April 2013 Marketer of the Month - Sourdough Fuel


Sourdough Fuel of Fairbanks, Alaska, has earned the title of April's Marketer of the Month for its superior customer service and maintaining a competitive edge in selling bulk quantities of lubricants to the Alaska Interior for more than 15 years.

"Sourdough Fuel exceeds expectations by doing whatever it takes to meet its customers' every need," shared MSR Dennis "Duck" Hammons. "Since the closest supply point to Sourdough Fuel is located in Portland, Ore., the company needs to maintain a two-week supply of quality lubricants to serve its customers at any time - and it does an exceptional job of making sure they are always taken care of."

Sourdough Fuel has a long history of supplying mining, industrial and construction lubricants to the eastern region of Alaska, and it has stayed true to its roots after becoming a subsidiary of Petro Star - a large Alaska-based refining and fuel company - in 1995. Over the years, the company has seen tremendous growth with its inventory supply quantities, which have increased from a few hundred drums to 25,000 gallons worth of bulk lubricant storage. "A lot has changed since I started here in 1976," marveled Dave Cieplik, Bulk Plant Manager at Sourdough Fuel. "More than 70% of our lubricants now come in bulk; we're amazed at how much the demand in our area has escalated. We also understand our customers' needs and the challenges with Alaska's winter climate, which is why we aim to deliver bulk lubricant orders the same day, any distance, to show our appreciation and support."

Although the company keeps a large supply of lubricants on-hand, Sourdough Fuel remains a small company with a staff of 10. "Our core team has more than 55 years of experience in the lubricants business, and we wear a lot of different hats," Cieplik said. "From answering the phones to driving 200 miles to deliver orders, we do it all." During the icy winter months, Sourdough Fuel stores its bulk tankers in a heated storage building to ensure that the oil will still pump when they arrive at each customer's location. "Our team goes above and beyond in customer service and caters to every request, including the summer months when we're open six days a week," he added. In addition, the company utilizes TankLink, a remote tank monitoring system, that shares updates when a client's inventory is running low - another testament to Sourdough's excellent customer service.

Sourdough Fuel has worked with Phillips 66 Lubricants for more than 15 years and enjoys the partnership, citing Phillips 66 Lubricants' first-class service and its success with Phillips 66 X/C® 20W-50 aviation oil as well as the Liquid Titanium® engine oils. "The service we get from Phillips 66 Lubricants is second-to-none," Cieplik shared. "We're always ordering in bulk since we're so far away, and the attention and support we get in Portland is remarkable - Phillips 66 Lubricants takes care of us!"

Over the next few years, Sourdough Fuel hopes to increase its lubricant sales throughout the Alaska Interior and build a larger sales team, while still keeping the feel of a small, family-run business. In addition, the company looks forward to new pipeline development in Fairbanks, Alaska, that will aid in serving customers in the area.

We congratulate Sourdough Fuel as April's Marketer of the Month and look forward to its continued growth and remarkable achievements!

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