A Message From Our Founder, James Stairmand

A Message From Our Founder, James Stairmand

As part of being more informative as a business, perhaps a good place to start is for me to explain what drove me to set up OnlineFuels, what we have done in the past couple of years, and where we see ourselves going over the next 12 months.

Why I created OnlineFuels

My background had been working for Mabanaft (Importer/ Wholesaler) for 8 years. I enjoyed every day there, and gained pivotal exposure to many aspects of the business that I might not have got elsewhere. Having moved around within the company, I felt I had a solid understanding of how this part of the chain operated. But there was always a struggle, which bothered me and many others and ultimately led to my inspiration to build a new tool.

One of the fundamental parts of this business is buying and selling fuel. It always struck me that in the downstream market there was a lot more scope for technology to play a part. With prices fluctuating every second, but buyers having to call several suppliers to get prices, there was never really a true snapshot of where the market was. I couldn’t believe this crucial information needed for consistently getting the best price on fuel was being missed.

Thus, OnlineFuels was born. The initial idea of OnlineFuels was to create a tool that let buyers compare their fuel prices in one place and give them control of all of their buying options. Whilst that is still our fundamental feature, we are always looking for new ways to help you.

In terms of running an actual start-up business, it has been a fairly steep learning curve.

Someone told me it’s like jumping out of a plane and trying to assemble the parachute on the way down- they weren’t far wrong!

What we’ve achieved so far

We now have some great people involved in the business, and some real supporters within the industry. Of course, there will always be those who are sceptical about what we are doing, but that’s fine. One thing that I do always notice, is that you always get the time of day from other people who have given it a go themselves and know the difficulties you are probably facing.

We are on this journey, and the actual product we have might be different in 2 or 3 years, but we definitely know that technology will play a larger role in oil and energies in the future, and as that happens, OnlineFuels are going to be at the forefront.

In the past 2 ½ years we have now created a slick tool that is used by many key players. Our next step is to really start looking at 2 key parts: Delivered In, and back office reconciliation, as part of our efforts to make OnlineFuels a complete solution for your fuel buying.

Everything we have made, has been market driven. If you have some feedback on how it could work, we would love to hear from you. Our plans in the UK are to really add value to our current customers.

The future of OnlineFuels

Looking forward, we would love to understand how new products can be added to the system, and even looking abroad and seeing how those markets work. Maybe we fit, maybe we don’t.

The product isn’t finished, nor will it ever be. We are learning the whole time, that’s what makes the job fun and extremely rewarding! I’m exceptionally proud of the team we have built around us. Everyone has complete faith in what we are doing and that is vital in a start-up environment.

Our team go above and beyond what is expected from them in a normal 9-5 job, but hopefully they can see their opinion on how things operate, makes a real difference to our business, product and ultimately- you.

We are still accepting new buyers and suppliers onto the platform, so apply today for an account and be a part of the journey that is based around making your life simpler.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me on jps@onlinefuels.local

Sam Hunter
Sam Hunter
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