PSI’s roots began in 1968 and a young Tom Barron had a yearning to become an entrepreneur and desire to start his own business. After two years of working with a local service company, he saw the potential for success in the service station equipment business (which would later become the petroleum equipment industry).Of course, there are trials with any new business. The advent of self-service, the conversion from service station to convenience store, and the introduction of unleaded fuel created opportunities for Tom’s small service business. Once convenience stores became increasingly popular, customer’s needs changed.
The petroleum equipment industry is a volatile one, in its own industrial-style revolution. Technology shifted to electronics, and steel tanks and piping were replaced with corrosion resistant fiberglass. PSI’s engagement with local trade associations and fuel jobbers helped him navigate through some of these changes. With the Valley’s proximity to the border and the business connections made during his initial years, Tom was instrumental in providing the first electronic dispenser to sell fuel in Mexico. This was the beginning of establishing strong equipment and product sales. Around the 1980’s, Pay-at-the-pump was pioneered, featuring credit and debit card readers. This reinforced the evolution in skill set for petroleum service technicians, from hands-on mechanics, to highly-skilled electronic technicians. Now, EMV has changed the industry yet again with payment terminals that meet new PCI compliance standards.
Foundation of Support
1999 was the year PSI became a Gilbarco Distributor, adding to their already extensive list of offerings. Now with a network of over 100 trained and certified service technicians and 60 construction crew members, PSI’s growth has provided opportunities for over three hundred and fifty employees across Texas.
A lot of PSI’s growth has come through acquisition. Many of the companies acquired by PSI were also family owned businesses. PSI has thrived as a family-run business for 47+ years because they strive at surrounding themselves with people of character and talent. One of the keys to the success of Tom and Mark’s legacy has been in how they define family. Beyond blood relatives, they consider their employees and customers to be family too, as many of them have grown up in this industry.
A strong workforce has always been important to PSI, and the caliber of work performed would not be possible without the right team. In the petroleum equipment industry, the customer is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Making material and manpower available to meet the demands of this kind of market in a world that raises its expectations every day does not come easy.
// Framing for the Future
What began as a small service station equipment company in 1970 has grown to have the largest service coverage in the state of Texas. Today, Petroleum Solutions has become a full service provider of 24-hour service, construction and electrical services, design consulting, compliance consulting, petroleum and automotive shop equipment sales, and service technician staff to meet any customer needs. PSI serves many industries, from convenience stores and travel centers to government bodies and specialty facilities. Current customers include independent oil jobbers, major oil companies, convenience stores, local governments, general contractors, and commercial end users.
With such a broad customer base it is crucial to stay educated and up-to-date on industry trends. That is why PSI prides themselves on their participation and engagement with industry associations such as the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI), who is the national leading authority in fuel and fluid handling equipment. PSI also partners on a state level with the Texas Food & Fuel Association, not only as a sponsor but as an advocate of their work with government authorities and mission to educate and inform members of important matters. Far expanding past the original equipment installation and service business, PSI employs a variety of other offerings including the only Gilbarco certified training department in Texas. Throughout the year, numerous technicians have obtained or maintained certifications through their extensive training program. Additionally, PSI now offers an internal apprenticeship program, designed to help meet the needs of a growing industry and a shrinking workforce. The demand for technicians is constantly growing, so PSI initiated the program to hire veterans and train them from the ground up.
The future holds both challenges and opportunities with the growing complexity of regulatory developments, renewable energies, dispensing equipment, fuel control systems, POS and forecourt innovations. The fueling industry is just starting to see the next round of big changes and you can bet PSI will be there, ready to support and serve.
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