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    Chevron Goes Extra Mile for Consistency

    The ExtraMile Stars program evaluates franchisees to help them grow their business.

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News

    SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Twelve Chevron ExtraMile franchisees hit the jackpot when they received an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. But customers of the retail chain may be the real winners.

    All 12 franchisees won the trip as a reward for scoring well, month after month, in the Chevron ExtraMile Stars program. Instituted in 2007, the program evaluates the approximately 230 Chevron ExtraMile locations on a monthly basis. The impetus behind the program was to bring consistency across the network, according to Ian Noble, retail district sales manager.

    "We want the [brand] to be seamless for the customers," he said. "We wanted tools to help our franchisees do that."

    And those tools are included in the ExtraMile Stars program, which measures the execution of programs -- like promotions and merchandising -- at the site level. The process, Noble added, looks at the whole process. "The program addresses core touch points but the overall program keeps evolving," Noble explained. "The things we look at change but the premise of the program -- to empower the franchisees to drive consistency -- hasn't changed."

    Under the program, which is a requirement for all franchisees, an external third party visits each location monthly to conduct the evaluations. Noble added each franchisee receives an evaluation form before the visit. During the visit the evaluator goes through a checklist, which takes about 40 minutes, and scores are tallied from the points the site receives. All scored are then entered into an internal Chevron ExtraMile system.

    "The idea is to have great information to review. Is there a trend month-to-month?" Noble explained. "It also gives us an opportunity to talk with the franchisees and find out what we can do to help them."

    Chevron ExtraMile also uses the same evaluation tool for its company-owned locations, which make up the remainder of its 500-site portfolio spread across Washington, Oregon and California. However, Noble added, the company uses the tool a little differently.

    While monthly evaluations may seem like a lot to some, Noble explained that enough changes month to month, like in-store promotions, that the process works well. In addition, the frequent evaluations allow the company to focus on new programs. "If we add a new coffee program we can evaluate how it is doing, if the promotions are working," he added.

    Rewards are handed out each month to locations that score high on the evaluation process and at the end of the year the 12 franchisees with the highest cumulative score receive the three-day getaway to Las Vegas. "We had an interesting situation this year because there was such high performance," Noble said. "We had so many locations that consistently scored 100s, which is phenomenal, so we had to narrow it down.

    And competition may heat up even more in the coming years. Chevron ExtraMile plans to add 100 new franchisees this year and has an eye toward 400 more over the next two years, as CSNews Online reported earlier this month.

    "Having this third-party program and really holding ourselves accountable as a system is a pretty powerful thing," Noble added.

     

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News
    • About Melissa Kress Melissa Kress joined EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner in November 2010. Her primary beats include alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Kress has been a professional journalist since 1995. A graduate of West Virginia University, she began her career in community journalism before moving to business-to-business publishing in 2000, covering commercial real estate.

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