by CBE, and through a collaborative approach (in a pandemic!), they seamlessly installed, trained, and supported the 10-site rollout:

“Before installing CBE, we had experienced a lot of different EPOS solutions in action and it’s our opinion that CBE is the best product on the market. The team at CBE were fantastic from the beginning.  Working with them always felt very collaborative.  I was particularly impressed with how they dealt with the pandemic, which hit halfway through our roll-out.  To ensure everyone was safe, they cut down the hardware installs to a day and carried out training remotely.  Having a dedicated engineer and project manager for installs meant you knew who you were dealing with and the communication and project management were excellent. Their flexibility and desire to get the job done was commendable.  

Introducing CBE to our forecourts has been a gamechanger for us. Centralised operations and consistency across all 10 sites make everything a lot easier to manage.  It was a big change from running sites standalone to doing so centrally from head office.  There is a lot to learn and many new processes to set up, but once you have sufficient resource to make good use of all the information that CBE puts at your disposal, the end result is worth it.

We’ve already seen our margins improve, not because we’ve started pricing more aggressively but from greater visibility; we’re now more on top of wastage, stock errors, promotions and many other things which all add up to help your bottom line. And I still think we’ve only scratched the surface of the CBE solutions and the opportunities it could bring to our business.  For example, I’m currently creating Power BI reports which will allow the managers to see what bonus they’ve earned in real time, bringing more motivation to the forecourt teams.  And we’re now receiving detailed sales data to perform meaningful analysis and range reviews, which will improve margins further.

The enormity of the change was why it was so important to have continued support from CBE.  And even now, after 6 months from the last install, we are still having fortnightly calls where they assist with further training, answer questions, offer solutions etc.  The support they have given us has been the best I’ve experienced from an IT company. “

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