Volume and profit

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York Oil’s relationship with PriceEnergy helps efficiently grow its heating-oil business

David Woods, president, and Greg Burns, manager of business development for York Oil, have expanded the company’s reach through its relationship with PriceEnergy.

David Woods, president of York Oil, York Beach, Maine, was interested in growing his business, but also needed to make his deliveries as efficiently as possible. Having a background in banking, along with prior experience in the fuel-distribution business, Woods understood the value of delivering more gallons using his existing infrastructure.

Last year, York Oil qualified to become part of PriceEnergy’s distribution network, delivering heating oil to PriceEnergy customers in York Oil’s delivery territory.

‘PriceEnergy had customers that our trucks were driving right by,” said Woods. ‘Now, our drivers are able to service more customers and we have increased our gallons without adding any new trucks, new territory or customer acquisition expense. The bottom line is that the PriceEnergy business has increased our profits.”

York Oil Co. has been part of the PriceEnergy distribution network for about a year and is one of the newer companies in PriceEnergy’s Northeast region. Having a network of almost 70 independent fuel-distribution companies, PriceEnergy provides heating oil to tens of thousands of customers between Maryland and Maine. York Oil handles deliveries for PriceEnergy Direct customers, as well as for PriceEnergy’s channel partners, including BJ’s Wholesale Club.

‘Our PriceEnergy business is designed for our dealers to make money on their PriceEnergy deliveries, but the added bonus is that our dealer’s core business can become more profitable due to the incremental gallons flowing through their existing infrastructure”, said John Vrabel, COO of PriceEnergy. ‘From the dealer’s perspective, we make the business as simple as possible. Our dealers make the deliveries and we do everything else, the billing and collections, customer service, advertising and marketing, and system support.”

By working together, PriceEnergy dealers have increased the number of gallons they are delivering from their same trucks and their same drivers. PriceEnergy provides the dealers with greater density within their existing delivery territories. By doing so, their entire operation benefits. And PriceEnergy deliveries are much like delivering to automatic customers since the driver does not need collect payment. He simply delivers the oil, leaves the ticket and is on to his next stop.

Through PriceEnergy’s proprietary online system, PriceEnergy dealers receive the orders and post their deliveries simply using the Internet.

‘It’s really quite simple”, said Vrabel. ‘Our dealers take their orders off the Internet and then after delivery again use the Internet to post the gallons that were delivered. Everything is done automatically, including payment to the dealers. PriceEnergy dealers receive payment for their services each week, so most also enjoy positive cash flow because they receive their PriceEnergy delivery before they have to pay their suppliers.”

PriceEnergy was launched in 2000, introducing the first wide-scale Internet-based platform for retail fuels. Even today, the PriceEnergy platform is unique due to the completeness of its transactional capabilities, making it possible to market and fulfill orders in many markets, all requiring different products and prices. Because of the capabilities of the platform, in 2002, PriceEnergy started managing BJ’s Wholesale Club’s heating oil program. Since that time, the BJ’s program has grown to over 70 locations in eight states. PriceEnergy’s dealers have enjoyed the benefit of this BJ’s business by essentially profiting from BJ’s customers that they could not otherwise get. PriceEnergy’s agreement with BJ’s was recently extended, which paves the way for further expansion to other BJ’s locations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

PriceEnergy also provides heating oil to customers through BuyAmerica Benefits. Headquartered in Sharon, Mass., BuyAmerica offers enhanced benefit programs to some 500,000 employees through their company’s Human Resources Department. PriceEnergy is the exclusive heating oil supplier of BuyAmerica.

PriceEnergy’s dealer network ranges from small two-truck companies to large multi-state operators. The key ingredient among all the dealers is that they have available delivery capacity, are interested in growing their business and run a solid, customer-oriented operation. Most delivery territories are exclusive to the dealer.

Added Vrabel, ‘Like our advertising states, Partnership Means Making Money Together.”

More information can be obtained at www.PriceEnergy.com.

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