Technology has been proven to help propane operations run better

November 10, 2014 By and    

Each of us has exactly 168 hours a week – 8,736 hours a year – to accomplish all we will ever get done.

Time is the only resource that perishes hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute. You never have another today. Tomorrow is a different day – today can never be recaptured. We can waste other resources, but usually can buy more.

If you do not use the other resources, they are there tomorrow. Today is not there tomorrow, nor can it ever be brought back. We talk about “buying time,” but that is a charade. We change scope, we change methods, and we do concurrent work. We do not get another new minute.

We have to accomplish, perform, as much as possible today. We never get another chance to use today’s time for work. We do have to tame time, to make it our ally, and to make time work for us.

To that point, I’d like to add a nuanced approach. If you follow the teachings of the late Stephen Covey, he says the real challenge is not to manage time but instead to manage ourselves. The key, he contends, is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.

Urgency is paramount to our success. Urgency is an essential ingredient, but it has to be controlled.

It can drive us to run about in a frenzy, working away at one project for a few minutes only to drop it and dash off to another. That’s a sure way to burn up a lot of energy and accomplish little.

“Don’t confuse hope with a plan,” my father would often say to me growing up. Generally it was his way of telling me I was running east looking for a sunset.

Urgency can be a focused force, compelling us to organize our work, to set deadlines and meet them, to be energized and to keep pushing to achieve the next step up the ladder for more efficiency and greater use of our abilities.

Technology’s role
Fortunately for all of us, time management has gotten much easier over the last five years, not just in our personal lives but, more specifically, for your fleet.

Almost every facet of technology that’s designed to make your operation run better, faster and more profitably has been proven to work.

Tank telemetry, electronic registers, mobile solutions, advances in tanks/water heaters, customer relationship management, hedging strategies, analytical data and the trucks themselves have all made huge strides in helping fleets help themselves. Technology has made great strides in safety and efficiency.

The vendors who service this great industry work hard, not just to create solutions that are smart, easy to use and provide a return on investment, but also to deploy, train and support their solutions. They can help you create that plan and schedule those priorities based on what’s important to you.

Of course, a potential partner’s track record speaks volumes, but each fleet is not cookie cutter and it helps immensely if there is a clear set of goals attached to an initiative. By engaging and collaborating with vendors, you are contributing to the symbiotic relationship all great industries enjoy in their respective marketplaces.

The perishable nature of each day can be addressed and improved upon in a variety of ways. All it takes is an appetite for change.

We talk all the time about how change is hard and often times frustrating. There are literally thousands of quotes at my disposal, like “Change is inevitable, but growth is optional.” They all sound great and make me want to run around my neighborhood like Rocky sprinting through Philadelphia with trumpets blaring in the background.

However, I would work with a trusted vendor to create a roadmap that is easily digestible and attainable. Then build off of that.

Change offers no easy pathway. However, the rewards can be tremendous. Another quote from my dad that took a while for me to understand: “The long way is the short way and the short way is the long way.”

John Rosen is the vice president of sales for Vertrax Inc. You can contact him at jrosen@vertrax.com or 203-401-6071.

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