Today, Herdrich Petroleum specializes in supplying fuel to independently operated gas stations, assisting independent operators with site selection and acquisitions, and operating convenience and gas station locations. In its third generation of leadership, the company operates 20 Quickpix convenience stores in Indiana and provides branded and unbranded fuel to more than 100 independently operated convenience stores.
Herdrich Petroleum offers branded fuel through Shell, BP, Marathon, Phillips 66, Conoco, CountryMark and Spirit, and its unbranded fuels are from various terminals throughout the Midwest. “Our push is both trying to build convenience stores in rural communities and push our wholesale fuel to dealers in Indiana and Kentucky,” Bill Herdrich explains.
Bill Herdrich attributes much of Herdrich Petroleum’s success to its employees because they are the face of the company and always strive to provide excellent customer service. Quickpix employees get to know customers who stop in every day and can provide a higher level of service because they have built a relationship, which Herdrich’s daughter Heather Meckes says is vital to the company’s operation.
“We want to know them and the types of things they want,” she adds. “It’s important to know our customers’ names and have their donut and coffee ready for them if that’s what they come in for every day.”
To further show appreciation to its customers, Herdrich Petroleum offers a loyalty program at its convenience stores to gain more of a customer base and give back to its existing customers. At each convenience store location, the loyalty program offers customer incentives such as cents back per gallon of gas and discounts on in-store items, Bill Herdrich says.
Because Quickpixs are located in small, rural towns, community involvement is a major focus for Herdrich Petroleum. Participating in local events not only promotes the brand, but also allows the company to form a deeper relationship with its customers who attend the events.
General Manager and Herdrich’s newphew Scott Hackleman says the company culture is very family oriented. “It’s a family based company that has quite a bit of family members in it, so we aren’t coming to employees or stores as a large corporate company,” he adds. “Employees can talk to any of us and we are all in the stores quite a bit. I would say the family plays a big part in the culture.”
Herdrich Petroleum strives to maintain a balancing act in each of its stores, Meckes says. “We want to be the small, intimate company where all our employees can reach us, but at the same time we put in a lot of checks and balances that bigger firms do,” she says. “It’s a balance we work on daily.”
Herdrich Petroleum has remodeled or rebuilt two to three Quickpix stores per year for the last several years. At one of the new Quickpix locations in Knightstown, Ind., the company implemented a proprietary chicken program to increase its foodservice presence, Hackleman says. “For the past month-and-a-half it has been very successful,” he says. “We will probably end up branching that proprietary chicken program out to our remodel locations.”
As Herdrich Petroleum works to open more convenience store locations, its goals have been to streamline operations over the past several years. “For the past five years we have been updating our software and computer systems, so adding one more store here and there is not as big of a deal as it used to be,” Meckes says. “We can add a couple stores without changing major systems or hiring brand new people in the management office.”
For example, Herdrich Petroleum implemented handheld scanning technology a few years ago that links to the store’s main operating system to check the accuracy of its grocery orders and track its purchase history. The system reduces out-of-stock inventory, helps ensure its stores are running optimally and ensures items are priced consistently.
Moving forward, the company will add more convenience stores in rural Indiana and possibly look at opening locations in rural markets out of state. “In the long-term and if the opportunity presents itself and makes sense, we would not be opposed to going out of Indiana,” Herdrich says. “We are close to the Ohio border, so if we were to look, it would make sense to start in Ohio.”