It Pay$ to Partner with Your Distributor

Tina Hampton |

Download PDF Your distributor can do more for you than you think.

As a fuel retailer, how do you ensure you’re getting the best value from your distributor? You’re already paying for their distribution service; are they offering you their industry or insider expertise?

You probably focus most on the day-to-day costs and business operations. It makes sense – focussing on the bottom line is critical. But what if there was a way to make your day-to-day operations more efficient?

Have you changed your supplier frequently or been frustrated with changing prices and unreliable service? Have you wondered why some business owners form partnerships with their distributor? At first glance, partnering with a distributor might seem strictly about product pricing

Partnering with the right distributor isn’t just about getting the best prices for retail fuel.

Consider these key benefits:

1. Training. Partnering with the best distributors gives you greater access to training resources that are proven to increase revenues. Distributors who also operate their own retail locations can offer you expert tips on training employees on using the till, providing great customer service, credit card security, and safety precautions to boost productivity and business growth and reduce risks. A monthly visit from your territory distributor representative makes it easier to resolve issues and stay current with training on new technology.

2. Quarterly business review.  Are you new to retail business or ready to take your business to the next level? Why hire an expensive outside consultant when you can leverage the expertise of your existing fuel distributor? A quarterly business review provides detailed information you need to change programs that aren’t working well and optimize the programs that are. Working with an outside expert can help you identify customer patterns and opportunities to increase sales through programs like volume and profitability building, merchandising consulting, financial planning, and daily fuel price strategies. Well-established distributors tend to know what works in a retail business because they’ve learned from their other partnerships and their own retail establishments. You benefit by applying their learnings to your own business.

 3. Promotions. The best distributors develop exclusive regional and national programs designed to maximize customer volume for retail business owners. Customers collecting points and rewards with loyalty programs are much more likely to shop where they can earn points or rewards. You’ll also increase customer volume with distributor-sponsored national sweepstakes and giveaways. Distributors who have existing relationships with every major brand can offer you increased access to promotional funding and shared programs.

4. Minimize hassles. Working with a reliable distribution partner gives you more time to focus on growing your business. You won’t need to spend time comparing the cost difference between other suppliers. Partnering with your distributor puts you at the top of their priority list, especially during fuel shortages. Distributors who’ve earned your trust will provide you with guaranteed products and service time after time, so you won’t need to waste time chasing suppliers who can’t live up to their sales pitches.

When you work with a reliable, proactive partner, you can count on them to help keep your business running smoothly. You’ll find opportunities for growth you never knew existed. Remember, it’s in your distribution partner’s interest to help you succeed.