Estepp Energy LLC is a Shell oil gasoline and diesel fuel wholesale distributor.
They’re a locally owned, family business, that has deep roots in central Kentucky and a long history with both wholesale and retail sides of the business. ESTEPP Energy bought out an existing wholesaler, Cole Oil, in December 2012.
Though Cole was a well run operation prior to the acquisition, their accounting process contained numerous redundancies and multiple checks, double checks, and triple checks were eating up a lot of time. It was clear that this operation needed some kind of back office system, or software system to support importing features and functionality to recoup time and money that was being wasted on manual accounting tasks.
They first tried using Quickbooks to track and maintain their financial records, which it did well. However, it wasn’t able to handle other jobbership accounting intricacies such as invoicing very well. Since QuickBooks isn’t specific to wholesale petroleum distribution accounting needs, ESTEPP still had to do a lot of work both inside and outside to meet their financial needs. QuickBooks, though better than what they had before, still wasn’t saving them anymore time.
After using QuickBooks for only four months, ESTEPP knew they had to find something that could combine and automate their accounting needs to avoid doing the same work twice. Their primary software needs were twofold. They needed the ability to directly import credit cards and to handle the new rewards that most of the majors were (and still are) offering in the Shell Rewards program. Though the fuel rewards network was a relatively new program, at the time, it played an important role in their company’s strategic vision. Their plan was to implement the rewards program at all of their locations and sites. They knew that processing all of this data would be paramount and that their software provider had to be able to provide this functionality.
They knew there had to be a solution so they asked their colleagues and friends for recommendations and ended up collecting several accounting software company names. ESTEPP took the time to research each company to find the best fit.
ESTEPP selected AIMS’ COMPAS Commander accounting software, due to the company’s great reputation in the marketplace. Since loyalty programs can be tricky because some sites issue rewards whereas other sites redeem them, it’s important for users to have an easy way to track this since it’s a huge task. Commander was able to offer a rewards program that was a simple turnkey approach enabling users to process it like a credit card since it distributes the credits and debits out of the customers as needed.
“Commander has taken my time from invoice processing, and quotation, and cut it in half, at least. Not only has it cut my time in half, but I also don’t make as many mistakes. It’s much more error-proof. In this business, the margins are slim, and you can’t afford a mistake. Mistakes cost you profit instantly.” – CFO, Wes Rowe