The Price Point Crusader

If there was ever a prize for Most Convoluted Supply Chain, the oil industry would probably win first place. But Kristen Irvin, founder of TeamFuel, is not interested in the complexity; rather, she's interested in the victim of the complexity: the end...



Irvin: If oil companies reduce their costs, would they pass it on to the consumer, or would they try to get what the market would bear? They might streamline their operations, but I don't think they necessarily pass it on to clients. In other industries, reductions are passed along, but that isn't the case in the oil industry.


iSource: What about oil in general? What improvements can be made so supply and demand won't fluctuate so heavily?


Irvin: We need to balance our environmental concerns with finding ways to increase our domestic crude production and increase our refinery capacities. The answer is to try to produce our own domestic crude without having to rely on OPEC, and also to increase our ability to produce reformulated products. That will alleviate some of the fluctuations. But these are very big issues.


iSource: What do you see happening down the line in the supply chain?


Irvin: I think one day people are going to be so efficient they'll be able to take back tasks they used to outsource. Technology will make corporations smarter. My long-term goal is to make clients so educated they take back the buying process themselves.


 


Interview conducted for iSource Business by freelance writer Anne Field.


 

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