No Pain, No Gain!
January 20, 2018
Written By Mark Fenner
“No pain, no gain!” I remember as a young athlete seeing this saying for the first time. It was posted in the tiny weight room of my high school to remind us that without hard work, future success is in doubt. The same rings true today, regardless of the situation.
Certainly, we at MFA Oil find ourselves in the middle of some pain right now. As you may have heard, we have invested in a new enterprise resource planning system, which essentially touches all facets of our business.
Until we transitioned to this new system, we were extremely limited on our ability to make doing business with us easier. For example, if you bought bulk fuel, propane and lubricants from us, you would receive three separate statements in the mail because we could not consolidate them. We also had significant limitations with our online bill pay options and no platform to allow for online ordering. Additionally, our fuel and propane drivers were using devices with 2G technology, which became obsolete and unusable on Jan. 1, 2017. Lastly, our old system was unable to provide us with timely information. We were waiting up to 45 days after the end of a month before we saw our detailed financial performance, which was simply unacceptable.
The good news is that the new system has enabled us to address all the things mentioned above and more. I’m pleased to report we now have 100 percent of our refined fuel plants and 80 percent of our propane plants switched over to our new system. The change has given us access to real-time data, which enables us to take better care of our members and customers and manage our business more efficiently.
Our company had been discussing changing systems for the last 27 years. Why didn’t we do it sooner? Because change is hard. The most difficult part of implementing a new system is getting everyone trained to use it. We conducted extensive training, but until you actually have the system up and running, it’s hard to fully grasp.
Now that many of our managers, customer service representatives and drivers have made the transition, some are understandably frustrated with the differences. Like so many things in life, we’ve found the changeover to the new system gets easier with experience. We also have many employees who are happy to be working with an operating system that’s more user-friendly. Additionally, we are continuing to make refinements to the system as we go, which should improve our employees ease-of-use.
At the end of the day, we ask for your patience as we move forward with total integration. Just like a scrawny kid in the weight room who transforms into an elite athlete through lots of hard work, we expect our pain to transform us into the best energy supplier out there. Thanks for your business!