After finishing one of the most unpredictable years in modern history, we have found ourselves reevaluating what it means to provide quality service for our customers. Our goal has always been to fuel our customers’ way of life, through competitive pricing and industry-leading service and safety measures. This year, we are realizing that goal through significant investments into our business that will provide long-term value for our customers.
Our first major investment we made this year was purchasing hundreds of 1000-gallon tanks for our Shield program. This investment in steel is a large one, totaling almost $1 million in cost. We are doing this to provide more efficient service and additional security of supply to our customers. The Shield Program is ideal for any propane user that goes through 1,000 gallons of propane or more each year. We also offer the program to lower usage customers with an increased lease fee if they also want the benefit of increased supply on hand.
Another large investment we are in the process of finalizing is our rail terminal, pictured above. This piece of property will house four 80,000-gallon bulk storage tanks and up to sixteen 30,000-gallon rail cars. This gives us an additional 800,000 gallons of storage capacity on top of our current network of 17 remote storage sites. This build will also move us one notch up the supply chain, providing us with additional revenue and bargaining power when purchasing propane for future use. However, with great benefits comes great cost. When this is all said and done, we will have invested around $2.5 million dollars into this project. While it stings the wallet this year, we know this move will provide long-term value for both Superior Fuel and our valued customers. This project will be completed sometime mid-summer and will be fully operational by next heating season. Updates on the progression of work done will be posted on Facebook and our website.
Our largest internal investment was upgrading our phone lines to contain redundant lines. In layman’s terms, this will provide us with a more secure phone line and should reduce, if not eliminate, our phone’s going down. In 2020, we averaged under a 30 second average call wait time, our lowest wait time recorded in company history. We do this by employing additional customer service representative staff to ensure that we are able to take care of our customers in a timely manner.
Our last major investment we’re in the process of making this year is our very own, Superior Fuel mobile app for your smartphone or tablet. We aim to have this project done by next heating season. This app will reflect our online portal and allow our customers to view their tank level, make payments, adjust payment methods and much more. Updates on this will be released on our Facebook and website as we progress with the development of the app.
We do all of these things to provide our customers with greater value. We want to offer the best programs, long-term prices, benefits and the simplistic customer-business relationship where you sign up with us. We genuinely believe that our business model is the future of the propane and fuel oil industry. To our current customers, thank you for your business and please give us a call if you’d like to know more about our new Shield Program.