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How One Customer Weathered Last Winter


View All Issues » December 2011

You might be starting to experience the snow and wintry weather that comes along with the season. But you’re going to have a hard time topping the winter they had a year ago at Cubby Oil in Massachusetts.

With one of the most extreme winters anyone can remember, Cubby found itself buried – literally – under a snowy deluge and a run of bad luck. They had a reported 59 inches of snow in Cubby’s part of the Bay State. But they got through, in a heartening tale of perseverance.

It was a struggle shared by many oil, propane, and kerosene dealers everywhere last winter, as the Somerville, Mass., firm found itself with an uphill slog to serve customers.

We started in early January when we realized that we had a problem,” said Charlie Uglietto, President of Cubby Oil.

As if the snow itself wasn’t enough, first, one driver slipped and broke his ankle. Then, another fell and bruised his hip – out five weeks. Then, another suffered torn knee ligaments and was out. At one point the company was down to about half strength in drivers. That sent Uglietto himself on the road, for the first time in 20 years. Then he was injured, tearing a calf muscle.

We needed every available truck running in order to keep up,” he said. “It very quickly became 12-, 13-hour days, 7 days a week,” he said.

Sure, Cubby might have told its customers to clear the way or no delivery, but that’s not the relationship they have with their long-term neighbors.

A lot of them are older, they couldn’t do much about it,” Uglietto said of the snow.

Uglietto credits all of his staff with “just getting through it,” putting in more hours all around. In addition to the president himself, his dispatcher was out making deliveries, and all the office staff were putting in extra hours to run the business.

You can hear some of those resilient New England values in the Cubby president: “I think we’re all judged by how we perform when the conditions are the worst. We want to get the job done for our customers, but it certainly was a challenge.”

With a little time to form some perspective, last season delivered a reminder for oil men about what nature can bring.

That’s the way it used to be, and it served as a good lesson to us,” Uglietto said. “That’s the way I remember winters in school, and it was always snow and snowbanks. It was a reminder that we had gotten a little soft, and suddenly guys were really feeling the exertion of our business. I think it’s a reminder that we’ve got to be prepared for any kind of challenge,” he said.

ADD Systems wishes continued success for Cubby and all of our hundreds of customers, and here’s hoping it doesn’t come as hard as last year. About to enter its 25th year as an ADD customer, Cubby is representative of the long-term partnership we enjoy with them. The company had upgraded just months before the historic winter of 2010-11 and currently uses E3 2010, as well as SmartConnect for self-service deliveries.

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