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 27 "Customers universally want to do business with someone who is knowl- edgeable, who is friendly, and who understands that the consumer on the other end of the line has a fundamental need," Stenger said. "Our company phi- losophy is that if we have the means to meet a customer's need, we do so in t h e m o s t s i m p l e way possible." Simple Energy provides two home h e a t i n g s e r v i c e s essential to New H a m p s h i r e r e s i - dents: fuel delivery and HVAC main- t e n a n c e , d e s i g n and installation. As Simple Energy has grown, it has expanded its presence in the commercial/industrial sector. The company relies on a fleet of 18 light- duty vehicles to facilitate HVAC service requests, while 12 trucks deliver over 7 m i l l i o n g a l l o n s o f l i q u i d f u e l products annually. Operating efficiently and keeping things simple for customers is at the core of Simple Energy's day-to-day opera- tions. Maintaining this customer-centric level of service, however, was becoming increasingly challenging as delays in the fuel supply chain were jeopardizing the fuel oil and propane provider's ability to efficiently serve its 8,500 customers. Prior to 2014, Simple Energy was leasing space at bulk-storage facilities where third-party contractors facilitated the inventory management for resup- p l y i n g i t s f u e l t r a n s p o r t t r u c k s a n d r e f u e l i n g i t s fleet. Unfortunately, delays in the supply stream were mak- ing it difficult for Simple Energy to effectively manage the market volatility. For Simple Energy, passing these delays on to customers was unacceptable. "Speed counts in our business, par- ticularly in the four coldest months of the year," Stenger said. "Our customers can- not afford to wait. So we cannot afford to wait at a terminal to reload or resupply our trucks." It became evident to Craft and Stenger that in order to eliminate these supply vulnerabilities, Simple Energy would have to take control of its own destiny. So in 2012, a new business plan emerged: Simple Energy would build its own bulk- and terminal fleet-fueling operation. To ensure the process went smoothly, Simple Energy turned to longtime col- league and friend Brian Devereaux at John W. Kennedy Co. for consulting, planning and equipment sourcing. The wholesale petroleum equipment sup- plier, headquartered in East Providence, R.I., was a key contributor to the success of the project. While Craft and Stenger had more than 20 years of experience in the petroleum marketing business and were familiar with building and operat- ing bulk plants, it was the first time they would be building one as their own gen- eral contractors. Devereaux proved to be an invaluable partner in the design and execution of the fuel site. Together, the partners collaborated to construct — entirely with in-house resources — a bulk-storage area and a fleet-fueling terminal over the course of two years. Taking a page from Simple Energy's own playbook, Devereaux guided Craft and Stenger towards fuel- ing equipment that would be simple for the heating company to use. So when it came time to select the fuel manage- (920)-564-6272 1-800-619-0625 www.lectrotruck.com ORIGINAL POWERED STAIR CLIMBER AMERICAN MADE HAND CRAFTED MIDWEST QUALITY HVAC PREFERRED LIFTS 1500 lbs/680kg EVERYONE WILL KNOW YOU MEAN BUSINESS (920)-564-6272 (920)-564-6272 A H R E X P O N-8606 Stenger looks on as Devereaux demonstrates the C/OPT Fuel Control System, which pro- vides fueling authorization and accountability at Simple Energy's fleet fueling terminal in West Lebanon, N.H. Simple Energy needed to be able to manage its fuel inventory with agility to remain competitive.

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