Describe your business: We are a family-owned business founded in 1932, when my grandfather and his three brothers began selling coal out of his barber shop. This advanced into converting coal fired heating equipment to oil heat. My father took over the business in 1979; he expanded operations to include plumbing and HVAC. Today, our services include fuel oil and diesel delivery, heating system installation and service on gas, oil, and electric heat pumps and plumbing services.
What is your biggest business challenge? It is the future of fossil fuels. Most people do not realize that today’s fuels can be replaced with lower and noncarbon substitutes. Unfortunately, the only answer that is listened to is electrification, which is expensive and intrusive. However, my business installs heat pumps. We should have a seat at the table in energy transition discussions.
How do you maintain your workforce? With an aging workforce, there is no ready pipeline of young people interested in entering the business. I am chair of the Workforce Development (WFD) Committee of the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey. Through our Generation Next Energy Pros effort, members have introduced themselves to HVAC/plumbing trade schools and CDL schools to present opportunities to students in order to create the pipeline of next generation employees. I am thrilled to announce that, to date, I have hired two students who will soon finish training. And I am looking for a third.
How do you maintain a positive business cash flow? Maintaining a positive cash flow in this economy is tricky. I offer my customers annual budgets. I also watch the fuel markets daily and try to dollar cost average so I can keep a level price for my customers. Maintaining close contact with customers and talking about their needs ahead of time also helps keep the receivables manageable. The business/customer relationship is like any other relationship, constant communication is essential.
About the Business
Preident: Scott Majka
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