LP Gas

Knowing what’s best for your business

Photo: iStock.com/David Jones

Photo: iStock.com/David Jones

Only you know what’s truly best for your business. Or do you?

Are some areas of your business left alone because, quite frankly, you’ve always handled them that way and, well, they work just fine? Meanwhile, in the back of your mind, does a faint voice acknowledge the logic of exploring a new process, piece of equipment or technology that will lead to better results and secure your business’ future?

It’s never easy to move in a different direction with anything in life, including business operations.

Brandon and Brittany Hewett found themselves in this exact position with their business several years ago. J&J Gas in Mayo, Florida, needed new fuel distribution software, but the thought of transitioning to a newer system that would reshape their processes left them feeling a bit uneasy. They also never spent much time marketing the business, but a new connection helped to build their brand through new ideas and digital tools.

We won’t spoil their story, but I mention it here because the column in which it appears is new for us in 2017. We’re calling the column “Retailer Technology,” and our goal is to have retailers share stories of how and why they incorporated a certain technology into their businesses. Please contact me if you’d like to share your story.

We believe technology is one way for the propane industry to thrive in the coming years. (Addressing issues such as employee-hiring challenges and attracting young talent is another way, but we’ll save these topics for another issue and another day.)

That’s why we feel our first issue of the new year – with its technology theme – is a good time and place to launch this retailer-based column. Having progressive and fearless retailers share their stories and introduce new technologies will only help the industry in the long run.

People of propane

The propane industry is composed of interesting people, people with great stories to tell, inspiring stories and leaders.

Sometimes our challenge is deciding exactly where to introduce these people or where to tell their stories in the magazine. That’s why we’re launching “A Propane Profile.” This new page, in a question-and-answer format, will allow us to profile an individual from any segment of the industry, from any company working in any position, on a monthly basis.

So, do you know a good subject for our new page? Maybe it’s a colleague, a boss, a customer, a partner. Let us know, and we’ll pursue that profile. Retiring Propane Gas Association of New England President Joe Rose gets the distinction of being our first.

Tragic loss

Before this issue went to press, we learned about the late-December death of Independent Technologies President and CEO Daryl Ingalsbe. He and a friend died when a small plane Ingalsbe was piloting crashed at a small airport in Florida. Ingalsbe was 67.

Ingalsbe’s company, which he launched more than 30 years ago, makes tank monitoring systems under the WESROC brand name.

A seasoned pilot, Ingalsbe often flew his plane to industry events. I can recall – and enjoyed listening to – the former U.S. Army veteran talk at trade shows about his latest aeronautical journey to that particular city. The company appointed Hank L. Smith, who had been vice president of sales, as its president and CEO.

We at LP Gas magazine send our deepest sympathies to Ingalsbe’s family, friends and colleagues.