Operators Discuss Oil Supply Agreements

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Dec. 23, 2020—One of the benefits in a franchised system is that you have the support of a well-recognized name. For independent owners, they can still sign agreements with oil companies to purchase and sell their products.

Two operators shared with NOLN their experience in signing such agreements.

John Wall says that it helped him boost the Checkered Flag Express brand that he acquired in Marysville, Ohio. Steve Pittman found the same to be true for his shop, PittStop 10 Minute Oil Changers in North Canton, Ohio.

“One thing I thought that was maybe holding us back a bit was that lack of recognized national brands,” Pittman says.

The majority of quick lube customers might be fine with the “house brand” of oil at the cheapest price, but there’s a segment of customers who want specific brands and seek out those brand names in search of quality.

Pittman says that the branding choice was a tough one. Often, the deals mean that you need to purchase a certain amount of oil. In exchange, you might receive help with signage or equipment. Of course, you get to advertise the product, too.

On the flip side, if you operate in a market that puts the highest premium on low-price service, then it might be more advantageous for you to utilize some of the unbranded types of engine oil, which can still provide great quality at a lower price.

Whatever the case, make sure to use your oil distributor as a resource for education. That’s knowledge that you can pass onto your team to help customers get the best product.

“My local guy would come out (to my shop),” Wall says. “And then anything that was coming out new, at least three times a year, I'm in regular contact with our local rep.”

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