About Triump Energy
Founded in 1981, Triumph Energy is a family-owned operation, with 38 C-stores and fuel stations across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Their operations include Shell, BP, Sunoco, Marathon, and Sunny’s franchises. They have implemented the StoreKeep platform throughout their stores.
Jason Wittekind is the COO of Triumph Energy. In addition to managing stores, he oversees four different business divisions at Triumph Energy.
With Triumph’s stores scattered across a three-state region, tracking prices and inventory takes time and effort.
After implementing Taiga’s Front Office Platform in March of 2020, managing each store has become much easier, saving time while maximizing income by stocking and staffing stores to meet demand.
Jason Wittekind, COO of Triumph, reports that Taiga’s Platform saves him a significant amount of time reviewing all the metrics. It notifies him of any discrepancies that merit investigation. Thus, Wittekind “operates by exception,” handling problems before they get big. With tight fuel margins and limited shelf space, small changes make a difference in profit margins.
Because Triumph adopted Taiga’s Front Office Platform during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, radically changed buying patterns made it difficult to assess performance. This has been a year with no comparisons. Yet the ability to examine broad trends or down-to-the-SKU details gives Wittekind the insight to make better decisions. Taiga shows data in real-time, allowing management to change course quickly to address problems.
Business intelligence from Taiga can guide decisions to put owners and managers in the driver’s seat. They can use data to customize their operations, keep abreast of changes in the marketplace, and respond in real-time. More closely matching the business practices of the huge conglomerates gives smaller and family-owned companies a leg up. In fact, smaller operators are nimble, and using data insight along with superior area knowledge can give small owners like Triumph a competitive advantage.
Too Many Details, Different Platforms
Because small operators like Triumph acquire different branded stores with various technologies, there is no single system in place. It takes work to manage fuel sales, fuel orders, store inventory, purchasing patterns, staff scheduling, and more. Management lacks onsight, comparisons between stores, and often needs to drive from store-to-store to oversee operations.
Implementing Tech Solutions is Overwhelming
Originally, Triumph was trying to build out their own enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, but that proved difficult and time-consuming. Small companies usually don’t have enough tech knowledge in-house to figure out how to automate functions or upgrade technology.
Limited Time, Limited Staff, Limited Insight
Owners of small groups of stores can suffer “death by a thousand paper-cuts” through many little problems to solve. With hundreds or thousands of transactions per day at one store, a couple of cents on every transaction adds up fast. Especially with tight margins. Problems often fester for a long time before being discovered, compounding losses. Owners don’t have the time to take a long view, anticipate problems, and make changes to boost profits.
Chains and Vendors Have Advantages with Data Analytics
Large chain owners and vendors can optimize their sales with expensive and complex data analytics. Smaller owners are largely “flying blind.” Vendors push products that benefit their corporations, while not knowing the optimal stock mix for a particular location. Without expensive business intelligence, small operators are at a disadvantage.
Use A Platform That Integrates All Systems and Data in One Place
Taiga’s Front Office Platformm allows comparisons from store to store, product category to product category, and SKU to SKU. Aggregating the separate systems means each manager has complete insight into their area of the operation. For instance, fuel managers can now look in one place to order fuel rather than opening numerous programs.
Go at Your Own Pace
Because Taiga’s Front Office Platform is modular, companies can implement just the Platform to start. Then they can add on other modules (loss prevention, pricing optimization) as they need. Step-by-step implementation takes advantage of the efficiency and profit boost without overwhelming a small staff.
Free Up Management Time While Increasing Insight
As COO, Wittekind’s time is his most valuable resource. Taiga saves him time in overseeing all of Triumph’s stores. Plus it gives him tools that take the guesswork out of management. Real-time data shows what each decision either makes or costs him. The platform gives Wittekind the information to ask the right questions, get to the bottom of each issue, and handle things accordingly.
Level the Playing Field
Vendors come in with complete data to sell C-stores the products corporate wants to promote. Choosing products based on national trends or corporate priorities doesn’t necessarily benefit a C-store operation. With Taiga, C-store managers can now participate in vendor discussions. They know what works for their specific stores. Framing their own needs with data, C-store managers can improve their profit margins. Smaller operators can now compete on a more level playing field with the huge chains, using data to spot opportunities and act on them.
Taiga’s Front Office Platform made operational management much smoother for Triumph Energy. The confidence and insight resulted in Triumph purchasing 10 additional stores during 2020. Though the new stores are farther from headquarters, Taiga lets Triumph see “into” each location, whether around the corner or hundreds of miles away. Oversight of each store means that each “exception” is noticed and there is accountability. The appropriate decisions on staffing levels, stock choices, pricing decisions, and ordering intervals maximize revenues at each location.