TAC Energy is a division of Truman Arnold Companies (TAC) a Texarkana, Texas based company founded in 1964 by Truman Arnold as a branded petroleum jobber. Under his direction, the company built the multi-state chain of high volume convenience stores known as Road Runner, which TAC operated until they were sold in 1989.
Today, TAC Energy is a leading nationwide petroleum marketing and distribution company with annual volumes exceeding two billion gallons. With a network that includes petroleum terminals, regional sales offices and aviation fixed base operations, TAC serves customers in all 50 states.
TAC’s wholesale fuels division is one of the largest independent wholesale suppliers in the United States.
TAC Energy is willing to work with companies from a single site operator to a large marketing operation and focuses on meeting the specific needs of the customer.
“We don't assume one-size-fits-all,” said John Rettiger, vice president and chief operating officer of TAC energy. “People run businesses differently and we take care of customers from municipalities to marketers and wholesalers and retailers down to the single site operator and up to the big-box chains. In the end-user business we have construction and trucking and utilities and all those different customers, so we focus on their specific needs with the assumption that everyone wants the lowest possible cost of fueling. We start with that assumption, and I believe we do a pretty good job with it.”
Rettiger noted that the company thrives in a multi-location delivered environment both within a state, across several states or nationally. TAC Energy operates a full logistics and supply department that takes care of everything from monitoring tanks up to delivery.
From a product standpoint, TAC Energy offers diesel, gasoline and aviation fuels. In addition to unbranded, TAC Energy participates in and promotes all of the branded programs to its customers. The company operates two terminals located in North Little Rock, Ark., and Caddo Mills, Texas, with six loading lanes at each location and a combined capacity of over one million barrels of storage. The terminals are ISO 9002 certified and are staffed 24/7.
As noted, TAC Energy can provide a range of logistical arrangements from being largely hands off to full turn-key management programs. The TAC Energy Complete Supply Chain Management offers customers a dedicated 24/7/365 in-house staff solution to save customers time and money by actively managing inventory and deliveries in order to safely achieve the lowest possible delivered cost of product.
“One of the things we do to keep costs down is utilize technology to streamline processes and improve reporting so we can offer a lot of custom reporting and tools for our end users to use to analyze their fueling situation everywhere from the payment side to the delivery reporting,” said Rettiger. “Construction and utilities and even trucking companies are big users of our fuel management programs, which are budgeting tools. And again we focus on customizing this to the companies' needs.”
Where the contract specifics are concerned, TAC Energy offers discount programs, fixed prices, collars, caps and other customized programs to meet specific goals.
“On the retail side we have customers that buy from us at the rack, and we have others where we monitor everything from beginning to end and take care of it all and we feel we are well positioned for them to outsource that to us in a cost-effective manner,” said Rettiger. “From the logistics side we see retailers focused more and more on the challenges in retail so we incorporate whatever makes sense for that customer. Just about any way you can have the relationship, we are probably doing it.”
At the nuts and bolts end, www.tacenergy.com offers customers a Web-based environment to receive quotes, invoicing, BOL retrieval and custom reports and analysis.
TAC Energy Bulk Trading offers bulk supply and trading across the U.S. with an expansive network of terminals and bulk product or shipments via all major U.S. pipeline systems.
Rettiger noted that TAC Energy typically has relationships with most, if not all, suppliers in a market. This can provide supply stability, but in today’s financial climate it goes beyond that basic advantage.
“We believe that because we have a lot of supply sources, our supply diversification provides an added level of comfort when things get tight, especially for our unbranded customers,” said Rettiger. “We are very consistent in how we evaluate credit risk, and we are very disciplined about that part of our business. But, we do zero in on every individual customer and we're flexible. As noted we work with everybody from a supply standpoint, and it's real tough for our customers to go out and have all of these relationships on their own. You can't have a line-of-credit with everybody because you don't do business with everybody all the time, so we can make that process efficient. When a customer gets a credit line with us, that customer then gets access to all of the suppliers through our relationships.” In addition, from a price standpoint TAC energy offers an economy of scale a smaller operation would have a hard time matching.
Acquisition and growth
TAC Energy acquired Fuel Managers Incorporated’s wholesale fuels business on Oct. 31, 2009. Under this acquisition TAC Energy saw an opportunity to expanding its market share in the Central and Western U.S. while reinforcing its supply resources and services to existing customers.
“We're very excited and happy with the way this has worked out. We've been able to gain a lot of synergy from that acquisition,” said Rettiger. “We've been able to gain some new supplier relationships to further enhance our supply options particularly as related to the West, and we're excited about a lot of the operational improvements that we are making. When you combine a couple of operations together, you can take the best of what both companies were doing and you can learn from the company you've acquired. You can put in a play the best ideas from both companies and the best processes and we feel it's led to a tremendous operational improvement.”
TAC Energy is looking to increase its business in the near future both through acquisition and organic growth. The company is also ramping up its existing involvement in biofuels.
And on the customer service side, Rettiger stated that a primary focus is making it easy to do business with TAC Energy. “Sometimes fuel suppliers have not made it easy to do business with them, and we strive to earn our customers’ business every day whether they buy an occasional load from us or if they have a contract,” he said.