My contract work with BP began quite humbly solving a communication and safety problem.
BP had recently acquired Amoco service stations and the existing BP tanker drivers were finding it difficult to manoeuvre their trucks into the perfect location at each site for approach, delivering fuel and departure. Manoeuvring a large petrol tanker on a very tight site whilst carrying extremely volatile liquid and keeping the correct distance from fill, dip and vent locations was time-consuming and possibly unsafe.
My task: to solve the problem.
After gathering all the necessary site information and the manoeuvring capabilities of each vehicle, I prepared A4 diagrams that truck drivers could quickly understand for each of the 80+ sites.
The result: faster and safer delivery of fuel.
Next task: a more complex set of problems
I was called back to prepare feasibility designs for green sites, maximising the facilities that could safely be contained on a site. This work required a mixture of problem solving, interpreting council and state regulations, understanding planning requirements, discerning visibility options, incorporating budget restrictions and actually drawing up a proposal.
The result: I was responsible for the layouts and designs for most of the major ‘highway’ sites developed between 1985 and 1989 in Queensland, Northern Territory and northern NSW. Because of my previous experience in the landscape construction field I even prepared the landscape plans for the sites.
Next task: re-imaging
In 1991 I was invited to help implement the re-imaging of BP. It was one of the most intense projects I have ever undertaken. I was fortunate to team up with a very professional construction supervisor. While I looked after design, suppliers, contracts, programming and scheduling, he managed construction, subcontractors and all site work. Updating the image of service stations included:
- building works
- adaption of European designs and cladding materials to suit local conditions (not many cyclones in Hammersmith)
The result: 300 service stations re-imaged in less than 2 years.
Capacity is a state of mind.
Diligence in the small stuff pays dividends with the big stuff.