Chippewa Valley Energy, a division of Eau Claire Cooperative Oil Company, has nearly a century of history serving farmers, homeowners, and businesses with energy solutions such as diesel fuel, LP, and lubricants. Today, with over 20 employees in the energy division, Chippewa Valley Energy services, maintenances, and fills propane and fuel tanks in a large part of West Central and Northwest Wisconsin. As Chippewa Valley Energy has grown, they have found a true partner in fuel and propane technology with Rural Computer Consultants.
Doubling Gallons without Doubling Staff
Chippewa Valley Energy has been using Rural Computer Consultants’ technology since 2013. Today, they use the full spectrum of RCC’s Fuel and propane software including Fuel Distribution System (FDS), MOGO, and over a dozen of the FDS modules. Amanda Haugen, Office Manager at Chippewa Valley Energy, has witnessed first-hand how RCC’s Fuel Distribution System has made her job easier, enhanced their customers’ experience, and saved them money. Amanda explained, “The day-to-day operations in RCC’s FDS, from taking an order to completing the delivery, is an extremely efficient process. We use paperless order entry, ticket approval and routing. Each stop is uploaded to MOGO and our drivers appreciate the ease of use. We then upload from MOGO back to FDS, which seamlessly applies to contracts, archives ticket images and automatically sends e-invoices. Then a final quick audit to post sales! This entire process was done individually prior to partnering with RCC and has saved us thousands of labor hours each year. Since implementing RCC’s technology, these efficiencies have allowed us to offer the best customer experiences to our patrons while doubling our gallons without doubling our staff.”
“This entire process was done individually prior to partnering with RCC and has saved us thousands of labor hours each year.”
Tracking Inventory & Warehousing
Kristen Fuller, Accounting Manager at Chippewa Valley, indicated that inventory and warehousing play a huge role in the company’s financial success. She explained, “The policies and procedures that we have implemented to track and record sales, purchases, and inventory have allowed us the ability to provide upper management with a daily valuation of each product per the warehouse. This information is used in our daily position report (DPR) to allow us the ability to better manage our risk, contracts, hedging, etc. This sounds really boring but it truly = $$$!”
“Since implementing RCC’s technology, these efficiencies have allowed us to offer the best customer experiences to our patrons while doubling our gallons without doubling our staff.”
RCC’s Support Team
Rural Computer Consultants values support as Fabe Sheehan instilled in us long ago, and it shows. Amanda and Kristen know that when they run into a problem or issue, the RCC team is there to help. Amanda acknowledged, “RCC is a partner to our company. The support provided is always there when needed, which at times, is immediate.” They also enjoy RCC’s numerous seminars each year that give them face time with RCC’s owners, staff and other propane and fuel companies like theirs.
Built on Customer Feedback
RCC’s software is built off of the needs of their customers in the fuel and propane industry over a forty-year history. Chippewa Valley Energy and customers like them have been a part of making RCC’s software what it is today. Amanda and Kristen are understanding and knowledgeable, but push RCC to make a better fuel product, “RCC takes customer ideas from seminars, e-mails and phone calls. They meet weekly to go over customers’ needs and wants. When they hear numerous customers asking for the same things they act…They listen to what is needed from their customers, whether it be something that can just be made better or something that is a forced change due to laws and regulations from outside sources.”
Data Integrity is Key
When Chippewa Valley Energy makes big changes in their database or a policy/procedure where numerous files would be affected, they know they can count on RCC to help tackle those issues – quickly and easily. Kristen assured, “I can’t stress enough how important this is to keep the integrity of our data. It makes recording and reporting accurate because we all know bad data in, produces bad data out in the form of inaccurate reports, inaccurate tanks levels, inaccurate routes etc. No company can afford to make decisions based on bad data!”
“RCC is a partner to our company. The support provided is always there when needed, which at times, is immediate.”
Custom Solutions for Cooperatives & More
As a cooperative, Chippewa Valley Energy tracks sales and pays patronage dividends to their customers. RCC has made a custom package to help Chippewa Valley Energy with their unique needs as a cooperative, such as storing stock withheld in the software to be paid in later years. Being involved in the process to improve the technology is a win-win for Kristen and Amanda, “Since writing the cooperative program there have been issues that have come up. By working directly with the RCC team and owners one-on-one to make the program more usable is just another example of how RCC is a partner and very strong asset to have in an ever-changing world.” The best part is that now this custom program can be used by other co-ops with similar needs!
“Being able to work directly with the RCC team and owners one-on-one to make the program more usable is just another example of how RCC is a partner and very strong asset to have in an ever-changing world.”
The RCC “Switch” Means Flexibility
Amanda and Kristen said the most common saying they hear from RCC staff as a customer is, “There is a switch for that!”. Amanda’s explanation for the phrase is, “It means the program runs one way, but certain customers might need something different than most. RCC accommodates by writing a ‘switch’ into the program to allow flexibility in their software.” When there isn’t an FDS module to fit a particular need in your business, rest assured, “There is a switch for that!” or our team can help provide other solutions.
You have probably heard someone at RCC say… “There is a switch for that!” This means we have built-in flexibilty.
Growing Together in LP and Diesel Fuel
Even though RCC’s software was originally built to sell LP, Chippewa Valley Energy has noticed as they have grown, especially in the fuel side of their business, they have found a true partner in RCC. Kristen remarked, “Rural Computer Consultants has grown their knowledge of the fuel side of the business and have made too many improvements to count. Although these may have started as customizations, any company that sells diesel products will benefit from the additions that RCC has made to accommodate diesel products – premium or not, including winter blends.”
The team at Rural Computer Consultants is honored to be a partner with Chippewa Valley Energy! We value the feedback and collaboration with them that has helped to make the technology at RCC what it is today. To learn more about Chippewa Valley Energy, please visit their website or Facebook page.
Why Chippewa Valley Energy Recommends RCC:
- Save thousands of labor hours each year
- Double the gallons without doubling staff
- Ensure the integrity of data
- Ability to build software for custom needs
- Inventory, Warehousing & Reporting Capabilities
- Top-notch customer support & education
- Customer feedback encouraged and acted on
- A true business partner
Want to learn more about how Rural Computer Consultants can help bring your fuel and propane business to the next level? Contact us here or call our Sales Department at 800-722-6659 to arrange for a demonstration.