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    CSNews Exclusive: Lucky Deuces Saves Money on Fuel with FuelQuest

    By outsourcing fuel buying and management, the company is ensuring the lowest purchase price and speeding time of delivery.

    By Tammy Mastroberte, Convenience Store News

    DUSON, La. -- When he decided to attend Roady’s Truck Stops 2010 Annual Meeting in January of this year, Manish Sthanki, owner of Lucky Deuces Casino and Truck Stop in Duson, La., wasn’t looking for someone to help manage his fuel. But on the trip — a cruise from Miami to the Bahamas — he started talking to a representative from FuelQuest Inc. and realized he might be able to save some money on fuel.

    “We started talking and he asked to take a look at my numbers because he thought he could save me some money,” said Sthanki. “When they analyzed my numbers, they realized FuelQuest could save me at least 4 to 5 cents per gallon because of the purchasing power they have by buying in bulk.”

    Roady’s serves as a membership-based buying group for truck stop and c-store industries, allowing companies to leverage fuel marketing and corporate buying power through its programs, and by buying large amounts, FuelQuest is able to get cheaper pricing for clients such as Lucky Deuces — which is a Roady’s Truck Stops location.

    The previous company Sthanki purchased fuel from bought through a local refinery and charged him the rack or wholesale price, but was “very vague on what the definition of rack price was,” he noted, explaining FuelQuest’s Fuel Center gives prices to him based on the OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) price, which is a standard published rate.

    “Now I know if I am paying OPIS plus or OPIS minus, and I know I am getting discounted fuel,” he said. “I signed the contract with FuelQuest because I know I will be paying OPIS minus 3 or 4 cents at the maximum, and if I can get the cheapest price, I know I can pass it on to my customers. If I can generate traffic in my store because I have the cheapest fuel price, then everything else works itself out.”

    Through its Fuel Center program, FuelQuest is sourcing, monitoring, replenishing and reconciling retail motor fuel for Lucky Deuces, taking the burden off of Sthanki, who in the past had to stay on top of his supplier to make sure he was always in stock.

    “FuelQuest knows when fuel prices are going to go up, so they make sure they buy more when the price goes down, and not as much when its higher,” Sthanki said. “A regular supplier isn’t going to do that.”

    Fuel Center leverages the FuelQuest team of industry experts, along with its Fuel Management Solution (FMS) to monitors the fuel levels at Lucky Deuces, place orders for them as needed, and review all invoices before notifying Sthanki to pay the supplier via an automated clearing house (ACH) transaction, Sthanki explained.

    Although he just started with FuelQuest a few weeks ago, “so far they have done a fantastic job.” Lucky Deuces now receives each fuel delivery within 4 hours from the time of ordering, rather than waiting a 24-hour period in the past, and in addition to the location’s 10 unleaded and premium gasoline stations, FuelQuest also buys diesel for the six tanks on the site.

    Sthanki pays a $1,000 annual fee and a monthly administrative fee to FuelQuest for the Fuel Center service, and said he didn’t pilot the system, but signed a 5-year contract offering the option to cancel within 60 days if the program didn’t work for him.

    By utilizing the program, Sthanki is able to better compete with large chains who can purchase larger amounts and get better deals. “As a single location truck stop, I have to be able to compete against bigger franchises,” he said. “Fuel Center is the best solution for my business today and for the future. Their management services and significant fuel buying network will provide the competitive advantage I need to expand.”

    By Tammy Mastroberte, Convenience Store News
    • About Tammy Mastroberte Contributing Editor Tammy Mastroberte is an award-winning writer, with more than 16 years of experience in the magazine publishing industry. She writes on a variety of subjects, including retail technology. Mastroberte previously served as executive editor of Stagnito Business Information’s Convenience Store News.

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