Although a lot has changed since Kelly Roberts founded Ricochet Fuel Distributors Inc. in 1988, the overarching purpose of her organization has remained the same. She is determined to empower her customers with meaningful solutions that enable them to remain focused on their core competencies.
“I’ve always said that even though fuel is our medium, our true goal is to offer our customers solutions,” Roberts said. “We eliminate any concerns they have about how they will keep their equipment operating — whether they are working in a remote location or in the heart of the city.”
Over the years, Euless, Texas-based Ricochet Fuel has grown organically into a diversified multistate fuel logistics company offering a variety of petroleum products, services and resources to its growing customer base. Currently, the company delivers millions of gallons of diesel, gasoline and lubricants, along with biodiesel and diesel exhaust fluid, annually.
The specific strategy Ricochet deploys depends entirely on what the individual customer needs — whether it’s fuel for a fleet of trucks, generators, production equipment or construction vehicles. The goal is always to provide a total turnkey fuel management service that leverages cellular technology to monitor inventory and to make sure customers are never out of fuel.
Although Ricochet is currently servicing sites in 16 states , there are no geographic limitations, Roberts explained. For instance, Ricochet currently has a strong foothold within the construction industry, leveraging the corporation’s willingness and ability to follow customers from jobsite to jobsite — a true differentiator. “I take pride in our team’s resourcefulness to always develop a solution to a customer request,” she said. “We always listen first, assess the short- and long-term needs and then collaborate to find workable solutions.”
The corporation’s resourcefulness was never clearer other than in its role providing Oncor Electric Delivery Co. with strategic support throughout disaster relief efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “When other companies were limited due to their geographic reach, our business model allowed us to use vendors outside the industry norm and bring supply into stressed areas,” Roberts said. “It was a huge project that helped turn the lights back on and get people back to their daily lives.”
Looking forward, she sees Ricochet on a steady path to deploy new technologies and embrace new strategies capable of constantly improving the company’s ability to serve a growing customer base.
Roberts got her start in the petroleum industry after college by working for industry giant Texaco Inc. She then spent time working for a small distributor before deciding to follow the dream of starting her own business. “I learned a significant amount seeing both sides of the business. It gave me a solid understanding of what organizations need,” she said. In addition, she has benefited significantly from a network of like-minded business leaders always willing to lend advice.