Bluewave Energy LP
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Employees: 420 FT, 105 contract
Primary market: Canada
President: Bill Sanford
Riding the petroleum boom
Like most Canadians, Bill Sanford checks the temperature regularly during the tough Canadian winter season, partly so he can match his clothes to the conditions outside. But that isn’t the only reason. In fact the performance of the company he heads depends in large part on how cold it gets.
Bluewave Energy LP distributes petroleum products such as diesel fuel, lubricants and … heating oil. When winter comes, staff working the company’s cross-country network of trucks, sales branches and bulk storage facilities get busy, helping to keep Canadians toasty warm.
Sanford has been in the energy sector almost all of his working life. He and seven partners decided to go into business for themselves earlier in the decade due in part to a new trend the group identified. “End-customer fuel lubricant distribution had traditionally been controlled by multi-nationals,” said Sanford. “But our team realized that oil companies wanted to focus more on exploration, extraction and refining. That left the smaller customer segment wide open.”
Sanford attributes the company’s success to a variety of factors, the most important of which is its focus on clients. “The majors used to prioritize operational effectiveness,” explains Sanford. “As a result they limited their product offerings and serviced clients through impersonal call centers. We prefer to retain front line customer contacts, so that we can tailor our products and services to regional needs.”
Yet despite the Bluewave Energy LP’s success, Sanford is far from satisfied. “We are a growth company,” said the veteran entrepreneur. There is a lot of consolidation that is going to take place in the industry going forward. So we have always got our eyes open for new opportunities.”
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Peter Diekmeyer Communications Inc.