Blending Old School Values with New Tech
OUTdrive Episode 36 with James Greer
In this episode of OUTdrive, Cliff visits with James Greer, Senior Vice President of Supply and Transportation for MFA Oil Company. James has a longstanding history in the oil and gas industry and remains passionate about fueling America. His experience and commitment to quality enable him to strategically lead the company’s supply department, as well as acquisitions and mergers.
Read more for their thoughts on what it takes to keep rural America running smoothly and how life has changed in rural communities. We also discuss what’s ahead for energy infrastructure and how rural businesses and communities must blend old school values and new technology together to keep moving forward.
Changes in Rural America Over the Years
Living and working in rural America, James understands the unique challenges of societal changes and how they have affected rural communities. Many changes have occurred, and many more are sure to come. James shares his thoughts on how rural communities can navigate these changes, including combining digital technology with old school service, unique incentives to encourage community growth and the power of a personal recommendation.
Combining Technology and Quality Service
James expresses that in order to succeed, rural America must combine old school values and new technology together. “Obviously the internet, online portals and apps are great. But you have to be careful, because you can spend more time trying to find what you’re looking for than you would if you just pick up the phone and call somebody,” says James. “I think companies that can do both sides of things are going to definitely be more successful.”
While the internet and technology have many benefits, a simple phone call with a knowledgeable individual can prove invaluable for customers and businesses, especially in rural America. As technology continues to develop, remain focused on meeting customer needs and delivering exceptional products and services. Satisfied customers are more likely to conduct business with your company in the future, as well as share their positive experience with your company with others through word of mouth.
Personal recommendations made through word of mouth are one of the most powerful tools in marketing your business in rural America. As a rural American consumer, James relies on a variety of mediums to gain knowledge about products and companies he is interested in. When asked by Cliff about the most effective ways to reach him, James shares valuable insight.
“I do use the internet, but I’m a little more old school,” he says. “I’m going to be more apt to hear someone else’s experience or recommendation.” James is one of many consumers in rural America that a personal recommendation can be a deciding factor for. Cliff adds his perspective to drive the point home, saying, “There’s certainly nothing more powerful than a personal recommendation from a friend or a family member.”
Rural American businesses have a unique challenge and advantage. By combining new technology and old school values, customers can receive the best of both worlds from companies, while businesses achieve success.
Perseverance and Growth in Rural America
Rural American communities are challenged with finding creative ways to get young people to stay in their communities and attract other folks who would like to live in rural America as well. James’ interest in rural businesses and communities enables him to share insight and creative ideas on how to navigate these challenges.
“It’s just a big change from where we were 25 years ago. The smaller communities have got to learn to adapt to the changes to stay viable,” he says. “I read a story of a town in Nebraska that actually incentivizes their high school graduates that may go away to college, to come back and be a part of the community. Some creative things like that are going to have to be thought of more to keep the small towns alive.”
Although most communities are always looking for ways to improve, rural communities take a great level of pride in where they are and what they have. Whether it is a house, business or farm operation, commitment to caring for properties is something James loves about rural America.
“I enjoy getting out and seeing the countryside. People taking care of their property, taking care of the homes and farms and small towns that have a niche,” says James. “For example, Golden City, Missouri, has Cooky’s Cafe, which is kind of a staple. Most towns have something like that, that they call their own. That’s what I like about rural America.”
In addition to their properties and communities, rural Americans are committed to their own personal development. Whether it is learning a new hobby or taking on new challenges at work, rural Americans like James always want to learn and know more. Curiosity and a willingness to learn has allowed James to spend his entire career with MFA Oil, working in a variety of positions along the way.
Committed individuals like James are the backbone of rural America. Together, we can focus on delivering quality products and services and leading our businesses and communities to grow for years to come. Gain additional insight from Cliff and James in this episode of OUTdrive.