Born and raised in the Seattle area, Bob visited San Francisco in the late fifties and decided to stay in the area. A petroleum retailer since 1966, Bob Oyster was one of SSCS’ first customers, implementing the Computerized Daily Book all the way back in 1981. Oyster expanded from a single station to have over 25 stores stretching along the Capitol Corridor between Sacramento and the Bay Area.
“When I first told my family that I was going into the service station business,” Bob told us, “they asked, ‘Why on earth would you go into that business?’ I liked the opportunity it gave me to meet all of the different people. I like design and architecture but I like people even more and in the service station business, I had the chance to work with a lot of interesting people.”
Bob started as a single site owner with a station in Millbrae, California. “It was a big step,” he explained. “I was married with two children and it was a scary situation. I owed a lot of money and at the same time I felt responsible for the people who were working for me. Some major oil companies in those days would not let you have more than one site, so I acquired some sites from a brand that would allow me to grow. Then my major supplier changed its mind and started allowing dealers to have multiple sites. I think they realized it was better for them since we could run with smaller margins boosting up the volumes. It was a win-win. Oil companies were able to achieve higher volumes with multi-site owners, who also gained efficiencies with economies of scale.” Oyster quickly developed an appreciation and understanding for the complexity of multi-site ownership and multi-business operations in the retail petroleum industry.
As his business diversified and changed, and he acquired an increasing variety of POS equipment, paper records and manual bookkeeping became inadequate for the size and complexity of his operations. There was a need for more information and getting information more quickly. Recognizing the need for automated recordkeeping in 1981, Bob selected SSCS to support his operations
Bob used the Computerized Daily Book in all of its phases of development. When SSCS became one of the first back office software providers to switch to a cloud-based model of data processing, Bob was able to fulfill his early ambition of having retail operational data for his entire enterprise residing within one central program, accessible from anywhere. “Going with SSCS in 1981 was one of my best business decisions,” he said. “They have always delivered 100%, and I run my business 100% with SSCS. Their cloud-based architecture is fantastic!”
Over the course of 35 years of business with Oyster Petroleum, it has been a great pleasure on our part at SSCS to work with Bob, witness his innovativeness and intelligence at work, and see his deep commitment to his employees and customers.