Roma Fuels Ltd.: Fueling Productivity

Mario and Guido Rollo established Roma Fuels Ltd. (Roma) in 1968, and they continue to run the business today. Roma is a Toronto-based, family-owned and -operated fuel distribution company. Sergio, Mario’s son and operations manager for Roma, is proud to contribute to the family business.

Roma started as a small, residential heating oil business, and the Rollo family has put in many man-hours to build an operation capable of serving clients in the construction and transportation sectors of the industry in addition to its residential customers. The team at Roma services Toronto and the surrounding areas from Hamilton to Oshawa and north to Barrie, ensuring each customer’s needs are met.

Roma was once a two-man operation but has grown to employ 20 to 30 people, varying by season. “Our business right now is between 85- and 90-percent commercial and only 10- to 15-percent residential,” Sergio explains. “The commercial sector is the bulk of our operations.”

An individual account manager, who sets up tank drop-offs and regular delivery schedules for clients, handles service requests. “A lot of them are weekly,” Sergio elaborates. “Could be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, could be every Tuesday. We keep it going in a cycle.” Roma’s fleet of fuel trucks deliver to construction sites and boast the capabilities for direct fueling of heavy machinery, as well as storage tanks and generators. Roma also offers a full-service lubricant wholesale and delivery operation from automotive transmission fluid to hydraulic oil and grease.

More Than Just Fuel Delivery

While construction is the staple of Roma’s business, the company also serves fleet operations from municipal dump trucks and school buses to long-distance trucking companies. The company doesn’t just drop off fuel and run; Roma offers fuel-efficiency consulting and provides full resource consumption reports for every truck in a fleet.

A related service that Roma offers is a fuel card service, which the company refers to as a Roma Card. The system uses pin-activated credit cards to easily track fuel expenses and prevent theft while employees are on the road. Maximum expense caps are easily applied to keep the businesses’ spending on track, and putting money where it is most valued.

On the residential end, Roma continues to service household energy needs through its heating oil delivery service. The company has certified technicians to service home heating and air conditioning systems as well. Roma installs and services oil and natural gas furnaces, specializing in energy-efficient air control equipment. The company is dedicated to providing full service, including maintenance, installation of heating and cooling systems and ductwork in addition to the removal of old appliances.

Safe Business, Safe Communities

Like any company in the fuel business, safety is a major focus for Roma. The company is professionally licensed by the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute in addition to being certified in transport of dangerous goods, emergency response training and workplace hazardous materials information systems. Material safety data sheets are available with product delivery as well as on Roma’s website, romafuels.com.

The company is self-reliant for nearly all of its operational needs. “We’ve got our own guys and our own trucks, we do everything in-house,” says Sergio. Roma relies on its employees to maintain a superior level of service, and Sergio wants to ensure the well being of his greatest assets.

“We try to put together a tight ship,” he says. “We want to keep everybody happy.” The company is invested in its employees’ growth as much as its own, and is constantly adapting its services and equipment to better fulfill the needs of its customers.

Roma has battled off aftershocks of the recession through maintaining a broad range of services, although Sergio predicts that residential heating oil will make up less and less of the family’s business in the future. “Prices are so high right now that we might lose it,” he says. “People are switching to natural gas to save money. What are you going to do?”
Roma bides by competitive pricing, and the team understands the budgetary concerns of residential clients. “People think you go into oil to strike it rich,” Sergio jokes. “They think we are making tons of money off of them, but we don’t produce the product. I think the extractors are who you’ve got to watch out for.”

Sergio believes construction distributing will grow to encompass almost all of Roma’s business in the future. He isn’t worried about changes in the energy industry, because Roma has seen and adapted to a host of market developments over four decades of business. “We’ve been in business so long, we’ve got to be doing something right,” he says. Roma will mark its 45-year anniversary in 2013, but Sergio believes the company will hold off on any big celebrations until the big 50. “Maybe we’ll repaint the trucks,” he jokes.

Roma understands that reliable, timely and customized service improves the operating efficiency of equipment and can therefore improve its clients’ bottom lines. The company is fully committed to safeguarding the health and well being of employees, contractors and the public, as well as the physical environment. Roma’s facilities and equipment are diligently maintained and comply with all current established regulations relating to the delivery of fuel and lubricants. This commitment to quality and safety is what Roma Fuels Ltd. has to leverage into sustainable growth.