August 1 - 31, 2020

A 100% Connected Online Experience

BUSINESS TRACK

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Monday, August 3

Never has there been a time this uncertain for you or your industry. Downward pressure being asserted in heaping doses from legislators to displace you and an entire industry seems to get worse every day. You can’t turn your head in either direction without seeing flashing red lights warning that if we can’t determine a way to get to Net Zero we will be doomed. Welcome to the world of keeping customers warm and safe while fighting for your future. This innovative and informative session is not about facts, figures, sludge, equipment, filters or the past. It will focus on addressing strategies that will prepare you to avoid pitfalls associated with rearview thinking. It presents advantages associated with learning to circumvent the no bull zone and prepares you to forge ahead with low risk and the confidence certainty can provide. The future is far more certain than we realize – and finding certainty in an uncertain world can provide a big advantage for those who know how and where to look for it. Change is here to stay and the speed at which change transpires will intensify. By embracing a few of the ideas associated with the Anticipatory Organization mindset you will be better positioned to help yourself direct your own future before someone else does it for you. From this moment forward when it comes to the discussion about Bioheat, focus the choice about integrating the old with the new to create higher value than either would have on their own. Join us so that you can begin to transform the disruption that surrounds you into the opportunity that will ensure your success.

Tuesday, August 4

Your business collects valuable information every day. Are you making good use of it? When you use data to drive your business strategy, you can stay ahead of the competition by making better decisions. And with today’s business intelligence tools, you can access and evaluate crucial information faster and easier than ever before. Learn how you can put your data to work for you to support the future of your business.

Wednesday, August 5

This session will cover FMCSA and PHMSA changing impact on Transporters and Shippers of Petroleum Products. A general review of DOT changes for 2020 will be held, with specific discussions which include the following issues: The New Clearing House Requirements ELD Requirements and Exception Increase testing rate for 2020 percentages PHMSA 2020 Internal Program CT Facility Compliance Updates General Q&A on your current concerns and issues.

Thursday, August 6

Knowing and understanding the value of your home comfort business can be an important tool for strategic decision making. Undertaking a formal valuation process can help you understand the strategic drivers of your business, prepare for potential acquisitions or the sale of your business, provide analytical support for gifting, retirement, or estate planning actions, or implement a buy-sell agreement. Mr. Wolf’s presentation will review situations that might call for a formal valuation, discuss basic valuation concepts, approaches, and considerations, review the anatomy of a professional valuation report, and explore the basic valuation process using a fictional home comfort business

Friday, August 7

After completing one of the industry’s largest delivery and dispatch studies, we believe the results will change your entire thought process of what it means to deliver optimally.

Fuel Dealers have been questioning Angus about the expense of trucks and insurance coupled with the fact that it’s virtually impossible to find qualified drivers – and all of that was before they saw the upending of “predictable K-Factors” in the aftermath of the pandemic. Our study analyzed fuel dealers and deliveries to see how we can solve those problems without increasing runouts. Our dealers have many questions for us about these topics and we are sure you have many as well

Join Phil Baratz and Danny Silverman for a review of the results of the study and a Q&A session

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS. Prepare your questions, and write them when you register.

Monday, August 10

Tuesday, August 11

Auto crashes continue to wreak havoc on our nation’s roads and, subsequently, in our courtrooms. The impact of an auto crash can be life-changing and business-altering. This discussion will focus on key risk management strategies to best protect both your business and employees. Complimentary resources will be provided.

Wednesday, August 12

Hiring good employees, especially licensed drivers and techs, is one of our industry’s greatest challenges.  In this session, we’ll look at a number of ways you may not have considered in meeting your staffing needs.  The first is to look within your own organization. You may find you can get the job done without even having to hire a new employee. Next, consider the benefits of hiring veterans – they can make great, motivated employees – and often come with government benefits.  Finally, at some point you’re going to have to hire younger, millennial employees – learn how to market to this generation to find quality candidates.

Thursday, August 13

What does it really take to keep a retail propane business strong and viable? You may find yourself saying, “When I retire and want to sell my business, I want it to be worth something.” This is a common feeling throughout the industry. The decisions you make and the way you choose to run your business will have an impact on the value of your business as well as the level of interest your company will receive from buyers. If you are not interested in selling but looking to buy, this session will reinforce what you need to be looking for in acquisitions and factors which will impact you post acquisition. If you have no interest in selling but want to pass a thriving business on to the next generation, you will need to employ all the same best practices. This session will not only focus on the best practices but will also hone in on key areas of focus such as the value of a customer and the burner tip, what it costs to deliver to your customers, the value of 5 cpg.

Friday, August 14

The industry is facing its greatest threat since…the last greatest threat. Whether it is price spikes, embargoes, utilities, environmentalists, government, warm winters, etc., the industry has overcome many challenges. Today, electrification is the threat.

What is it that we have done successfully in the past that we need to refocus on? How is an industry that in 1859 sold “Pure Sperm Oil, Pure Straits Oil, Elephant Oil…No. 1 Lard Oil and Neat’s Foot Oil” still in business today? Perseverance.

Our presenter, Alan Levine has been here through it all. He helped develop the first MERC heating oil contract in 1977. When Alan started selling commodities futures, heating oil futures and WTI crude oil futures were the only two energy hedges. Today there are more than six hundred. Alan has had to adapt his business as he has helped his customers adapt theirs. A reminder of how we have persevered before is instructive as to how we  will do so again.

Monday, August 17

Customer service needs to evolve- it isn’t good enough anymore, and it isn’t working. Great interactions don’t happen by default. and making an emotional connection with your customer doesn’t happen by having some magic personality. It happens when you have a system and process in place to create a phenomenal customer experience over and over again. These principles will transform your employees from CSRs to Customer Experience Specialists who will take ownership of your customers and give them the WOW Experience you’re looking for.

Tuesday, August 18

Throughout the Northeast, every state has adopted carbon policies in the form of greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.  They range from 25% in 2030 to 85% in 2050.  Fossil fuels are directly in the sight-line of those policies.  This session will review the policies being considered in each state and how it could impact the space heating and transportation sector.

Wednesday, August 19

Join Gulf’s brand webinar to learn how Gulf can help position your business for growth. It all starts here.

Thursday, August 20

Owners of fuel oil and propane companies who are nearing retirement, but still want to maintain a presence in the business to which they have devoted a lifetime of work, have few choices. They can sell and go to work for the new owner; or they can transition the business to the next generation and hope to have a role going forward.

But what if you aren’t quite ready to walk away from the business and/or you don’t have a next generation in place to transition the business to? There is a third – and very appealing – option: a joint venture. By joining forces with another energy company, a business owner can maintain equity in their business and create flexibility in their exit plan, all while building a stronger management team which will in turn help to create stability and increased profitability. A joint venture can also prove beneficial in accelerating your growth plans without taking on additional debt. For example, when two smaller companies band together to form a larger company through a joint venture, this can result in improved efficiencies, the ability to move into new markets, hire more experienced personnel, and more. This presentation will describe how a joint venture works and provide you with firsthand commentary from energy company managers who have successfully taken the joint venture route as either part of their exit plan or their growth strategy.

Attendees will leave this session with an understanding of how a joint venture works, how joint ventures may be structured, how to identify the right joint venture partner, and why a joint venture is a viable alternative to selling an energy business – or achieving your growth goals.

Friday, August 21

The Northeast region is experiencing an onslaught of public policy proposals that seek to change the landscape of motor fuel and vehicles.

Twelve of the Northeast Governors are participating in the Transportation Climate Initiative “TCI” with the goal of developing a cap and trade program to reduce the sale of gasoline by 30%.

This program will update you on the latest activity around TCI and other government funded efforts to reduce the sale of gasoline and push electric vehicles into the marketplace.

Monday, August 24

Changes to the FLSA overtime rules, DOL opinion letters, NLRB decisions and too many new state laws to count have left many employers with more questions than answers. In addition to the changes in federal laws that affect employers, states have taken matters into their own hands on several hot button issues, including restrictive covenants, paid sick leave, drug testing, medical cannabis and others.  This presentation will include an overview of changes to federal laws employers need to understand and several areas where states have enacted laws can affect an employer’s operations.

Tuesday, August 25

Today’s fuel customer demands ease, convenience, and doing business on their terms.  Both younger and older generations are increasingly less interested in the telephone and 9-5 hours.  Even email is feeling dated, unless it hits a phone.  Text alerts are quickly becoming preferred.  Customers are expecting to do more online and other industries are only causing an acceleration of this trend.  Self Service is now the norm for how we all buy products and services.  For energy marketers, this seems to fly in the face of our unique historical value proposition: people-centric customer service and handshake relationships.  Dealers have no choice but to adapt to these “digital first” consumer trends even if it pushes them out of their comfort zone.

Consumer Technology is prolific and driving all commerce.  Having the right tools can allow to provide the experiences your customers receive elsewhere every day.  During the session, you will hear from a prominent energy dealer who embarked on a comprehensive consumer technology strategy to improve retention and growth.  Attendees will learn how they identified the right solutions, managed change, and informed customers of new systems that were in place.  Compelling performance data from this dealer will be shared, along with online adoption and other industry trends.

Thursday, August 27

Did you know that 85%+ of card acceptance expenses are commonly comprised of Interchange and Card Brand fees? And the Card Brands have updates to their interchange schedules planned for later this year with some changes having the potential to impact your bottom line.

The time is right to explore how updated payment technology can help you optimize expenses from the transactions you accept today and help reduce the impact of the approaching changes.

Join this webinar and learn how to:
1- Utilize price optimization tools to achieve the best rates you’re eligible for
2- Reduce gateway/vaulting fees and automatically update expired credit cards
3- Better manage cash flow with customized reporting

Friday, August 28

What you need to know; How it has affected fuels; What to do before the heating season.

In the era of COVID, the consumer’s accelerated adoption of technology is unprecedented as we have all adapted our online behavior to meet our needs for products and services. It has impacted all industries, including the fuel industry in a big way. Homeowners, by the thousands, have sought out dealers that provided the e-commerce experience they get elsewhere… and they have switched dealers unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Experts agree that these changes in buying behavior are permanent.

This is a fact-based presentation on the dramatic changes in consumer buying behavior; how this behavior has impacted fuel dealers; and options for adapting your fuel business for the upcoming heating season.

Monday, August 31

The heating season of 2020-2021 begins in 31 days. There is the very real likelihood that this will be a season like no other – and we have had plenty of “other” heating seasons. Specifically, with customers working and attending school from home, what is going to happen with their fuel consumption? And more importantly, when will you find out? Will it be before they run out? How do we get customers to let us know what their plans are?

Once we know those answers, how do we operationally adjust to ensure that we serve our customers in the most efficient manner possible? What adjustments are needed to IT systems? And most importantly, what questions are we not asking?

Join six leading industry service providers as they share their advice and expertise.

The program will be presented in two parts. Join us for both, or one.
10– 11am Operations: Back office, software, technology
11am–Noon Marketing: Communicating with your customers

Participants are encouraged to submit questions no later than Thursday August 27, 2020. Questions may also be asked during the presentation.