The RES Apprentice 2016
Round 1 - BP International Centre for Business & Technology
Twelve Year 12 students from R E S started out on their journey to be crowned the next R E S Apprentice winner. Supported by BP we headed to their site in Sunbury on Thames for the 1st round of this competition.
Now in its 10th year this competition sees students face 4 gruelling rounds working in groups, pairs and then individually throughout the competition. Following a series of eliminations at each round the remaining 4 go through to face an individually based task, these will be presented at the Grand Final in February 2016 (Venue & date to be announced shortly). The tasks in the competition are all business related and set by our local business contacts who have kindly offered to sponsor each of the rounds. Throughout the competition students are encouraged to be entrepreneurial, articulate, committed and confident and need to impress.
Welcomed by Hugh Bourne, Advisor of Scale Prediction and Control Upstream Engineering Centre, BP, students were given an interesting and informative tour of part of their site as well as having the opportunity to use some of their interactive devices and have a looking their drilling training centre complete with real scale equipment. Students were then lead to the training room for the day which would become their base to work on the task set to them.
In the Retail Fuel market, differentiation is challenging. Consumers generally buy fuel on either a cost of location (convenience) basis. Whilst the quality of their remains essential, BP also need to demonstrate differentiation to their consumers when it comes to their forecourt offers.
BP Retail wanted to address these frustrations and provide their customers with a more positive customer experience when using a BP forecourt.
Students were in 4 groups of 3 and Hugh asked for their team to develop and then present a compelling offer that they believed will enable BP Retail to provide a differentiated experience to their consumers. The team asked themselves “What would encourage drivers to preferentially choose to buy their fuel from a BP forecourt”. The presentation must show their concept, how it would be implemented, why this was different from BP competitors and how they would launch their initiative.
They were to deliver their concept to a small team of Senior Level Leaders who were to make up the judging panel.
Students started working on the task immediately, asking questions to Hugh and other members of BP staff throughout the morning to gain a full insight on whether their ideas may be viable. Students all worked well in their teams and enjoyed a working lunch whilst working on their presentations, time was tight before the 1.15pm deadline to present.
Team 1 was up first and made up of Alex Drummond, Hamzah Rasheed and Charlie Currie.
Their idea was to introduce an App to use on their mobile phones. The App would enable customers to pay easily, show offers including a rewards system, travel information and GPS technology. Hamzah has researched a way that mobile phone settings and data could be altered so that customers phones could be use their phones safely on the forecourt. The idea was to be launched on Social media. Feedback from the judges was that their concept was researched and presented well and teamwork was strong. It needed further research and clarification.
Team 2 was made up of Charlie Leese, Lewis Tillett and Onur Dilek.
Their idea was a light up system that allowed customers to see what pumps were not in use plus the design of an App that allowed customers to preset the amount of fuel that they wanted to the pump that would then only deliver the set amount. Customers would also be able to pay at the pump. The ideas was to be launched on TV. The main concern from the judges was that it would stop customers using the forecourt shops which is what they were aiming to increase. However, it was an excellent, well presented idea.
Team 3 students were Tom Blunden, Owen Nicholls and Alice Bryant.
With the emphasis on safety this team had also introduced an App that would link to Marks & Spencer and enabled customers to order items that they could pick up when they collected the BP station. Customers would collect Nectar points also. Within the App it would also allow customers to check on their Nectar points as well as giving out information of the closest BP station to them. The judges liked the ideas of this team and that they had put a big emphasis on safety. Very well presented and thoughout.
Team 4 was made up of Hayden Richards, Rhys Marshall and Liam Sewell.
Their idea was to link to ‘Shazam’ to launch a new advertising campaign that would give young drivers discounts when using their fuel. Shazam is a magical mobile app that recognises music, TV and media. It is free on Apple, Android and Windows devices. As one of the world’s top ten apps, Shazam reaches more than 500 million users in 200 countries, exceeds 100 million monthly active users, and is growing by over 13 million new users each month. Their idea was to embed the concept of using BP petrol and services so they would then continue as they got older. They were trying to encourage users to stick to brand loyalty. A well researched and interesting concept. An excellent presentation.
The judges spent a little while deliberating over their ideas and gave each team feedback. Judges decided that the winning team for them from the day was Team 4. Congratulations to Hayden, Rhys and Liam.
All teams had worked well together, showed good team work and had some interesting and thought provoking ideas. One team unfortunately has to leave the competition today and it was Team 2 – Charlie, Lewis and Onur.
All students left with goodies such as earphones and USB sticks given to them by Hugh Bourne - BP.
A huge well done to all students who put themselves forward to take part in this competition and good luck to those going through to the next round which will take place on the 18th November at IBM’s Emerging Technology Centre at Hursley, Hampshire.
Round 3 will be on the 8th December at The Bingham Hotel, Richmond.
For information about being involved with The Apprentice Competition please contact Sarah Maton-Deputy Head of Claremont House and Business & Enterprise Co-ordinator on either 01932 242994 X361 or email