Submitted by Daphne Nicolle:
One of our work items for 2018 was to look at our offer to both Imperial end-use commercial customers and the Esso branded reseller (EBR) network. Sounds easy, right? Look at what you have and update, how hard can that be? Well, six months and approximately a gigabyte of information later, the reseller portion of this work is nearly ready to launch!
Kim Nix and I undertook this project with the goal of identifying opportunities for us to create additional value and help the network move towards Colin’s ambitious vision of the reseller’s business by 2025. We quickly realized that the only way to do this would be to talk with our resellers directly. So, over five weeks in the fall, we met with individuals from nine different resellers, selected to represent the diverse mix of businesses we work with across the country. I can honestly say this road trip was one of the highlights of all my years working with the EBR network! It was lots of fun and very informative. Returning home the hard work began…the interviews took us weeks to digest…and helped us produce a work list of items for 2019 and 2020 that need to be adjusted to maximize the benefit to both you and Imperial.
Building long term profitable businesses.
Our review showed us that we have many of the right elements and programs in place, but tweaks are needed to help us move towards the 2025 vision. There were a few common responses across the country, many of them positive. The value of the Esso Brand was something all agreed on…it is nationally recognized and enables you to create a connection with customers in communities where your brand may not be as strong. The most frequent concern we heard was the difficulty in finding good drivers. Most agreed that retention is harder than it used to be, but finding the right people to begin with is an industry-wide challenge that is not going away. We are looking at how we can support you with this issue, but there is no magic bullet. The other common issue was an eye-opener and humbling for me. Everywhere we went people wanted more communication from Imperial: proactive communication from your direct contacts in Sales, Operations and Marketing; clarity around those roles; clarity on the offer and programs we provide; and more frequent communications on all topics. I did not realize we had missed the mark on this and it is where the majority of our work will be focused in 2019.
We will continue to offer programs and support under three pillars of excellence – Sales, Operations and Marketing. Each of these pillars has a dedicated support role and programs designed to help you continue to build long term, profitable businesses. In areas where we cannot directly control the items that impact your business (supply reliability, for instance) we will continue to work as your advocates. It is our hope you will see improvements in support and communication in the year to come. Our goal is to help you succeed long term with the right offer and the right programs.