At SAMC, we are rather passionate about the power of Blue Ocean Strategic thinking. In fact, I recently spoke to the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association on Blue Ocean Strategy, and I was reminded how the theory, methods and tools of this unique business growth approach are so timely for an industry like this. On the one hand, consumers expect vendors to provide them with the services they need when they need them, not when vendors can deliver their home fuel or when fuel trucks can re-fill gas station tanks. On the other hand, the petroleum industry has collapsed over the past decade, shrinking from 12,000 distributors to less than 4,000. Clearly, this consolidation reflects the changing nature of the fuel delivery industry.
But it also reflects the trends that are coming next. WaWa is a perfect example: a gas station with high quality food that also sells gasoline. This dual-service model has enabled WaWa to outsell 7-Eleven stores and even McDonald's. Its secret? WaWa realized that people want quality food fast, but don't necessarily need a drive-up or a place to sit down to eat. By redesigning their operations, WaWa's leadership found their Blue Ocean Strategy and out-performed the rest of the pack, which were still competing over having the best gas prices in the right locations.
What the oil and gas industry is discovering: cars are going to be electric or hybrids, now or soon