Transforming Bottlenecks into Bliss for Costco and Its Customers

Situation Analysis

Known for its quality products and unbeatable prices, Costco attracts patrons from all corners of the country. With nearly 600 warehouse locations across the United States, the company’s popularity remains unmatched as a shopper’s paradise. One of the reasons for its loyal customer base is the modern, efficient fueling stations at its warehouse locations.

With its Henderson, Nevada, store’s membership rapidly growing, store officials sought to efficiently drive traffic from its congested fuel lines to its warehouse aisles and create a more satisfying member experience. To tackle the challenge of driver congestion at its Kirkland Signature dispensing canopies, the company summoned Wayne Perry.

Building on a Decades-Long Trusted Partnership

Wayne Perry’s history with Costco spans over two decades and is marked by successful collaborations on projects across Hawaii and the Southwest. From maintaining and testing equipment to expanding the size of existing fueling stations, constructing new ones, renovating parking lots, and remodeling warehouse stores, the partnership has continued to expand.

When the need arose to serve more members with faster fill times at its Henderson store, Costco executives knew Wayne Perry was the ideal partner to create a positive outcome for all stakeholders: store officials, customers, and the surrounding community.

Balancing Growth and Corporate Stewardship

As the Henderson store’s customer base continued to grow, Costco officials were keen on maintaining the company’s high standard of corporate citizenship. Minimizing the effects of traffic congestion, pollution, noise, and safety concerns on the surrounding community became a top priority. Wayne Perry collaborated closely with the Costco operations team to develop an optimal approach that would ensure positive community relations while meeting member needs, complying with environmental regulations, and seamlessly coordinating the project with local authorities.

A Phased Project Approach Minimizes Downtime

To expand fueling capacity and optimize traffic flow, the project involved three main aspects:
adding new fueling dispensers; installing a state-of-the-art traffic management system to streamline dispensing operations; and rerouting the entry point and access way to the fuel-servicing area to minimize congestion. With these three objectives in mind, Wayne Perry designed its project plan in a well-structured, four-phase approach to ensure minimal disruption to the store’s fueling operations and negligible inconvenience to members.

  • Phase I (14 days) – Demolition, Underground Work and New Canopy Footings
    The project kicked off on February 13, 2023, with a 14-day focus on saw-cutting for the new canopy footings and areas to be modified, installing irrigation sleeves, constructing the driveway entrance, and attractively landscaping the area. During this phase, all 12 existing fueling stations remained available for members.
  • Phase II (14 days) – Installing New Islands and Fuel System Infrastructure
    The second phase of the project involved additional saw-cutting and demolition for the new north-side fuel system, installing new islands, product piping, and the required electrical infrastructure, canopy installation, and managing storm runoff. With strategic planning, only four of the nozzles were inoperable during this phase, maintaining continued business flow.
  • Phase III (14 days) – Dispenser Installation and New Station Entrance
    During this phase of the project, additional saw-cutting and excavation for the south side of the new fuel system, demoing the surface areas, relocating a fire hydrant, installing Ethernet cables, and installation of the four new dispensers occurred, along with grading and installing the new asphalt for the new station entrance. During this phase, 14 of the nozzles remained operational, keeping the dispensers and revenue pumping.
  • Phase IV (12 days) – Final Touches and Testing
    The project concluded with additional surface work, masonry installation, landscaping, installing the queuing system and testing and calibration of the equipment. During the final phase of the project, Wayne Perry ensured everything was ready for a seamless fueling experience once the new pumps and traffic management system were placed online.

The Advanced Traffic Management System

Costco’s solution to speed traffic flow to the dispensers employed a cutting-edge traffic management solution. The queuing system included sensors to manage vehicle flow efficiently. An intuitive visual system consisting of red and green traffic lights was installed at each canopy to guide drivers to available pumps, minimizing wait times and potential congestion.

Fueling Bliss in Henderson for Customers and Store Executives

Executing the project with minimal disruption to the station’s daily operations presented challenges. Wayne Perry’s phased approach ensured a smooth, nondisruptive implementation, enabling the entire project to be completed in 56 days, two days ahead of the agreed-to project timeline. At the same time, customers were able to fuel up quickly and efficiently, with the fueling service area closed for only two of the 56 days the project was underway.

By carefully planning, collaborating, and employing innovative solutions, the project achieved its goals, resulting in greater efficiency, faster fueling times, and improved customer satisfaction. In addition, several Wayne Perry team members assumed new project management roles, growing the company’s field supervisory team while on the project.

An Up-Close Look at the Project Results:

  • Added new entrance to the fueling station
  • Rerouted traffic flow to the pumps to minimize commuter congestion
  • Redirected the access route to the dispensing area
  • Added four new dispensers (eight fueling points)
  • Installed a state-of-the-art traffic management system
  • Completed the project two days early 
  • Improved customer and community relations

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