Fuel Oil News

Fuel Oil News - January 2017

The home heating oil industry has a long and proud history, and Fuel Oil News has been there supporting it since 1935. It is an industry that has faced many challenges during that time. In its 77th year, Fuel Oil News is doing more than just holding

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www.fueloilnews.com | FUEL OIL NEWS | JANUARY 2017 29 forecasting and reconciliation procedures, which was another source of vulnerability for the heating company. "We were relying on this archaic system of manually sticking a skid tank. You depend on somebody to remember to do it, and inevitably someone forgets, usually when you are busiest, and the error creates havoc when you need it the least. And after we'd stick the tank we'd go through a laborious process every day to figure out how much we were going to burn," Stenger said. Simple Energy is just beginning to explore the suite of automated reporting capabilities available in the fuel management software, but looks forward to streamlining its recon- ciliation, inventory and compliance documentation. "The first time the team at our cor- porate office polled the system for retail transactions and inventory data, they were delighted with how easy it is to do," Stenger said. The fuel management software has simplified Simple Energy's compliance reporting, which previously required significant oversight. "There's a lengthy list of federal, state and local record-keep- ing requirements that we need to meet. With very little human intervention, all of those items are done for us automatically and as frequently as we want them to be," Stenger said. Fueling its own tankers and fleet vehicles in order to elimi- nate supply line problems was always Simple Energy's primary objective. However, once the heating company got its new bulk storage and terminal up and running, a new revenue opportunity presented itself: marketing Simple Energy's petroleum inventory to neighboring fleets through the unattended cardlock system. The fuel control system helped position Simple Energy to manage the increased throughput that a petroleum reseller experiences. Stenger said the new resale operation would not be possible without the cardlock system, which authorizes and accepts a wide variety of commercial fueling network cards. He estimates that Simple Energy will be re-selling one million gallons of diesel a year to fleets located in the same industrial complex as Simple Energy. "A million gallons — even at a thin margin — makes a size- able contribution to the carrying cost of the bulk fuel site," Stenger said. Simple Energy's new bulk storage facility and fueling terminal is just the beginning for the New England heating company — the company strategically chose monitoring and fueling equipment that would enable the company to integrate future fuel sites. "John W. Kennedy Company helped us to build a fueling operation that not only resolved our immediate supply issues, but positioned Simple Energy for future growth," Stenger said. "We are laying conduit now to add two additional dispensers and are in the process of acquiring additional property to build new facilities just like the one we just completed." In order for a local heating company in New Hampshire to remain competitive amid an ever-increasingly consolidated industry, the business must not only bring a unique value propo- sition to the marketplace, but continuously adapt its operations to remain efficient and have the tools to support future growth. By making a com- mitment to keeping things simple for its customers, Simple Energy has captured increased market share in less than a decade. The company's investment in OPW's integrated fluid-transfer, tank-monitoring and fuel control systems has primed Simple Energy for expansion, increased efficiencies and created new opportunities for revenue streams. "The cost-savings of what we are doing on a day-to-day basis is enormous. We are getting a better-than- expected return on our investment," Stenger said. l F O N Jim Desautels is a commercial district manager for OPW Fuel Management Systems, an operating company of Dover Corp. Prior to the installation of the tank gauge and fuel site controller, Simple Energy was relying on manual inventory forecasting and reconciliation procedures.

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