August 4, 2016

About Study Groups

The fuel distribution industry is under increasing competitive pressure with MLPs, private-equity groups and publicly-traded companies continuing to aggressively grab market share.

With these larger, deep-pocketed competitors on the rise and petroleum consumption expected to decline long term, independent petroleum marketers are being squeezed.

For over 30 years we have been helping independent petroleum marketers like you share ideas and tap into the power of peer-to-peer sharing and financial benchmarking. Let us work with you to see if one of our over 50 Study Groups would be a good fit for you.

ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS

How often are Study Group meetings?

Meetings are held two to three times per year and last approximately two days. Each group decides together how often to meet and the length of each meeting. Meeting locations usually rotate geographically and are decided by the members.

How many members does a Study Group have?

Each group has a different desired size, but most groups are between 8 and 20 members.

What does a typical Study Group meeting look like?

Every group has their own variations on how they conduct a meeting, but generally a meeting includes:

  • – Approximately 12 hours of total meeting time spread over a couple of days
  • – Group meals together to network and enjoy each other’s company
  • – Each member has the opportunity to share the issues pertinent and pressing for them
  • – A chance to explore a special topic with a deep dive by members or a guest speaker
  • – Review of the benchmarked financial reports submitted by each member and in the Study Groups comparative format, including comparisons to national and other aggregate averages
  • – Some meetings are hosted by members and those often include site visits and tours
  • – A sharing of best ideas brought by each member

Each meeting is run by one of our professional facilitators to keep the meeting moving and organized with the intention of maximizing the value for you.

What are the qualifications to be a Study Group member?

To be considered as a member for a specific Study Group, potential members must:

  • – Fit the profile for the group they are applying for (CEO, CFO, Operations, etc.).
  • – Be willing to attend and contribute ideas and experience at a meeting
  • – Be elected by the current members
  • – Not be a competitor with any of the other members of the group

How does the financial reporting work?

Each member submits financial and operational information on a monthly basis to Study Groups. We compile a monthly composite of comparative statistics for each firm as well as aggregate Study Group and national indexes and send those to group members on a monthly basis.

When you join Study Groups we work with you to map your financial data into our template and then give you tools to make the monthly reporting as quick and easy as possible for you.

Members also have access to the Study Groups online database where they can compare their financial information against other members and custom benchmarks as well as generate comparative graphs.

What is the cost to join a Study Group?

The cost of participation for a new Study Group member is $1650 per calendar quarter. Additional company memberships are at a significant discount. Members are also responsible for their share of the group meeting expenses for each meeting. Membership may be canceled at the end of any calendar quarter and there is no long-term financial commitment.

How do I join?

Joining a Study Group is a simple three step process:

 

  1. 1. Click the “Join a Study Group” button on this page to send us your contact information.
  2. 2. We contact you to learn more about your business and help you find a group that is a good fit
  3. 3. Visit a meeting of that Study Group as a prospective member to verify the Study Group is something that will add value and something you want to participate in. After the meeting the group has the option of extending you an invitation of ongoing membership.

 

TYPES OF STUDY GROUPS

Owner/CEO
Study Groups for owners and CEOs including:
►Convenience Store Focused
►Commercial Fuels Focused
►Lubricants Focused
►Full Line Distributor Focused
CFO
A Study Group designed for Chief Financial Officers and VPs of Finance with individual groups broken out by company business focus (Convenience store, fuels, lubricants, etc.)
Operations Managers
Designed for Directors of Operations and VPs of Operations with individual groups broken out by area of focus for the manager.
Sales Managers
For Sales Managers selling fuel, lubricants, fleets for cardlock, etc.
Human Resource
Groups designed for Directors of Human Resource.
Transportation
Groups for Transportation Directors looking for ways to compete with common carriers and large fleets and be more efficient.
Fuel Management
A Study Group made up of members whose role focuses on the buying, managing and hedging of fuel.
Food Service
Groups focused on food service and becoming better food service retailers
Next Generation
Designed for family members who are up-and-coming in the business but are not currently in the President/CEO role. This group allows members to network and share ideas with peers in the industry who are in a similar position and is designed for a member to transition to a more traditional Study Group at the appropriate time.
Information Technology
Made up of Managers of Information Technologies who are looking for ways to increase firm profitability by leveraging technology.