Simon Says

With more fuel-efficient vehicles and fewer miles driven, how does Taylor-based Atlas Oil Co. propel a 25-percent growth rate year over year?


Published:

(page 4 of 4)

Be Prepared

With fuel supply agreements now in place, Oakwood is much better prepared for an emergency like a blackout. “We’re confident we can deliver fuel in almost any situation, but it’s important that businesses have suppliers that can get fuel from a variety of sources in times of stress,” Kenyon says. “If you only have three days’ supply of gas for a generator, you could be in big trouble.”

During a hurricane or a tornado, residents and businesses hunker down and weather the storm or retreat to safer quarters. However, Kenyon says most people don’t consider what life is like following a natural disaster. Stores need to reopen as quickly as possible to service customers.

“The best position to be in is that your business reopens immediately following a storm, with no interruption of power,” Kenyon says. “That business is not only going to survive, but (it’s going to) thrive because they’ll have lots of customers coming their way. That type of confidence can last for a lifetime, and beyond. If the local hardware store opens after a storm and is able to serve its customers, well, you’re going to have the most loyal customer base in the world for years to come.”

Eddie Osman, co-owner of Wixom Stop & Go, a service station at I-96 and Wixom Road, says Atlas Oil goes above and beyond what has been a 22-year distribution partnership.

“Atlas Oil is always encouraging us to sell more fuel, because if we sell more fuel, everyone wins because Atlas Oil can buy ever larger volumes at a lower cost,” Osman says.

“They help in so many ways. When I was raising money to help the family of a police officer killed in the line of duty (West Bloomfield Officer Patrick O’Rourke was shot and killed in 2012 while responding to a domestic dispute), Atlas Oil really helped out in organizing the fundraiser. We were able to raise $12,207 as part of our annual Customer Service Day. I can’t say enough about Sam Simon and his team.”

As Simon launches the business in multiple directions to transcend a slow, but steady, drop in demand for traditional fuel like gasoline, he keeps excuses out of the equation. During the 2008 global financial crisis, he recalls a situation where an employee wondered out loud how the company could grow in the face of bankruptcies, massive layoffs, and a sharp decline in auto sales.

“I don’t want to hear a darn thing about the Michigan economy or the global recession,” Simon says. “We are going to grow, no matter what. If you don’t want to grow, then you shouldn’t be on our team.” db

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