Mobile technology delivers three S’s for the propane industry

May 26, 2016 By    

BFP051916_industry-voicesIf you seek to understand the present – and the future – of mobile technology, look to the three S’s of the propane delivery business: safety, speed and savings.

Envision an environment where safety is the result of real-time communications. It is the product not of complex and expensive systems, like walls of servers and computer terminals with flashing lights and the whirl of fans and the sounds of other coolants, but is the manifestation of the very devices we hold in our hands and place on our laps – smartphones and tablets. For as little as $120 per phone (including a protective case), these devices can let dispatchers know the whereabouts of drivers, in the event of an accident, injury or other challenge.

Picture a network of fellow drivers helping one another, aiding a coworker sidelined by a vehicle’s overheated engine, flat tire or collision with a sedan or SUV.

Imagine a detailed map – a rendering of all routes and deliveries – that enables a dispatcher to interact with drivers and redirect some of those employees around traffic, road closures or other unexpected delays.

Consider this collection of professionals as an organic unit – responsive, proactive and communicative – thanks to one of those three S’s and the advantage of real-time intelligence.

As for speed, which is another word for efficiency, visualize a (mostly) paperless office: Gone are the tickets and invoices, and the billings and receipts, as well as the signed, stamped and sorted piles of documents – all of it a relic of the past, replaced by the security of the cloud and the streamlined operations of a business blessed by the wireless power of today.

Gone, too, are the administrative tasks and the costly support staff that reduce a business into a bureaucracy, forcing owners and operators to review reams of printed records and payments. All of this is replaced with the immediate answers mobile technology provides.

Now, include the third S of savings into this milieu of safety and speed.

The savings from eliminating those redundancies and needless repetitive assignments can make a propane delivery business leaner – and more profitable. That money can yield dividends on behalf of the hiring of new drivers, the purchase or upgrading of a fleet of vans or trucks, and strengthen customer service.

Regardless of how a company chooses to use that savings, the fact that these funds even exist – the availability alone of these financial resources – is a testament to the union between mobile technology and a mobilized workforce.

The three S’s are too compelling to deny and too convincing to dismiss. These gains accrue to propane delivery businesses throughout North America. Educating owners about these features is essential because the status quo is too expensive to maintain and too confusing to navigate.

The trio of safety, speed and savings symbolize more than the rewards of mobile devices. They transcend the purely economic circumstances of this discussion, representing a revolution of workplace culture, worker performance and client experience. The latter is the ultimate beneficiary of the three S’s, a witness to improvements in delivery times, digital confirmation of the same and customized service.

These options are, again, an invitation for propane delivery companies to embrace change. They are a snapshot of an industry at the forefront of mobile technology and real-time intelligence.

 

Bill Stomp is vice president of Digital Dispatcher. He can be reached at billstomp@digitaldispatcher.com.

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