Retailers’ responsibility goes beyond delivering propane

May 9, 2016 By    

We have a great appreciation for the work of propane retailers.

What retailers do on a daily basis involves more than delivering gas. It also involves taking the steps well before that propane is pumped into consumers’ tanks to ensure a supply source is secured, at a reasonable price, for the end user. It involves keeping an eye on the propane market well into the future and anticipating changes that could ultimately impact the flow of propane. It involves forecasting and hedging.

Simply put, a retailer’s role comes with much responsibility. And that’s in addition to providing and maintaining all of the great benefits our industry offers consumers ā€“ warm homes, hot water, tasty dinners and barbecues, dry clothes, and more so lately, full tanks of autogas to power fleet vehicles, school buses and lawn mowers. It’s about keeping current customers satisfied ā€“ from the time retailers secure their bulk loads of propane to when they leave customers’ homes, knowing everything was done to keep them satisfied and coming back for more.

As many retailers realize, they don’t have to take on this responsibility alone. The propane industry offers a number of great resources and intelligent minds to help take the guesswork and risk out of what they do.

In addition to companies like Cost Management Solutions that track key factors and changes in the market, firms like IHS Inc. and ICF International keep a close eye on market drivers.

IHS has been creating a propane inventory and trends report for National Propane Gas Association members, while ICF International’s Mike Sloan has been sharing his detailed market analysis at propane industry meetings and events. (Sloan stopped by the LP Gas magazine booth at the Propane Expo in Nashville; check out what he told us about the propane market in the short video below.) Of course, the U.S. Energy Information Administration tracks propane inventory, production, demand and export data, and it occasionally provides insightful commentary on propane-related issues.

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Successful propane industry companies are those that put these types of resources to work for them and form partnerships in the process. We just thought we’d take a few minutes here to say that we realize what happens behind the scenes at retail propane operations, and we’re impressed. Reading and understanding the propane supply market is no easy task – especially in today’s complex, ever-changing energy environment.

 

For more Cost Management Solutions analysis of the energy market that helps propane retailers manage their supply sources and make informed purchasing decisions, visit www.lpgasmagazine.com/propane-price-insider/archives/.

Brian Richesson

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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