One of the principal aspects of the ORLEN Group’s operations is a steady improvement in the quality of its products, services and customer service standards. Customers are a key stakeholder group for us, and our CSR Strategy accounts for the fact that their corporate social responsibility awareness is increasing, as are their expectations.
The ORLEN Group takes steps to monitor and analyse the impact of its operations on human health and safety in all spheres of its activity. An area of particular importance to image building and developing relations with customers and the general public is our service stations and the way they are managed. The stations’ staff confirm with their appropriate conduct and attitude in daily work that customers are the pillar of PKN ORLEN’s success. A necessary condition for achieving a steady improvement of quality standards and relations with each stakeholder group is the knowledge of where and what changes are required. Our clients’ feedback, comments and opinions as well as the results of customer satisfaction surveys are an invaluable source of information in this respect. They are complemented by reports issued after inspections and visits of public authorities, aimed at assessing the solutions we employ to ensure health protection, adequate level of security, and compliance of our business with applicable laws and regulations.
However, an element of key importance is our commitment to maintaining top quality standards. This applies to our services, goods and fuels offered at the service stations, PKN ORLEN’s refining and petrochemical products, as well as the standards of customer service at our service stations, terminals and sales offices, which we seek to continually enhance. At each level and phase of cooperation, we take care to protect customers’ health and security.
a) Service stations
An element of fundamental importance to the PKN ORLEN Group image with customers is our service stations, operating in four European markets: Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. While managing nearly 2,700 sites, we still focus on developing the Retail segment, and a modern service station network and customer-oriented approach are key to achieving this objective. In 2015, 80 service stations were upgraded to ensure they meet exacting requirements if our clients. In the four markets where we are present, 54 new sites were added, including 4 Motorway Service Areas alongside Polish highways. We continue to develop our catering services: the Stop Cafe and Stop Cafe Bistro chains were expanded in 2015 with another 187 catering outlets. Guided by the objective of meeting customers’ needs half way, we started testing a new format of convenience stores, offering a wider range of foodstuffs, and a new catering format called Stop Cafe 2.0.
For many years PKN ORLEN has supported and promoted a healthy lifestyle and various forms of active leisure. Running and cycling are increasingly popular forms of activity, with more and more people practising them each year. Mindful of the cyclists’ needs, we equipped more than 500 service stations with bike racks. Nearly 30 of our service stations were named Cyclist-Friendly Places on the Green Velo Eastern Cycle Trail, a nearly 2, 000 kilometre route crossing five provinces (the Provinces of Olsztyn, Białystok, Lublin, Rzeszów and Kielce).
Our market success is founded on customer trust and their loyalty towards our retail chain, which we seek to build by constantly enhancing the quality of service. Having employed special coaches at our service stations, who are responsible for training the employees and ensuring top quality service from all team members, and with the development of the VITAY and FLOTA loyalty schemes, we can boast a growing base of loyal customers year by year.
b) Products and services
The main components of our offer for customers are fuels, fuel products, and services.
Fuel supply and its distribution to customers are subject to detailed rules which guarantee that our fuels are of the highest quality and meet all requirements specified in the applicable standards and laws. The amount of fuel supplied to service stations and the tank level are constantly monitored. As part of our responsible care for the environment we ensure proper water and wastewater management at our service stations (involving hydrocarbon separators used to treat stormwater runoff at service stations). This limits the risk of environment and groundwater pollution to a minimum.
Service stations are not only a place where you can get your fuel. They also feature well-stocked convenience stores, whose offer is constantly adjusted to the changing expectations of customers and market trends. When supplies are taken in the expiry dates of all food and other non-fuel products are checked. We also examine the condition of packaging. This is also done on an ongoing basis at the store during resupply of products on display concurrently with checking the condition of products placed on individual shelves. We always follow the mandatory rules of separate storage and display of food products – they are stored in different rooms. Where possible, lubricants, engine fluids and other accessories and car care products are stored in separate storage units. As a result, customers are confident that they buy quality products that meet all relevant requirements.
At our service stations customers may also use various services. The key services offered include food and car wash. We do our best to prepare the snacks and hot beverages offered at our service stations using proven recipes that meet customers’ expectations concerning ingredients and nutritional value. We have several dozen own recipes for hot and cold snacks and coffee. We are working on eliminating preservatives, glutamate, phosphate, artificial colour additives and flavours.
The popularity of car washes is growing. From more than 1, 000 automatic car washes operating at retail chains owned by the ORLEN Group approximately 85% have a water recirculation system, which significantly reduces water consumption and the amount of wastewater produced.
Customers are informed of the impact on health and safety of all fuels and products offered at service stations. For fuels, lubricants, car care products and engine fluids safety data sheets are available at service stations (handed to customers at their request and held by the staff), containing a description and components of those products, information on the risk and hazards as well as procedures to follow in the case of their materialisation. Disclosure requirements concerning the threats and hazards posed by the chemicals manufactured and used by the Company are regulated under Polish and EU laws. MSDS documents are the key tool used under the REACH regulation to ensure information flow along the supply chain. Pursuant to Art. 31 of REACH, the supplier of a substance or mixture is required to deliver to the customer an MSDS document in the official language of the member state in whose territory a given substance or mixture is marketed. The provisions of the Polish Labour Code are equally important. Art. 221.2 of the code stipulates that 'Any user of hazardous substances or hazardous chemical preparations shall have an up-to-date listing of such substances and preparations, as well as relevant MSDS documents. The substances and preparations shall be handled in packagings protecting against noxious action of such substances and preparations, fires and explosions’.
c) Health and safety
A vital element in the management of the service station network is our commitment to ensuring safety of all those who visit the stations: customers, travellers, business partners and suppliers. We also aim to improve the comfort of our own personnel’s work.
The stations with LPG pumps are adapted to enable safe refuelling of gas-powered vehicles. Service station attendants are always ready to assist customers and help them refuel their cars.
The majority of our stations are equipped with monitoring systems, which significantly reduce the number of both petty and serious offences. Their primary role is that of prevention, which is very important to customers, who can feel safe and secure. Most parking spaces within PKN ORLEN stations are illuminated, to address concerns about personal safety of motorists who want to rest while travelling at night. Other safety improvement measures include additional surveillance cameras and replacement of obsolete equipment. Many stations are equipped with devices summoning security patrols in the case of danger.
The installation of security roller shutters at some stations (in Poland, Germany) has considerably enhanced the safety and comfort of our personnel. Another measure to improve staff safety was to open night-time counter wickets at more than 150 stations.
To enhance safety and facilitate traffic within service stations, their signage system has been upgraded (by placing new luminescent information and danger warning signs) for customers, suppliers and service providers.
In an effort to continually improve working conditions, a survey was carried out among service station staff in 2015, because we believe that our personnel, just like customers, deserve special treatment. The survey provided an insight into the levels of staff involvement and satisfaction, while identifying aspects of key importance in their daily work. The findings are a starting point for further improvement of working conditions, in line with what the staff themselves expect, and for preparation and implementation of action plans for individual stations, micro-markets and regions. Two more surveys are upcoming in 2016, to assess the effectiveness of corrective measures and indicate further areas for improvement.
All PKN ORLEN service stations apply the HACCP Food Safety Management Systemimplemented in 2005 based on the requirements of Codex Alimentarius. The service stations have access to the Technical Documentation of HACCP, which is available via the Station Portal. Its purpose is to guarantee that food products sold at the stations meet all the sanitary requirements, are safe, and their quality meets the relevant standards, both in the case of individually packaged products and hot meals served in the restaurants.
HACCP, standing for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, is a system used to identify health threats and the risk of their occurrence at various stages of food production and distribution. It helps control and mitigate all hazards to consumer safety and health. Basically a preventive system, HACCP aims to minimise hazards related to food sale, protecting consumers by guaranteeing safety and high quality of purchased foodstuffs. It also protects food manufacturers, who are able to prove that their products are safe if their production processes are run correctly and are properly documented. HACCP has also been implemented by PKN ORLEN at its Czech and German stations. The system is regularly audited.
The percentage of significant product and service categories for which health and safety impacts are assessed for improvement is 100% .
In 2015, there were no incidents of non-compliance with regulations and voluntary codes concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services during their life cycle, by type of outcomes .
The station personnel are instructed to strictly obey the ban on selling alcoholic beverages and tobacco products to minors. Appropriate notices are put up at every site, and awareness training is organised for staff. Another practice is to make service station personnel sign declarations in which they undertake to observe the Upbringing in Sobriety and Alcoholism Prevention Act, verify the age of potential customers and refuse a sale if they suspect it could be in breach of the Act .
Currently, work is under way to develop a Marketing Code, which will include best practice guidelines related to PKN ORLEN ‘s marketing activities.
d) Facilities for the disabled and children
As far as possible, we are determined to enable access to our locations to people with disabilities. At most service stations there is at least one dedicated and clearly marked parking space for the disabled, and most restrooms were upgraded to suit their needs. Also, the disabled can always count on the assistance and kindness of our service station personnel, if necessary.
As far as our youngest travellers are concerned, their comfort is our priority. Many service stations in Poland and in the Czech Republic offer changing tables for babies. Children’s needs are also addressed in our food service (mini menu) and store offer (toys, books and fairy tales). Many service stations (mainly located along main transit routes) have playgrounds for kids whose parents are taking a rest while travelling.
In the second half of 2015, PKN ORLEN joined the Large Family Card programme which offers discounts for purchases of goods and services as well as fast-track institutional service to families with many children. As a result, programme beneficiaries can now use a wide range of discounts when buying fuels, Stop Cafe products, or car wash services.
e) Customer service standards
2015 saw the end of a long-term ‘Mystery Shopper’ programme, under which specialist research companies evaluated our operational standards. The programme was substituted with a new modern tool relying on a continuous assessment of satisfaction levels and direct comments from service station customers. The new system was rolled out in 2015 in Poland and in the Czech Republic, and in the first half of 2016 also in Germany. Under the new formula, customers can give their feedback on the service station they have recently visited by filling in a questionnaire published on the research agency’s website, which will then be made immediately available to individual service stations and managers in charge of the retail network. Customers’ individual assessment of operational standards, image, service level, and product quality, as well as their expectations as to the Company and the service station chain are a source of much more information and guidance on the best directions of change, solutions preferred by customers, as well as their priorities. The new survey will enable us to identify customers’ needs better and will lead to further improvement of customer service levels at service stations.
PKN ORLEN monitors customer satisfaction and loyalty levels on a regular basis. Polish fuel market is rather unstable due to volatile fuel prices, development of the service stations network, and introduction of new products to our food service, fuel or store portfolio. Customers are offered a variety of promotions and attractive products, which wins over their loyalty towards the service station they use most frequently. In doing so, we must monitor their satisfaction with various aspects of service station activities. Taking a closer look at key areas of activity of a service station will allow us to specify customer’s relations with the service station and determine if the course taken by the service station has improved our image and boosted customer satisfaction levels. The research will also help determine the evolution of customer loyalty and satisfaction on a year-on-year basis, and verify which aspects of the service station’s operations have a major bearing on the quality of customer relations, pinpointing the role of image, product and service portfolio, offered prices, locations, and customer service processes. The new research will also address the question what kind of experience is most valuable, which activities should be monitored, and which elements of the customer service standard should be fine-tuned.
Customer satisfaction surveys are also conducted by ORLEN Asfalt. Their key objective is to determine customer satisfaction level and collect feedback about ORLEN Asfalt and other producers. The assessment will cover quality, customer service level, technical consultancy, product portfolio, and payment terms.
One of the elements enhancing customer relations is the Company’s approach to customers’ feedback and its reaction to their complaints. Any person may contact us over the Internet, by phone, or personally at service stations. In each case, the contact is registered in the complaints management system.
In 2015, customers at PKN ORLEN service stations completed nearly PLN 300m transactions. Over that period, around 3 000 complaints were received, and the average time for reply was five days. Main issues reported by our customers in 2015 :
|Issue||Number of complaints|
|Customer service||1 458|
|Amount of fuel||499|
|Quality of fuel||420|
|Technical condition of equipment||270|
Every customer complaint is analysed individually, in accordance with adopted procedures and in the spirit of the ‘Human2Human’ approach.
f) Care for the environment
In all markets where Company-owned service stations are located, operations of the ORLEN Group companies are subject to applicable legal regulations. Waste management is becoming more effective by the year. In 2015, all service stations in Poland were equipped with selective waste collection bins. All food waste is collected by specialist external companies.
General-access bins for containers holding engine oils and fluids can be found at every service station. Selected service stations (mainly in Germany) collect waste oil, which is handed over for disposal.
Service stations in the Czech Republic and Germany are prepared to collect returnable glass containers against a deposit fee. In Germany, the system covers all returnable packaging, including cans and PET bottles.
Nearly 2 700 service stations across four different markets consume ca. 240m KWh of electricity. As part of our optimisation and development efforts, we seek to keep energy consumption at service stations at a minimum.
Taking take of the environment, we prefer service station equipment with the highest energy category.
More than 300 service stations have obtained ‘white certificates’ which confirm the reduction of energy intensity of their facilities, resulting from compensation of passive power at those service stations.
Another ‘green’ project is implemented in partnership with Tesla. Under the project, electric car quick charge ports were installed at two German service stations in 2015. At the end of 2015, the first electric car quick charge port was installed at an ORLEN service station. 2016 will see installation of new quick charge ports in Poland and in the Czech Republic.
Another project is the photovoltaic cell test performed at selected service stations. Under the pilot project, installation of photovoltaic modules at eleven service stations in Poland was launched. Electricity generated from sunlight will be used for in-house purposes. The key objective of the project is to verify efficiency of the technology under which solar energy is converted to electricity in various geographical locations with varying degrees of sun exposure. Similar work is carried out in the Czech Republic.
g) Protection of consumer privacy
Pursuant to the provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act of August 29th 1997, PKN ORLEN S.A. adopted a Decision on personal data protection No. 9/2016/DG of March 10th 2016. Moreover, by Resolution No. 5394/2015 of June 24th 2015, the Management Board of PKN ORLEN S.A. appointed a Data Security Administrator and his deputies responsible for ensuring compliance with all applicable personal data protection regulations, including protection of customers’ data and their processing in accordance with generally applicable laws.
In 2015, PKN ORLEN S.A. and ORLEN Group companies* reported no substantiated complaints regarding any infringements on customers’ personal data protection or any cases of loss, theft, or unauthorised use of such data.
* Relates to all key subsidiaries in which PKN ORLEN S.A. holds interest of 50% or more