All in the Family: How a Bulk Fuel Company Has Grown its Business

Fueling Communications

If you drive a vehicle, run a business or operate machinery in Southern Oregon or Northern California, chances are you’ve run across Ed Staub & Sons and Ed’s Trucking. The company started more than 50 years ago when Ed Staub bought a Chevron bulk plant in Alturas, California. Over the years, through hard work and old-fashioned customer service, Ed and his sons have grown the company, adding services and locations across the west.

Now, in addition to driving trucks and delivering fuel, Ed Staub & Sons sells lubricants and appliances, offers installation services and facilities maintenance, and runs several retail stores and card-lock fuel stations. With 65 locations in Oregon, Northern California and Idaho, and multiple business lines and divisions, the company’s operations are complex and require tight organization and communication.

Trevor Oswald is the IT director for Ed Staub & Sons. With a lean team of three people, he supports more than 450 employees who work for the company across all 65 locations. The company’s network includes fuel stations, card-lock fuel terminals, retail point-of-sale systems, convenience stores, bulk plants and operations yards.

The company shares its success with dozens of fuel, service and product partners, but one partner Ed Staub & Sons depends on is Cal-Ore Communications for fiber broadbandphone services and network design. Oswald has come to count on the team at Cal-Ore as an extension of his networking team.

“Charlie (at Cal-Ore) is an asset, a friend and a partner to our company,” says Oswald. “Whether it’s figuring out a networking solution we need to put in or making a connection to the right people we need to do it, I appreciate the local aspect when it comes to service.”

In addition to the wide-area-network (or WAN) that Cal-Ore provides for Trevor’s Klamath-Tulelake locations, Ed Staub & Sons also leverages central IT servers to run its accounting software, enabling nearly 80 employees to use it simultaneously from different locations.

Combining the central IT operation with the company’s flow of retail and accounting information over the communications network, as well as daily changes in the global fuel markets, Oswald has to plan for network reliability and data security at all times.

“We depend on Cal-Ore fiber to connect our Support Center headquarters, to our Tulelake disaster recovery and backup location, to our Spring Street location,” says Oswald. “From those locations, we’re able to get all the information we need back from the national market feeds and from our other locations around the Northwest.”

Oswald says the local and accessible support can’t be overstated. “One of the biggest challenges in this job is simply getting around to all the locations where we need to upgrade, connect or maintain systems,” he says. “When we’re dealing with an issue, I appreciate that I can pick up the phone to the local Cal-Ore team and continue the same conversation we were having last week without having to walk through it all again. You don’t get that with the larger communications providers.”

“It just comes down to local partners I can trust.”