Strategic Planning Update
Life at our companies has always been mostly good. Nothing is ever perfect, but we have done amazing work and come very far with a bunch of really good people. Building on that strong foundation we are set to further improve our workplace, develop more leaders and top caliber coworkers to deliver an even better customer experience. As you know we are in the midst of a strategic planning process to chart this course forward. We are still in the information gathering stage of that plan and each of you will get a chance to give input in the coming weeks. This plan, which will be regularly communicated to all, will include a long term vision for our companies and short term goals to get there.
20 years ago we were primarily a heating oil company with a small HVAC business to serve our heating oil customers. We realized that heating oil was a dying business and so we developed a strategic plan which was to become a total energy provider and a leading Plumbing and HVAC company so no matter what kind of energy our customers used we could provide it for them. Over 20 years we accomplished that plan, expanding big time into wholesale gasoline and diesel as well as becoming a leading propane distributor. We founded AMERIgreen to market biodiesel, electricity and natural gas. Along the way we acquired many competitors which gave us scale to offer a stable workplace and efficient distribution. Lastly we were fortunate to acquire Ranck Plumbing, Heating and Cooling which enabled us to realize our goal of a leading plumbing and HVAC provider.
20 years later we ended up with four companies and about 15 divisions. All operating well and continuously improving with great reputations and brand equity in their own right. Nothing is broken so we aren’t here to fix something, but we will continue to improve. One of the unintended outcomes of growth is complexity. With that in mind I am asking you to join me and our leadership team to think about ways we can simplify, optimize and unify our companies. For example, every Worley & Obetz customer can benefit from Ranck plumbing services and every Ranck customer can benefit from Worley & Obetz’s energy products. How can we best provide our services for our customers in a way that is simple and easy for them to understand?
You will be asked for your input formally through the planning process, but I also invite you to reach out to me directly or your manager with your ideas. I am more excited than ever for our future together!
Worley and Obetz Retail
The Power of Attitude
A positive attitude in the workplace can showcase many benefits including improved communications, higher productivity, better teamwork and increased morale. This past January, the Significance of a Positive Attitude in the Workplace was demonstrated by our entire team. From our drivers making record deliveries to our customer care group fielding record call volumes, we all stepped up to not only take care of our customers, but to help other teams and team members get the job done.
As we come to the close of the first quarter of 2018, it is a great time to reflect on what we have accomplished already this heating season including an unforgettable January 2018. With a record month for propane gallons delivered and heating oil gallons delivered in the last five years, including record daily and weekly call volumes, we truly have something to be proud of. It’s not the record gallons or call volume that stands out the most, it is the hard work of each and every one of you. Your great teamwork, attitude and efforts are what make us stand out over our competition. I appreciate each team member and recognize the positive attitudes shown to do what it takes to meet the needs of our customers. We would not be where we are today without your continued commitment to our team and customers.
While we are constantly changing and driving to provide the best for our customers, our positive attitudes, focus on teamwork and get er’ done mentality will continue to see us through any challenges we may face.
Worley and Obetz Commercial
Our Wholesale team has continued to expand now to 50 Drivers and Transports. Welcome to all of our newest Team members both as Transport Drivers, and internal Dispatch staff, and “Thank you” for choosing to join the Worley & Obetz Team. Our latest additions have us domiciling trucks in Johnstown & Altoona PA, as well as Baltimore MD. This gives us efficient coverage of the Mid-Atlantic region from Baltimore MD, the eastern 2/3 of PA, and into the southern tier of NY.
In addition to the distribution of liquid petroleum and alternative fuels, we also have added a propane transport to our fleet. This unit has greatly assisted in the delivery of propane to our bulk plants, as well as larger, multiple tank customers. We look forward to continuing to expand in this market segment. Because of the excellent customer service the team provides, the Fleet Fueling department has also been expanding. Recent customer acquisitions have us now parking a truck in Philadelphia, Welcome to the team Greg!, in addition to our existing Wilkes Barre/Scranton, and Lancaster bases. We recently added 2 new trucks to this Fleet which have a unique capabilities. They are currently the only 2 trucks known east of the Mississippi that have the ability to deliver large quantities of both diesel fuels AND Diesel exhaust Fluid (DEF) directly into our customers truck saddle tanks. Customers find the handling of DEF within their fleet cumbersome, and we can now alleviate that hassle, just as we have always done for diesel fuel.
The Cardlock department has added some exciting new things as well. Through a partnership with Five Star Idealease, we’ve opened a WoGo location at 854 South 16th St. Harrisburg PA 171014. This location offers On Road diesel fuel, as well as DEF. We just opened our 4th Propane AutoGas facility at our Mt Joy Pac Pride location. We continue to expand our company fleet of Propane Autogas powered vehicles and are excited to continue to raise awareness of this economical, clean burning fuel by offering it now in western Lancaster county.
In introducing Ranck to the Worley & Obetz and AMERIgreen team we know our customers love their homes. Our prompt, expert service ensures a pleasant and professional experience for our customers and highly trained team members. We install and proactively maintain state-of-the-art heating, air conditioning and plumbing systems to maximize efficiency and provide the best service possible. We can handle any plumbing or heating/AC need for residence or in light commercial operations. We have a branch in Bowmansville that services customers in northern Lancaster and part of Berks county. We have an outstanding team that is working hard to improve just a little bit each day.
Thank everyone at Ranck for the team effort especially over the last couple of months. January was a challenging month and everyone answered the call taking care of our customers at every turn. From customer service, dispatch, technicians, warehouse and office teams we all banded together to handle the excess calls mainly due to the extreme cold. A great job.
Thank the entire team for being so great to work with. I get compliments every day from somebody about our team at Ranck. We are a family that works continually to help each other and meet or exceed our customers’ expectations.
~John H Michel
AMERIgreen Energy Services
The Energy Services team is forging ahead working to fulfill our financial goals, but also our business purpose goals. I continue to be inspired by the Renewables and Petro/Hedge teams and how they work together responding to unexpected changes fluidly while maintaining a sincere commitment to our customers and each other. It is especially evident when we experience unique circumstances; be it supply outages, supplier issues, weather related logistical or product issues, they never compromise on the promise to the customer or each other. They’ve got the Junkyard Dog mentality.
The past few months I’ve been reminded to the leadership our companies have in the markets we serve. I got to experience first-hand the positive influence we can have with our customers. I heard from our customer, the owner of a mid-state fuel company, how the advice and supply strategies we provided have helped their business grow profitably. The customer was passionately thankful for the relationship and expressed a sincere desire to grow his business footprint and business together with AMG. From introduction and prodding, to reaching out when opportunities are present and assuring every last detail of a deal is met, it’s a difference maker that matters to our customer’s business and the families that count on them.
This is the type of customer relationship we shoot for. Our goal is to be a resource for a customer to help them grow their business. Their success is our success. It’s characteristic for how we work to represent with our customers and vendors. The relationship is not sustainable if it’s not fruitful on both ends of the deal. We’re fortunate to be seen as a resource by our customers and associations, but not just regional and state, but national too. This past month in Ft. Worth, TX AMERIgreen was featured center stage as Jason Lawrence, VP Renewable fuels, was the moderator for a special General Session (everyone was there) Q&A panel with the creators of a documentary about BioDiesel featured on the Discovery Channel. Check it out. It’s called: Hot Grease. Jason did an awesome job hosting the panel and even giving AMERIgreen a shout out!
Amid market and political challenges we keep adapting and working to take care of our customers and help them grow their businesses. Hopefully the weather and policy will allow us to do it because we’re ready!
AMERIgreen Electricity and Natural Gas
Our Natural Gas Supply team is located in Englewood Cliffs NJ and we provide natural gas supply to commercial customers in the metropolitan NYC area, upstate NY, all of NJ, and eastern PA. We target customers who use natural gas such as apartment and office buildings, supermarkets, restaurants, dry cleaners, hotels, bakeries, and manufacturers. We also serve residential customers in Eastern PA. We purchase our natural gas supply from wholesale suppliers as well as obtain managed supply and pipeline capacity from certain utilities, and we schedule deliveries on interstate pipelines, bringing the gas to the various city gates of the utilities where we serve customers.
Our Energy Broker Team can sell electric and natural gas in most deregulated states across the US. We concentrate on commercial accounts but can serve residential customers as well. The team is currently going through the licensing process to be able to sell in Ohio and Massachusetts. The broker team acts as a consultant to business and has the ability to shop our customers electric and gas supply with over 30 energy suppliers that we have relationships with. This allows us to provide a very competitive rate and a fair contract and takes the responsibility away from the business owner so they can concentrate on their business. Our broker team also offers lighting retrofits and demand management software for businesses.
Value Energy North
Greetings to AMERIgreen Energy, Ranck Plumbing, Heating, & AC, and fellow Worley & Obetz divisions from the staff at Value Energy North, home of the Ridge Runners and Mountain Folk. We began operations in the spring of 2013, as Bishop Fuels, under the ownership of Worley & Obetz, delivering Heating Oil and Distillates to residential and small commercial customers in PA & NY. From the beginning, the challenge to Bishop Fuels was figure out how to deliver “Full Service” at all levels of our operation, for a discounted price. Since that starting point, we initiated a re-branding to Value Energy, doubled our Heating Oil/ Distillate gallons, successfully launched, from scratch, a Propane division numbering over 350 customers, tripled the size and revenue of the Service Department, and deliver DEF and Lubricants to many commercial customers. While constantly striving to improve our execution through, efficiency, transparency, simplicity, grit-n go and a “Full Service Attitude” we are succeeding at the challenge.
Despite two previous heating seasons where Degree Days were down 18 -30 percent, we grew the business by 20 percent year over year. Combine a growing customer base with a more “normal” Degree Day season this year, top it off with a Full Service attitude for a string of record breaking months since the start of our fiscal year. One of the components of Value Energy’s growth and success is a group of committed team members who collaborate, cooperate and communicate. Our get it done mindset is the key driver that sets us apart from many of our competitors. When others have said no, we say “ let us work through that and figure out a way”. This approach has yielded numerous opportunities for us to add new business, particularly in the small commercial/agriculture arena. Talent, dedication and skill across all parts of our operation from drivers, sales, customer service, administrative/operations and our service department come together to cement the relationship and retain new business. More than a few new customers have remarked that our initial approach and follow up level of service is a welcome change to a level of service they were accustomed to. Another key component of our success is the many layers of support in place from our parent company, Worley & Obetz. Across all parts of our operation there is behind the scene support allowing us to concentrate on the key areas of our challenge to deliver Full Service at a discounted price. That’s Value.
Value Energy North
Value Energy Enjoys a Great Season
We have had a successful winter season to this point. Our delivered gallons in heating oil and propane have exceeded the last couple of winter seasons significantly as we continue to grow our customer database.
We have a great team of drivers in Joe and Mike that work very well together. I appreciate the long days in the bitter cold as well as working numerous Saturdays in order to meet the needs of our customers. There has been a wonderful cooperation with the Service and Retail departments and I appreciate their flexibility in assisting us to get the job done. We could not have provided the top notch customer service without the assistance of Merle Scheuing on a part time basis helping to deliver heating oil. I also need to thank Ashley Lehman as Fleet Manager for making sure our trucks stayed on the road as well as delivering propane for us when we were in the middle of that frigid cold snap.
Thanks to all!!
One of the HR Shared Services Team will be at each Lancaster location once per week to be available to answer questions and address any concerns you have. The HR Team shares the responsibility of supporting all team members across the family of companies.
You can always reach out to anyone in HR through our general HR email at HR@worleyobetz.com- all three HR Team Members have access to that email.
Anyone of the team is able to help on all matters. We have defined some functions/responsibilities to include (but not limited to) the following:
- Amber will be running payroll and inputting benefits, along with wellness plan oversight
- LeeAnn will be handling the majority of recruiting (drivers, administrative employees, Molly’s) as well as orientations, driver qualification files and company events
- Michele will handle compliance, benefit design/renewals, payroll reporting and recruiting for Technicians and Management positions
However, please remember you can reach out to any one of the three team members for any questions in future issues we will be sharing upcoming activities and events at each company. Upcoming in this next quarter:
- Open Enrollment will be in Mid March for the W/O Team and the Ranck Team. Watch for emails on this in the coming weeks
- We will be having a Debt Consolidation Seminar for financial wellness for all companies in March