River City Petroleum sees efficiency gains after deploying ERP from PDI Software

River City Petroleum sees efficiency gains after deploying ERP from PDI Software

River City Petroleum, which achieves annual fuel sales topping 200 million gallons across Utah, Oregon and Arizona, has seen massive gains in efficiency and increased automation after deploying PDI Software’s ERP.

The West Coast is known for producing a number of indie darlings – not just in music, but also the independent petroleum marketing scene where River City Petroleum has plied its trade since 1981.

RCP is one of the only independent pipeline shippers left standing in California and Nevada, and has been able to endure and prosper thanks to a trusted reputation and quality of service built on the bedrock of its commitment to customers.

“We’re easy to work with and customer service is key for us, especially in the Las Vegas area,” said Jeremy Bautista, Vice President of Operations for RCP. “We’re all selling the same thing, so it really comes down to who do you want to work with. The people make the difference and we have great people.”

A primary bulk shipper with eight company-owned cardlock sites and annualized fuel sales topping 200 million gallons, RCP also has operations in Utah, Oregon and Arizona. Bona fides like membership in the nationwide Cardlock Fueling Network and authorization as a Valero, Sinclair and VP Racing dealer further enhance RCP’s status among customers in the region.

Business challenge

Even though River City Petroleum was able to grow into the company it is today thanks to dedicated staff and services, its technology was still stuck in the 1980s.

“The process to get a report was very time-consuming because report generation was a manual process: It was all on green bar paper,” Bautista said. “We’d have to run it in the middle of the night because it would take at least two hours to generate a report. We actually had a room full of printers, and they made so much noise. We were printing so much paper that we would get thousands of dollars for recycling.”

The outdated tools and reliance on manual processes began taking a toll on RCP. Closing moved at an ‘unsatisfactory’ pace, while insight and transparency were difficult: “We were constantly looking at mounds of data trying to sift through and find the errors and mistakes,” Bautista said.

It got to the point where River City Petroleum was filing its taxes manually and tracking in spreadsheets: all 250 pages. A solution was needed that could bring organization, function and capability.

PDI solution

Time-intensive report generation was a primary concern for River City Petroleum. It dragged on the business, and RCP needed a way to process information better. To that end, RCP worked with PDI and slashed its downtime by incredible amounts. Not only that, but automation has benefited RCP’s efforts in other areas by providing more rich and updated data.

“Generating a report has gone from several hours to a few minutes,” Bautista said. “Things like invoicing are instant, and we can run it in batches. The reports we have are very easy to get, user friendly and very easy to read. The information is real-time, up-to-date and accurate, which is critical for our business.”

Eliminating manual processes was a critical need for RCP as well. PDI’s ERP platform was not only able to accomplish that for River City Petroleum but keep tasks centralized so staff weren’t bogged down going from application to application.

“PDI’s system is a one-stop shop,” Bautista said. “It’s a comprehensive solution for our business and that’s a big deal because we didn’t want disparate systems.”

Customer results

River City Petroleum has seen massive gains in efficiency. Instead of having to close on the 27th of the month, RCP can turn around closing in five to seven days, a 70-80% improvement with PDI over its existing processes.

Managing by exception has become an easier task (no longer one dependent on mountains of raw data) and Bautista cited RCP’s ability to act in real-time as a key reason why it was able to nail a $14,000 irregularity, for instance.

Beyond the capability PDI’s system has granted, Bautista says it’s the human element (something already highly valued in RCP’s culture) that makes the relationship and solution so successful.

“PDI’s passionate about their product and helping their customers be successful and run with efficiency,” he said. “You need to have a software vendor you can trust and PDI is certainly that partner for us.”

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