“We are breaking down the doors and blowing out the windows.” Jeff Adams, Account Executive at FuelEx.
FuelEx participated as a Platinum sponsor of the Concrete BC AGM. The Concrete BC Association was formed in 1962 and organizes information and training sessions on a wide range of topics, including basic concrete technology, sustainability, concrete pump operator safety training, and organizational leadership.
Account Executive, Jeff Adams was given the opportunity to take part in the AGM planning committee and coordinate FuelEx’s participation. The FuelEx logo was prominently displayed in a number of ways (both during the event and through pre-event communication) and were also highlighted as a speaker at the event. Jeff was also a speaker at the event.
With an active approach in the association and six appearances on stage, FuelEx has received seven positive leads and continues to drive brand awareness across the province. To continue to communicate its commitment of quality gasoline, diesel and lubricants with an unmatched level of technical knowledge and service, next up are the Vancouver Regional Construction Association Luncheon and the BC Road Builders Association.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a workshop on innovation and part of the discussion was talking about our purpose… what are we doing here (at Imperial)?
Here is how I answered: “I believe we have the resources, knowledge, and expertise to help Canadian businesses grow.” That’s it. In my opinion, that is what we, Imperial, are here for. And together we do this by helping our customers (you and yours) focus on what matters most to them: reaching their objectives.
Our industry is important, it is critical to our economy and should be celebrated. There is so much passion and energy, a willingness to improve and invest, ensuring long-term environmental, economic, and social sustainability. We should all be proud to be in this business, proud enough to share it with others and continue to push forward for that sustainable balance.
As mentioned at the Esso Branded Reseller Leadership Conference in May, Imperial continues to focus of on growing the Branded Reseller business. Here are a few ways we are working to help your companies reach their objectives:
A number of major infrastructure initiatives are progressing from ideation to execution, these are designed to give the reseller network a competitive edge in the market – making it easier to obtain product from Imperial.
There continues to be acquisition opportunities for our Esso branded resellers across Canada. I am excited about the possibilities and look forward to continuing our conversations on how to grow together. Let’s all continue to keep our ear to the ground to understand the market and our competition to enable this growth to happen in an effective way.
The reseller team continues to focus on helping your organizations grow and work effectively– and continuing to understand where we make things difficult so we can make doing business together easier on everyone.
We now have two operations advisors (Benoit Daigneault – East) and Lori Hillyer _West) who have been charged with adding value to your business on the operations side (safety, operating tips, supply/logistics, cybersecurity, etc.).
Lastly, our marketing team has been kicked off a brand value offer refresh that will help us define the opportunities available across the country and open the door to new offer elements to help draw more business to you. If you are part of this process… feel free to think outside the box… what would make your offer stand out in the market? For those of you not directly involved in this review, please pass along any ideas you might have.
This is my answer to “what are we doing here”; what’s yours?
As we all get ready for fall and changing weather conditions, remember to take care of yourselves and those around you. There is nothing more important.
Whether you are using Esso community program funds, or supporting a local event on your own, it is important that you gain recognition for what you are doing. The objectives of sponsoring community events really come down to two things:
Reinforcing the commitment of you, the Esso-branded reseller, to the communities where your customers live and you do business while increasing awareness of your brand and the Esso brand.
Contributing to improved volume and market share through increased customer loyalty.
Planning ahead will allow you to make the most of your community spending. While you may not want to do all these items for all events, they are especially important with larger investments.
Draft a media plan to boost visibility recognition (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazines, EBR intranet, Facebook, Twitter etc.). Utilize the media’s free community service, if available.
Verify the receiving organization has the up to date version of your logo and the Esso oval, do not assume they have the right artwork.
Engage various team members to make the presentation on behalf of the EBR & Esso in person. Share dates in advance with your Reseller Business Advisor with an invitation to make a joint presentation, if appropriate.
Share your experience with others in the EBR network by submitting an article to Excellence in Action newsletter.
The artwork to create your own oversized cheque is available. This cheque can be printed locally and reused with various events. Contact Jannell Scott for more information.
Money is not the only way to support a local event. Perhaps they need volunteers, ask your staff, they may be excited to help out. If they do volunteer, perhaps you can provide them with T-shirts with your name on them. For one event Imperial supported, we provided aprons to all the food volunteers (over 600 people) with the name of the event and our logo. It is a lasting reminder of our support. Fundraising events often need items for auctions. You may have something with your name on it, or you can buy something from the Esso on-line store.
How have you supported your community? Do you have tips to share? Submit for upcoming editions of Excellence in Action.
Ken Friesen will be leaving his role as operations advisor and Imperial in August to start his next adventure as a world traveller and doting grandfather. Ken has been with Imperial for 34 years and in the reseller business since the conversion to that business model in 2012.
Ken has been instrumental in developing the safety and operations program we have today. Many of you will have had Ken present at your safety or team meetings, worked on implementing Spence S2web, or reviewed an incident report. Maybe you had him provide some training for your team or benefited from insights on a site walk around. Or possibly you will remember Ken for his harping, OK encouraging, the use of the Stop, Think and Act tool to help stay safe.
Ken has also been working with outside organizations such as WSPS to help get the safety message to the public and your customers.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of Ken’s experience and knowledge before he retires at the end of July. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
After dinner, ExxonMobil’s commercial sales manager for the Americas, Scott Howard, shared his admiration for Canada’s branded reseller business. He expressed how impressed he was with the reseller network and the way the Esso Branded Resellers are strong brand ambassadors. Resellers have a strong, important connection with the local customers. “You have a great reputation globally [within ExxonMobil], and this is a great model that we are now taking to other countries, beginning with Mexico and the U.S.”
In his remarks before dinner at the Calgary Petroleum Club, Imperial’s chairman, president and CEO Rich Kruger pulled no punches about the importance of the oil industry to the Canadian economy.
Mr. Kruger talked about our role to provide safe, reliable, affordable and responsible energy to consumers. He went on to explain that the world will need more and more energy to fuel its economy, the standard of living and the quality of life that we take for granted.
Responsible oil sands development
Mr. Kruger pointed out that technology, patience and perseverance in the Canadian oil sands industry will lead to success. Canadians should be proud of our industry, and not apologize. “I think we’re in a very noble profession. I’m very proud of it.”
Imperial invests $150 million to $200 million per year in fundamental science and technology – year in and year out – regardless of the price of oil, he explained.
Kruger closed by commenting on the role of branded resellers. Imperial’s strategy, he said, is to do what we do really well, and then, through the reseller and distributor networks, reach customers such that their needs can be met on a reliable and cost-effective basis.
“Thank you for your partnership with us, for your growth plans, for your patience at times,” he said. “I can assure you that you have a partner committed to you, committed to the long-term, and committed to your strengthening your business in the same way we’re committed to our shareholders’ prosperity.”
David Coulthard spent 15 years as a Formula One racing car driver, the last four years with Red Bull Racing. He achieved 62 podium finishes, including twice winning the British and Monaco Grand Prix races. Today he continues to work for Aston-Martin Red Bull Racing, and enjoys a second career as a racing broadcaster. Here are some highlights from his interview with Imperial’s Luis Victoria.
You have a natural connection to the fuel delivery business, right?
D.C.: I grew up in southwest Scotland. Since 1916, my family has run a fuel haulage business, now the second-oldest haulage company in the United Kingdom. As a young boy, I was more likely to be a farmer or a truck driver, but I started carting at age 11. With great family support, I was able to pursue my dream of becoming a world-class driver.
Can you talk about what it takes to win?
D.C.: I was not the most successful F1 driver, but I had consistency and an ability to learn from my mistakes. You have to continually look for opportunities and ask yourself: ‘where can I get an edge over my competitors?’ There’s a natural tendency to become complacent, but if you’re naturally competitive, if you understand your market and your customers, if you’re out there asking questions and being open to people’s feedback, then you’re most likely to be successful.
For example, I witnessed my father getting a phone call at 11 p.m. about a problem with a truck in London. He’d get in the car and drive 400 miles so he’d be in the customer’s office at 8 a.m. the next morning to talk, face-to-face, about why there was an issue. It takes passion and a strong work ethic; you’ve got to be in it to win it.
Why is teamwork so important?
D.C: At Red Bull Racing, there’s a team of about 850 people involved in designing and building and marketing, all to put two cars on the track. Everyone knows his role, and together, the team delivers incredible customer service in getting the car on track, and ensuring it’s quick and reliable. The pit crew is constantly rehearsing in the factory or the garage. There are 20 mechanics involved in doing a tire change that takes only 2.5 seconds. Its ordinary people, perfectly trained, doing extraordinary things.
As a driver, I had no idea how to design or build the car, but I understood the importance of spending time with the mechanics. You need to recognize their commitment, look them in the eye, and show that you care. After you’ve just crashed the car they’ve worked so hard to build and maintain, it’s your job to go back on the track and give it your 100 percent.
In today’s technology-driven world, I believe human interaction will never go out of fashion – within your own team, and with your customers. Yes, data is important, but you’ve got to listen to your gut instinct.
What’s the atmosphere like at Red Bull Racing?
D.C.: We have a strong work ethic. It’s not a ‘blame culture’ but a ‘responsibility culture.’ Inevitably there will be failures and errors. People are encouraged to put up their hand and say, ‘that was my fault.’ They weren’t fired for their mistakes; they were supported. Only by openly discussing the causes of failures can you uncover opportunities to improve. The only bad decision is indecision.
What’s the most important ingredient in leadership?
D.C.: Great leadership is all about empowerment. Don’t hire good people and them micromanage them; set the guidelines and then let them go out and do the job. Encourage your people to challenge and ask questions, because that’s how you get better. Spend time with your team; don’t send a generic email. You’ve got to look people in the eye. Yes, it’s time-consuming, but I believe that having a motivated staff is the best way to beat the competition.
From April 30-May 2, 2018, nearly 40 Esso Branded Reseller business leaders from across Canada, plus more than a dozen managers from Imperial and ExxonMobil, got together to learn about new industry trends, share ideas and network at the 2018 Branded Reseller Leadership Conference in Calgary.
The theme of the conference was ‘Leading the way,’ and over the two days participants heard from Imperial presenters as well outside experts – all of whom shared strategies and best practices to help branded reseller businesses win in their local markets. The resellers who replied to the closing survey all indicated the event exceeded expectations.
The conference was kicked off with an interview with legendary Formula One racing car driver David Coulthard. Click here for the complete interview The remaining Tuesday morning presentations featured the future of Canada’s fuels industry and an overview of Imperial’s innovative approaches to managing product supply in order to better serve customers and win in the marketplace.
Just before heading off to lunch, First Nation spiritual leader Hal Eagletail delivered a traditional blessing, setting the stage for the afternoon.
Focused Indigenous Relations
The entire afternoon on Tuesday was devoted to the topic of Indigenous Relations. The first presentation, by Imperial’s Jezelle Zatorski, touched on the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada, and the opportunity to establish more respectful and mutually beneficial relationships in the future. Then, the CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, JP Gladu, spoke about the growing importance of the Indigenous marketplace in Canada, and the fact that incorporating Aboriginal businesses in supply-chain decisions can lead to winning outcomes for all. Third on the program was Imperial’s Jordan Nail, who shared some best practices for engaging with Indigenous businesses, and highlighted how two Esso Branded Resellers – Doak’s Bulk Fuels in northern Manitoba, and Fort McMurray’s Chinook Fuels – have successfully partnered with local Indigenous organizations. The three speakers then fielded questions from the audience. (View the Indigenous Relations toolkit here.)
Rich Kruger dinner remarks a highlight
As usual, the conference provided various opportunities for networking and socializing, with the highlight being the Tuesday dinner at the Calgary Petroleum Club that featured opening comments from Imperial Chairman, President and CEO Rich Kruger (click here for the complete article).
Best Managed Lab Experience
Wednesday morning began with an insight-filled workshop called Best Managed Lab Experience offered by senior consultants from Deloitte. During the session, conference participants were divided into groups that took turns brainstorming best practice ideas in each of the four categories used in assessing Canadian businesses for the ‘Best Managed Companies’ program. (View the workshop report here.)
Safety leadership session
Calgary-based safety consultant Glyn Jones shared insights and practices for developing a leadership culture related to safety and operations. (View presentation highlights here.)
Commercial Marketing and Innovation
Wednesday afternoon began with a session on business-to-business marketing, led by ExxonMobil manager David Lunsford. The second part of this presentation featured Imperial’s Luis Victoria, who delivered a lively case study on the marketing strategy driving the success of Esso Diesel Efficient fuel. The day’s final presentation also came from ExxonMobil and showcased how the company is adopting leading-edge practices to transform the business for the digital age.
According to the closing survey, resellers all agreed the conference met expectations, was worth the investment to attend and provided good opportunities to network and connect. One participant wrote: “Thank you for an informative, educating, entertaining and motivating agenda. Happy to have attended.”
We win together, says branded reseller manager Colin Cochran
After thanking the 19 Esso Branded Reseller businesses represented at the conference for their contribution to Imperial’s fuel sales performance and for being ambassadors for the brand, Colin Cochran spent a significant share of his presentation recognizing a number of important milestones across the network.
Reseller milestones saluted
First, he saluted Dowler-Karn Ltd. – headquartered in St. Thomas in southwestern Ontario – which is celebrating its 75th year of association with the Esso brand. Similarly, he highlighted Harnois Groupe pétrolier from St. Thomas, Quebec, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2018.
How resellers contribute to the community
Colin then gave examples of the many ways that branded resellers are making a difference in the community through their contributions to local hospitals, sponsorships of local sports, and by taking the Stop, Think and Act message to customers and the general public. He also cited examples of the investments various businesses are making to expand and improve their facilities and equipment to better serve customers and represent the Esso brand, and in particular, the new Esso Diesel Efficient fuel.
Finally, he explained his aggressive goal for the business – to significantly increase the network’s fuel volume and earnings by 2025 – and outlined the steps required to make this happen, together with the ways that Imperial is committed to helping branded resellers win.
“When [branded resellers] are successful and win in your marketplace, we win. The support that Imperial has given us to help grow your businesses is tremendous,” he said later. “We have a wonderful opportunity to win – together.”
Something exciting and new has happened at Imperial. The company has brought to the market a proprietary additive for diesel fuel that will offer customers a higher level of performance.
This unique new product is known as Esso Diesel Efficient. It was tested by an independent, world-renowned third-party test facility, where testing demonstrated an average fuel saving of 2% and a reduction of emissions of 2% for CO2 and 11% of NOx1.
Esso Diesel Efficient fuel contains an effective detergent that will clean fuel lines in most diesel engines. This is important in today’s engines that operate with high-pressure rail systems, in which fuel is exposed to high temperatures. As fuel passes over the hot valve train, heat can cause deposits to form. These deposits, as well as deposits that form on injectors, are removed by Esso Diesel Efficient fuel. Once the engine is cleaned, the combustion process improves, leading to less fuel used and fewer emissions created.
Stay tuned to this space to learn more about Esso Diesel Efficient fuel and the improvements it can bring to your customers’ operations.
It has been a busy year for the team rolling out Esso Diesel Efficient fuel and their hard work is showing results. There are currently five resellers selling the product and the pilot for the Esso Diesel Efficient trucks is underway.
Over the last several months, training sessions have been held with operations groups, drivers and the sales teams for CPS (2 locations in Alberta), Chinook Fuels, McDougall Energy, Midnight Petroleum, and Dowler Karn. These have been in-person sessions with Luis Victoria and Dave Munholland of Imperial. Luis and Dave have also done customer sessions with many of these resellers, introducing customers to the product and its benefits.
As with many projects, it is the seemingly easy items that take the longest and that is definitely true with the pilot to wrap trucks with Esso Diesel Efficient branding. After many months, the trucks are finally on the road…and it was worth the wait! As you can see, they are very different from our regular trucks and are very striking. There will be six of these trucks on the road in various markets by the end of the year. Thank you to everyone who was so patient through this process.
Learning sessions and good looking trucks are one thing, but all of us are here to sell fuel! Esso Diesel Efficient volumes are picking up, and we are having some very interesting conversations with potential customers from various industries including farming, mining and municipal bus fleets. We are very excited to announce that the Kearl site has converted to Esso Diesel Efficient fuel and is being delivered through Chinook Fuels. This is an important relationship, as it will show that our company is using the fuel at its premiere mining site. Photos and a testimonial video are in the works.
Stay tuned for 2018 Esso Diesel Efficient plans…it will be another exciting year.