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Founded in 1947, J.H. Williams Oil Company Continues Growth in Fla.

Customer service is the key to success for any business, but for a family business like J.H. Williams Oil Company, it is a defining feature.

Mon October 27, 2014 - Southeast Edition
Lori Tobias

Customer service is the key to success for any business, but for a family business like J.H. Williams Oil Company, it is a defining feature. It’s commitment to personal service, fast and easy access, and the promise of reliability and quality care.

“When customers call, they speak directly to our dispatcher or salesman and we will service them right away,” said Rosemary Williams Anderson, daughter of J.H. Williams Oil Company president J. Hulon Williams III. “We have a fleet of trucks, and we have a bulk facility at both our Tampa and Bradenton offices. Our bulk facility allows us to offer more competitive prices.”

The company offers several different brands, with Marathon and Hess often being the top choices among commercial customers. Sunoco, Pure, Citgo, Chevron, Texaco and Shell also are readily available.

“If there is one brand a customer really likes buying from, we have the ability to offer it,” said J.H. Williams I.V., “but in most cases our customers buy from whatever brand is currently giving the best price.”

The family business was founded in 1947 when father and son J. Hulon Williams Sr. and J. Hulon Williams Jr. joined forces to distribute a complete line of petroleum products. But already, they had nearly two decades of experienced, gained from operating several corner service stations that Williams Sr. began opening in 1928.

Today, the business continues to grow, owning 17 stations, one truck stop, and supplying more than 200 retail outlets. With two offices, one in Tampa and one in Bradenton, the commercial arm distributes fuel to construction firms, marinas, farms, government entities and bus systems from a fleet of six 4,400 gal. tank wagons.

In 2013, the business boasted $394 million in revenue, an increase of 3.7 percent over 2012, and counts 30 employees on its payroll.

Now, fourth generation members Rosemary Williams Anderson and her brother J.H. Williams IV have joined their father to help steer the family business into a new era. They’ll do that adhering to the fundamental business principles that have guided the family business to success for more than 70 years.

“The most successful companies expect change in the industry, manage well and never forget the shirt sleeves of the past,” said J.H. Williams III.

And change is coming; both in the products they offer and the way they offer it. Bio diesel fuel is now one more option customers have to choose from when they order from J.H. Williams Oil Co.

The family business also is embracing new technology to ensure efficient deliveries.

“We can insert automatic tank gauges, which track the volume in customers’ tanks,” said Williams. “That way you don’t even have to pick up the phone. We actively review the tank readings electronically, and schedule your fuel deliveries according to how much remains. And now there’s a new gauge that has the ability to send alerts to our phones. It really streamlines the process.”

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