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Education Highlights

Click HERE for the Education Presentations from the SIGMA Annual Conference

Note: The presentations are under the Presentations icon. You will have to log in to access them.)

Opening General Session | Monday, November 4th | 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Real Trends, Fake Trends and Fuel Myths for the Coming Decade 
Tom Kloza, Oil Price Information Service (OPIS)

What lies ahead for liquid fuels through the next decade? Several issues will be paramount as we begin 2020: the return of geopolitical risk premiums for oil, the influence of the 2020 election, the impact of IMO 2020 and Tier 3 gasoline, and the relevance of the E15 debate.  For over 40 years, Tom Kloza, Global Head of Energy Analysis for Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), has separated mainstream myth from the reality of the North American marketplace and he’ll do so again to prepare fuel marketers for a year of major change. 

Steve Strum square
Winter Weather and Its Impact on the Refined Fuels Markets
Stephen Strum, DTN

Winter weather is upon us and with this we can expect changes to the refined fuels market. Various parts of the United States have seen winter-like conditions extending well into April – is this something that will continue?  And how will it affect the market? Come learn about some of the current projections and what may lie ahead for supply and demand. 

Business Meeting and General Session | Wednesday, Nov. 6th | 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Todd Fredin 50
Transport Fuel Supply Outlook: Historical Trade Flows and How They Might Change

Todd Fredin, Motiva Enterprises LLC

Join Motiva Executive VP for Supply, Trading and Logistics, Todd Fredin, as he discusses the factors that will affect future fuel supply and demand.  From gasoline specifications and electric vehicles to upcoming IMO regulations and changes of refining capacity, Todd will examine the likely effect these changes will have on regional fuel prices.

Dan North
The Outlook for the US Economy
Dan North, Euler Hermes 

After reasonably strong growth through most of 2019, the US economy is facing significant headwinds which could well lead to a recession in 2020.  The presentation will examine the Federal Reserve and monetary policy, the labor market, the consumer, the manufacturing and housing sectors, and various indicators which might suggest an imminent recession.

Additional Education Sessions

Breakfast Education Session

Tuesday, November 5, 8:00 AM – 8:50 AM 

       EV Charging – Evaluating the Business Case
       John Eichberger, Fuels Institute, and Glen Stancil, eMotive Solutions 

There are several facets to planning for electric vehicles – not only are you considering types of charging, installation, and the initial capital needed, you’re also looking at the long term business plan. The economics of electric vehicle charging are very different from gasoline. This session will discuss several of these economic points, including the higher margin/lower throughput model, utilizing certain economic levers to reduce risk, and some of the challenges and solutions for your own business.

Lunch Education Sessions
Tuesday, November 5, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM 

              Update on the M&A Market – The Beat Goes On
    Moderators: Spencer Cavalier and Cedric Fortemps, Matrix Capital Markets Group
              Panelists: Ryan Howard, True North Energy and Travis Smith, Refuel Markets

Join us for a panel session for an update on the M&A activity in the fuels distribution, petroleum marketing and convenience store industries as well as commentary from recently active acquirers of assets.  In addition to discussing some of the reasons for the rapid consolidation in the industry and value drivers, consolidators on the panel will discuss their strategy with the acquisitions they’ve made and how they’ve found a way to be successful acquiring assets in today’s competitive marketplace.  

         Digital Incremental Gallons
        Alex Kinnier, GetUpside 

Every refiner and wholesaler seeks incremental gallons: more profitable gallons than they previously sold. This is especially true in our environment of flat to declining end user gasoline consumption. Join Alex Kinnier, CEO of GetUpside, for a discussion on how machine learning-powered pricing personalization and strict measurement of each new and existing customer can be used to achieve “Digital Incremental Gallons,” the most profitable method to take share from competitors that is also more profitable and less capital intensive than buying supply contracts or increasing production capacity. See results from multiple refiners, wholesalers, and retail fueling locations utilizing this strategy to increase station level volumes up to 30% while earning an average ROI of 40%.

Breakout Education Sessions 

Tuesday, November 5, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

        Best Practice Tech Trends—How to Manage and Leverage Your Data to Make Better
        Business Decisions
        Moderator: Roy Strasburger, StrasGlobal
        Panelists: Alison Wroe, PriceAdvantage, Drew Mize, PDI, and David Freese, Titan Cloud

Keeping your business successful relies on getting the most out of your data.  In this session, leading data companies will share the challenges other retailers and jobbers are facing and how they are maximizing the use of their data to stay ahead of the curve.  We will discuss macro trends that may have short and long term effects on business, consider case studies on managing and applying data for business intelligence to address specific needs and solutions, and share examples of leaders using new technology.

        Diesel – It’s Not Dead Yet 
        John Eichberger, Fuels Institute

Despite what you might have read, the market for diesel engines and diesel fuel is far from over. There are very few credible competitors to diesel fuel in the heavy duty market, and there remains strong niche demand within the light duty sector as well. But, engine design is outpacing fuel quality and the relationship between the two is becoming much more important and could ultimately affect the future of the market. This session will lay out the possible future of the diesel market and examine the issues associated with fuel quality.

Tuesday, November 5, 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

        Science-Driven Pricing for Fuel Marketers: Art or Science? 
        Rohan Bairat and JJ Worthen, PROS 

The ability to price effectively has traditionally been thought of as an art form without the need for scientific intervention. Advancements in A.I. and machine learning have helped leading companies optimize their pricing decisions across multiple channels and classes of trade, however the topic has left traditionalists and a multitude of others feeling unsettled and fearful of being replaced by a machine. In a notoriously complex and slim-margin environment with a myriad of data to analyze across the supply chain, attendees will learn how to use both art and A.I. to augment their pricing capabilities and win in their markets.

      Ransomware, Compromised Data, and How to Prepare for the Worst
      Dirk Cooper, Hi-Noon Petroleum, Nate Oland, Federated Insurance, Bart Huffman, Reed Smith LLC

Information systems across world are under attack by a variety of sources: state-sponsored programs, criminal enterprises, and the lone hacker. Ransomware, data breaches, and compromised servers are becoming major issues that all industries are dealing with.  Come hear from SIGMA member Dirk Cooper of Hi-Noon Petroleum on his firsthand experience with ransomware and compromised servers, as well as resources on the best ways to prepare and recover from an unauthorized intrusion. 

Tuesday, November 5, 4:00 PM – 5:00 .PM

        Cost to Serve Case Study: Turn Insights Into Value with Data Analytics & AI
        Daphne de Poot, ORTEC and Andria Cleghorn, The McPherson Companies, Inc.

Learn how the McPherson Companies uses a Cost to Serve model for enhancing operational visibility to understand customer profitability and drive supply chain efficiency. See how the model helps balance customer service and distribution costs, how AI supports its business decisions, and how it can work for you. The session will include a discussion with The McPherson Companies and their experiences putting tested results into practice, as well as a visual walkthrough of how they have used the Cost to Serve model to enhance their business. 

       RINS, Renewables, and the Political Environment
         Josh Pedrick and Joshua Brown, S&P Global Platts

As the RFS wars continue to rage in Washington, Josh Pedrick, managing editor for Americas biofuels, and Joshua Brown, managing editor for US distillates, talk through possible changes on the horizon and what they could do to fuel prices. RINs prices have been low for over a year due to small refinery exemptions, but Josh Pedrick and Joshua Brown take a look at how values could react to recent announcements.