April 6, 2018 – Ashley King, Executive Director, MDA of Maine: As the Executive Director of Maine for 6 years, raising money locally to fund a research grant to the caliber of which you have and are executing brings a whole new level of pride that I can’t wait to share with our families, sponsors, and MDA Team. It was a surreal experience of having a Q&A, hearing the work Cat has done with SMA, Robert has done with CMT, and Greg’s “deviant” defining at The Jackson Laboratory. We are very lucky to have the 3 of you in our corner, fighting against the rare, terrible diseases that the MDA has exposed us to…as are other families and Organizations across the world that you all try to help.
Seeing the investment of our money in the lab yesterday allowed for a whole new appreciation for our staff and the people of CN Brown Company. It is always hard for some to understand the concept of our contribution to research due to the tangibility of our other services that we offer families; clinic visits, DME equipment and Summer Camp to name a few. Yesterday was monumental and I look forward to our next meeting in the Spring/early Summer when our Senior VP, Jeanne Zucker from Cambridge, MA can attend.
I have included Jeanne in along with our Executive Team at MDA. Bill our Regional Director and Karen our Executive VP and Chief Philanthropy Officer. All have formally or currently reside in the Northeast, they would be very proud of the prestige and advancements that I learned of yesterday about The Jackson Laboratory in Maine. The work you all do it truly remarkable, Thank You!
Saturday, March 10, 2018 was the 27th Annual CNB & MDA Miracle Ball to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Maine. The Miracle Ball was held at the Marriott in South Portland, Maine. The theme chosen this year was Vintage Las Vegas. The decor of the evening was created by our vendor partners at Identity Group. Over 300 guests attended the fundraiser. We had an array of spectacular auction items and raised over $70,000; this was certainly a night to remember! We thank our host partners from the MDA of Maine, plus all our vendors partners and their guests for attending the Miracle Ball.
Over 500 participants enjoyed a fun day of ice fishing on Saturday, January 27, 2018. It was a great day of fundraising for the VAST (Veterans Adaptive Sports and Training). Enjoy the WICKED GOOD video below provided by Lloyd, of Maine Tackle.
Cody Welch, 1st Place Kids, 4.29 lb Large Mouth Bass 19.5″ / Joseph Libby, 1st Place Adults, 3.08 lb Brown Trout, 20 “
2017, CN Brown Company sponsored the Horne Pond Derby on Saturday, January 28, 2017. The event started on Friday night with a Camp Moy Mo Da Yo ICE BLOCK PARTY from 4-9pm. Participants were able to ice skate, roast hot dogs at the campfire and enjoy in ice fishing stories. The day of the derby North Woods Law Game Wardens joined the event. Brittany Humphrey, the IFW Outreach Coordinator, attended from 9am-noon to teach ice fishing techniques. Participants were invited to decorate their base camp in the SUMMERTIME ON ICE theme. Over 600 participants registered for this event. Fun was had by all that attended!
FIRST PLACE WINNERS BELOW:
Derek Burnell (Kids) First Place 4.88 lb. Large Mouth Bass 21.75 Inches
Kasey Johnson (Adult) First Place 3.810 lb. Brown Trout 20.75 Inches
We’re proud to partner with the Muscular Dystrophy Association to help find treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases so that those affected can live longer and grow stronger. Support MDA families with a donation at the Big Apple. Buy a Shamrock. Save Lives.
January 9, 2018 – In August 2017, Greg Hoyt was recognized by the MMTA as the Driver of the Month. Greg was nominated for Driver of the Month by Ken Cannell, Director of Transportation. Greg has 47 years of driving experience; 42 of which have been with CN Brown Company. Greg was recognized for his 3,000,000 accident free miles. CN Brown Company’s Transportation Division is proud to share Greg Hoyt’s recognition at the MMTA’s Annual Banquet. Congratulations on a job well done, Greg!
Founded in 1948, CN Brown Company is a full-service energy provider specializing in electricity, heating fuels, gasoline, diesel, wood pellets, and natural gas. Proudly operating 76 Big Apple convenience stores, 26 heating oil offices, 11 service stations, and more than 100 gasoline dealers, this family-owned company serves more than 65,000 customers across four states, including residential, wholesale, and commercial accounts. Based in South Paris, Maine, CN Brown has positioned itself as a major player in the competitive petroleum market throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
CN Brown strives for customer loyalty and continued growth in a competitive market, so they believe in investing in the right tools for success.
CN Brown last invested in a back-office software solution 20-some years ago, and while the system had served them well, it was quickly becoming out of date and had some functionality gaps that required extra effort from the CN Brown team to fill.
Two areas where CN Brown noticed the software’s limitations the most were truck routing and reporting. Their legacy system had no comprehensive routing capabilities, so much of the process was done manually. Routes were assigned to each customer. Tickets were generated and printed weekly, with the customer zone printed on each ticket. The office team manually sorted the tickets according to zone and then into daily routes for the drivers, but the drivers often re-sorted the tickets to optimize the routes according to their needs.
“They probably spent a good half day on creating [the routes] and then they spent probably an hour every morning before getting the trucks on the road,” explained Lori Smallwood, Administrative Office Manager. “It was a lot of manual work. After the deliveries were completed each day, they had to be keyed manually into the customer accounts. There was a lot of time that went into the paperwork.”
When it came to reporting, the CN Brown team knew their software housed all the data they needed, but getting information out of the system was challenging. Because the software lacked reporting capabilities, a programmer needed to manually pull the desired information from the software’s underlying database.
CN Brown realized the limitations of their software were quickly becoming limitations on their business as a whole.
“I think it kept the managers from trying to grow and obtain new customers,” said Smallwood. “And I think that the lack of the routing caused us to not deliver efficiently, and we couldn’t even take on new customers in harsher than normal Maine winters because we couldn’t make enough deliveries in a day.”
A Solution to Support Growth
CN Brown sought a more modern piece of technology that would fit their current needs and also support future growth. It was important that the new solution be user-friendly and intuitive with robust routing capabilities. For better customer service and business insight, CN Brown wanted easy access to data within the system, as well as quick and simple reporting functionality.
With the future in mind, CN Brown began exploring their options for a new back-office solution. A round of research and demonstrations brought three applications to the forefront, including Cargas Energy. CN Brown liked Cargas Energy’s capabilities and functionality, and they liked even more that it was recommended by several partner vendors, as well as existing Cargas Energy customers. There were also benefits that went beyond the software.
“We were impressed with the online training program and the documentation,” said Jeannine Doucette, IT Assistant Manager and Project Manager.
In the end, the final decision was easy.
“It was pretty much unanimous, I believe, when we decided,” said Smallwood. “We felt it was really the most cutting-edge technology.”
Taking The Plunge
While CN Brown was excited by the possibilities of their chosen solution, they were not without reservations about the implementation process. The implementation of their legacy heating oil software took a year to complete and a recent conversion of their Wholesale/Transport system took two years to complete. With their Cargas Energy go-live date scheduled for June, they were dreading the impact of such a drastic change on their busy winter season. With this implementation, it was the partnership with the Cargas team that made all the difference.
“I think they really changed our perspective on a new conversion because they’re so laid back and were always there to help us. We trained as we went along, and it was just awesome,” said Kris Cannell, Accounts Receivable Manager.
“They just came in and managed it and kept us on task,” added Smallwood. “And we felt confident in them and here we are, it was successful. And the ongoing support is great.”
Doucette added that Cargas made managing the conversion easier than she expected.
“Totally different” is the way the CN Brown team describes their experience with Cargas Energy versus their legacy software.
With Cargas Energy’s reporting capabilities, now anyone in the company can run a report or write a query and have instant access to information rather than relying on a programmer to compile it from the software’s database.
The software has also helped CN Brown provide a better experience for their customers. For customer service reps, customer information is available from one screen within Cargas Energy, allowing them easy access to account information without having to search through layers of screens as with their legacy software.
“Another key thing is the delivery tickets are already priced and printed and legible,” said Cannell. “Whereas before our drivers were hand writing pricing, and they had to know each specific customer’s terms. This has been a big timesaver for the drivers and improved the accuracy and look of the delivery tickets.”
But the biggest change has come from Cargas Energy’s routing capabilities, which have enhanced CN Brown’s growth potential by improving delivery efficiency. With Cargas Energy optimizing delivery routes and delivery forecasting, as well as allowing for real-time changes and updates, CN Brown’s drivers have increased their daily average of deliveries. In their first heating oil season with Cargas Energy, C. N. Brown delivered 5% more gallons in 2% fewer driver hours and 3% fewer truck miles. There was a 2% increase in deliveries per hour and an 8% increase in deliveries per mile.
“It is proven that we are delivering more efficiently for sure,” said Smallwood.
By improving delivery efficiency, CN Brown has opened the door to growing their customer base and their company successfully. With the right technology in place, and the support of a great partner, CN Brown is ready to take on the future.
CN Brown Company believes in our mission to help raise money for research and support of families in Maine that live with Muscular Dystrophy. For 30 years, CN Brown Company has hosted a golf classic raising over $250,000! With the support of 80+employees, and over 50 vendors, this event has become a huge success. Thank you to all the participants at our 30th Annual Event!
The home of our new Big Apple Store and CN Brown Heating Oil office in Berlin, NH hosted a Customer Appreciation Event on Friday, June 16th and Saturday, June 17th from 9am-4pm. ATV Riders that filled up received a FREE hot dog! The Heating Oil Team raffled off 100 gallons of heating oil, which Shirley Bertin won- congratulations Shirley!! A Table Top Grill/Smoker donated by Budweiser was raffled off, and our partners at NH Lottery joined us from 11am-1pm on the 16th with their fun offering! Coffee and Fountain drinks were be 25 cents to all customers. We offered FREE popcorn plus had our prize wheel spinning with several great prizes from our partners at CITGO, and many vendors others! Our heating oil team provided 15 customers with a $2 off coupon on the summer time grill fill. Fun was had by customers and employees! Many thanks to all our customers that attended the event. We appreciate you! A special shout out to the ATV clubs: Androscoggin Valley ATV Club & Presidential OH RV Club for attending with all your ATV’s!