I should tell everyone up front when I was approached about writing a blog my response was, “Sure, no problem!” and like most things in my life, I’ve never been one to admit ignorance of something. It must be the male ego that prevents concession. The first thing I had to do was find out what a blog is. I learned that a blog is a combination of two root words WEB and LOG and the term was coined by Peter Merholz in 1999. Okay, enough with the history lesson. Lets blog!!
My name is Skotty Morris, and I am the head of the Petroleum Division here at your MVC. I am going to blog about a topic that everyone is familiar with and certainly has an opinion about. Luckily for us, I am an expert in the field. When it comes to gas prices I consistently hear these two comments, “THEY’RE TOO HIGH!” and “WHY IS THE COOP ALWAYS HIGHER THAN EVERYONE ELSE?”
I will address the first statement first. The United States of America is the largest consumer of fossil fuels on the planet. We consume 18.6 billion barrels per day. The number two country is China. Guess how much they consume daily? I will let you work on that. When you respond to my blog, and I hope you will, you can tell the rest of the readers that the gap between the two is staggering. It should tell the story of why they, whoever they is, charge so much for gas. It’s simply because they can, but I will continue to ride my snowmobile and go fishing and hunting and of course drive back and forth to work daily like most Americans now. That is something I’ve come to terms with. It’s the second comment I still struggle with most.
“Why is Coop always higher than everyone else?” I must say, without sounding too boisterous, the current management team at your MVC has been very, and I stress VERY, competitive over the last few years. I will be 38 shortly after this is posted and my how the world has changed in twenty years. One thing age has brought is some clarity in the field of being a consumer. Although price is on my list of things to look at when making a purchase, there are other things to be considered. Value is number one for me and it encompasses so much. I am one of those people who is willing to pay more for service, quality and the something I affectionately refer to as ‘the cause”. What is the cause? I’m glad you asked. What does the company I’m doing business with stand for? How does this business affect our local economy? In what ways do they give back to the community? Where is their corporate office? If I call will I speak to someone locally or someone in Ohio? Not that there’s anything wrong with someone in Ohio, I just wonder how much they know about our local economy or even our local culture.
I suppose I’ve made my point, but for blogging sake, what we really need from you, the members of the MVC, are answers to the following questions. What do you perceive as value? Is price more important than doing business locally? What would you like to see us doing differently? I’ve been warned that when given the opportunity, consumers will find something to complain about. If so, then so be it, but we need to know from our member base what you value if we hope to keep your company alive. We need feedback. It is important to your board and your employees that you tell us what your expectations are. Hopefully, something I have written here will prompt you to post a comment, and who knows, maybe I will have to write a follow up blog to elaborate on why Cooperatives need support from its member base in order to sustain local economies and maintain profitability.