Northern California Is Starting Point & Learning Laboratory for ampm's New Offer
LA PALMA, Calif. — BP's West Coast retail brand ampm recently completed a project to change over its register systems and add pay at the pump to its fuel dispensers. Now, the focus is on its new in-store offer, which the brand began rolling out in northern California.
Known as "Project Mojo," the initiative consists of a new coffee program, a new fresh food program, and a "really dynamic graphics package," according to Northern California Regional Sales Manager Brandi Gaston.
While it could have been daunting to have the new in-store offer roll out first in her territory, Gaston said ampm has been piloting Project Mojo in Northern California for more than a year, so she knew what was coming.
"There are a lot of learnings every day. The project management piece is pretty complex, but we have a great team of people working together," she told Convenience Store News. "Yes, it can be nerve-racking. There are a lot of days where you are putting out fires or dealing with different parts of the project that need immediate attention, but everybody is in this together. One of the things we talk about at BP is being one team; that's really important to us — being collaborative."
A majority franchise operation, the ampm network currently spans five western states: Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Gaston oversees 270-plus ampm sites and has 13 direct reports.
Leadership skills, being a believer in the brand, and understanding the competitive nature of the industry are key attributes for her role, she explained, as is developing strong relationships. Being able to go with the flow helps, too.
"When a franchisee is having a crisis, for them it's the biggest thing in the world. You have to stay calm and help them work through it," she said.
At the end of the day, Gaston finds working with people — her team and the franchisees — to be the greatest reward. "Our FBCs [franchise business consultants] have a fantastic job working the day-to-day challenges with our franchisees. ... I have great relationships with them and I know most of them really well," she said.
Working with her team to be the best they can be, in turn, helps the franchisees be their best, Gaston added.
"In addition to delivering successful results, the biggest challenge is managing time and making sure every project, every person, has what they need to get the job done," she said.
Look in the November 2017 issue of Convenience Store News for more on ampm and Project Mojo.