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.
The standards for using the Esso oval have been updated and can be found on Esso Delivers at: https://www.essodelivers.ca/branding-standards.php
These are minor updates, meant to help with your day to day branding needs. The biggest addition to the document is with small company vehicles. If you have a need that is not addressed in the guidelines, please contact email@example.com with your requirement.
Did you know that this site is also a repository for the oval in various formats? If what you need is not on the site or you do not have access, please reach out to Daphne.
Below is an article published by Wired Magazine last August and it shows that we all need to be diligent when it comes to safe computer practices. I hope you will take time to read this as it is very relevant and interesting. It reads like something out of a Jason Bourne novel, but it happened to one of the largest shipping companies in the world, Maersk.
The Untold Story Of Notpetya, The Most Devastating Cyberattack In History
Andy Greenberg, August 22, 2018. From Wired.com
It was a perfect sunny summer afternoon in Copenhagen when the world’s largest shipping conglomerate began to lose its mind.
The headquarters of A.P. Møller-Maersk sits beside the breezy, cobblestoned esplanade of Copenhagen’s harbor. A ship’s mast carrying the Danish flag is planted by the building’s northeastern corner, and six stories of blue-tinted windows look out over the water, facing a dock where the Danish royal family parks its yacht. In the building’s basement, employees can browse a corporate gift shop, stocked with Maersk-branded bags and ties, and even a rare Lego model of the company’s gargantuan Triple-E container ship, a vessel roughly as large as the Empire State Building laid on its side, capable of carrying another Empire State Building–sized load of cargo stacked on top of it.
That gift shop also houses a technology help center, a single desk manned by IT troubleshooters next to the shop’s cashier. And on the afternoon of June 27, 2017, confused Maersk staffers began to gather at that help desk in twos and threes, almost all of them carrying laptops. On the machines’ screens were messages in red and black lettering. Some read “repairing file system on C:” with a stark warning not to turn off the computer. Others, more surreally, read “oops, your important files are encrypted” and demanded a payment of $300 worth of bitcoin to decrypt them.
Read the whole article at: https://www.wired.com/story/notpetya-cyberattack-ukraine-russia-code-crashed-the-world/
Happy New Year and best wishes to you and yours for 2019! I hope you were able to celebrate the holiday season with loved ones and take some time to slow down and recharge. Last year was incredibly busy for the Esso Branded Reseller network, and I am grateful to each and every one of you for your ongoing support, effort, and passion for the businesses and communities you serve. It is an absolute honour and privilege to work with you.
This time of year, I like to think about the basics, the keys to our business that are the foundation of our collective success. It is a good time to think about your own commitment to safety (although it should always be top of mind) and what you can do to extend your safety journey. Another area is operational excellence… what could be done differently? What are some real pain points? If they relate to Imperial, let us know! If they relate to internal processes, raise them with your supervisor. Then I think of the customer and the competition: what are we going to do differently, what are we going to try to do to get better at serving the customer and win the hearts & wallets of competitive accounts? Lots of opportunity for reflection… for us within Imperial as well.
Looking forward to 2019… as we continue down the path of Vision 2025 – expanding the Branded Reseller network in Canada – the Imperial team is working through a number of different opportunities to help you grow your businesses…. these include more robust communication, increased logistics/infrastructure financial support, increased operational support and coaching. These are all underpinned by ongoing work by the trib leadership teams in the areas of supply reliability and price competitiveness. The market continues to be extremely dynamic… the competitive environment continues to change… and customers keep demanding more each and every day. The fun never ends.
I am completely energized and excited about 2019! Together we have so much potential to truly compete and win in the market.
I look forward to seeing you in my travels this year. As always, reach out to me directly if you have any questions, concerns, and opportunities.
The Dryden office of Morgan Fuels was recently nominated for Business of the Year by the local Chamber of Commerce. Here is the write up the Chamber put in the newspaper. Way to go Morgan Fuels!
Morgan Fuels is recognized as a leader in the business community within the City Of Dryden. Through their actions, business tenure, community involvement and goodwill this business demonstrates the gold standard of professionalism, customer service, employee relations and integrity. Morgan Fuels has reinvested back into the community the Dryden Chamber of Commerce serves in a variety of ways. Morgan Fuels has recently committed local business to be employed to facilitate the expansion of their office on Hwy 17. Morgan Fuels has worked with the City of Dryden to expand other offerings within the community including the development of a bulk propane facility. This added to the expansion of their bulk plant on the highway over the previous few years. The expansion into the propane business saw Morgan Fuels bring an additional three employees to their organization based in Dryden. The company strives for excellence in customer service. Over the years Esso has awarded the company with a number of service excellence awards. Morgan Fuels Dryden staff work tirelessly to meet the expectation of all, at times requiring long hours in the office and on the road, but always with the highest standard of professionalism. Morgan Fuels continues to support initiatives in the community, year after year. 2018 saw the involvement in the Dryden Life Magazine, sponsorship of Northern Lights Quarter Horse Association show; We Run This City and Shake Your Booty event. Giving back to communities Morgan Fuels operates in is an important aspect of the Morgan Family’s beliefs. Supporting grass root community initiatives builds better communities.
As we race towards the end of the year, I have found some time in between all of the seasonal festivities and preparation for the New Year to reflect on our business and how far we have come in the last few years. I have also squeezed in some training and read various marketing books to better support you as we move forward.
One of the books I’ve been reading is This I Know by Terry O’Reilly. Terry is a Canadian who has been in marketing for over 30 years. He started in advertising, but now looks at all components of marketing. Although his book is focused primarily on B2C (business to consumer) many of the concepts he highlights are applicable to the B2B (business to business) world. In my mind, one of the most important questions he asks is “What business are you really in?” He uses Molson Coors Brewing Company as a great example. Molson, isn’t in the beer business. Even though Molson’s plants are designed to manufacture beer and every Molson delivery truck you see is full of beer cases, Molson isn’t in the beer business. It’s in the party business. 1 What’s your business? Are you in the fuel business or in the business of keeping your customers moving? How you see your business reflects how your company presents itself to the public. As you prepare for 2019 and beyond, take time to read a book or magazine for new ideas, or just take the time to sit back and reflect on the market you operate in and how you reach out to perspective customers. Whatever you do, outside ideas help to expand your business.
Another key part of moving forward is looking back. Kim Nix and I have been working hard the last several months to assess our current offer to the Esso Branded Reseller network. An essential part of this review was sitting down with several resellers across the network to see what is working well, what we could do better and understand how the industry is changing. First, a huge thank you to everyone who gave us their time. We appreciate your generosity and your candor. As you can imagine, there is a lot of information to take in, and we are still digesting it all. Overall, the reseller method of business is working well and we heard this loud and clear. We are not looking to undo what is working well but simply tweak it so it better meets your needs. We heard a number of recurring issues as well as some unique regional challenges and we are using this feedback to enhance our offer and supporting programs to ensure we continue to help you grow and succeed. For example, finding quality drivers is a recurring item, so we are looking to see if there is some way we can help with this part of your business. Stay tuned for the renewed offer.
I hope all of you find time over this holiday season to get away from the office and spend it with loved ones. Take time to celebrate the year that was and the adventures to come.
1 This I Know, Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence by Terry O’Reilly Knopf Canada
For over 70 years McDougall Energy Inc. has been proudly supporting the communities that they operate in through the Community Investment Program. For the McDougall team, community involvement comes in many forms. From local grassroots hockey/soccer/football team sponsorships, annual festivals, parades and tournaments to local charities, hospital growth initiatives and educational bursaries/scholarships, the McDougall Energy brand has been associated with a multitude of these types of events in many communities and towns across Canada.
Investing in the communities that we operate in allows our customers and other businesses to see that we are not only there to provide a service for them but to help the community thrive. Getting involved in homegrown local activities puts a face to the brand for customers to connect with. Nothing beats the energy level you feel in a sold-out arena in a small town on a Wednesday night or a local fishing derby full of young kids on a Saturday afternoon. The many thank you notes and pictures which we receive adds to the pride that the McDougall Energy team shares.
We could not provide the support that we do if it wasn’t for the resources available from Imperial. The Esso Community and Brand Elevation Programs allow us to reach even further into the communities we support and provides a stronger brand presence in those communities by utilizing both the Esso and McDougall Energy brands. There are so many creative ways to stretch the community investment dollars by fully utilizing these programs effectively. Annually, we select initiatives to support on a corporate level that cover a broad range of services focusing primarily on Health Care, Education and Sports initiatives. However, we also preserve funds to support local initiatives in the many towns and communities where we operate.
Our community investment program allows us to demonstrate to people of all ages and walks of life that McDougall Energy Inc. not only delivers Peace of Mind when it comes to the products and services they rely on us for but also through the ongoing support in the communities where they live!
Cathy Heard, Corporate Marketing Manager, McDougall Energy Inc.
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.
Keep it up, you are all doing great!
Email me: Colin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Text me: 403-651-4118
Over the summer we have had two new resellers join our network.
Maritime Fuels is now the reseller in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
In Prince Edward Island, Island Petroleum is the face of Esso. Island Petroleum has been on PEI for many years selling under other brands.
Welcome to both organizations, we look forward to learning about your business and hearing about your successes.
As part of their 75th-anniversary celebrations, Dowler Karn Ltd is giving away $75,000 to 75 community groups in their local communities. Organizations can be nominated for the program by community members or on their own. Then the public in the area are encouraged to sponsor (vote) for the organization or cause of their choice on-line.
The organization must be part of the community where Dowler Karn does business and be involved in one of these five areas: Activities & Sports; Arts & Music; Health & Wellness; Social Services or Civic Causes. The Fuelling Communities event is designed to address local needs and contribute to strong and vibrant communities, including our Indigenous communities.
The marketing goal for Dowler Karn with this campaign is to promote corporate, brand and product offering, awareness and recognition to our serviceable geography.
As of July 9, 2018 there have been some impressive results:
- 115 projects have been submitted – with more coming in every day!
- 50 of the projects with enough sponsors to be eligible for review by the Bursary Review Committee
- 4,425 people have signed up to be sponsors
- New users/visitors to the Dowler Karn website – 24,292
Stay tuned for a wrap-up of this unique promotion.