Technology transforms propane delivery companies into lean and nimble operations

December 9, 2015 By    

bill-stomp-blog-propane-iphoneLeanness is not just a goal for athletes and personal trainers; it is a metaphor for the propane delivery business of today, strengthened by technology and streamlined by increased efficiency. This makes it – that family-run company founded several generations ago – a model of operational achievement, enhanced productivity and even more so a new level of marketing hence sales success.

The results I refer to, including this overarching sense of clairvoyance, that it is possible for a business owner to know the whereabouts of every propane user in a particular region, along with the source, size and use of this fuel, mean these benefits are available right now.

That insight changes everything. Gone is the costly and inefficient hit-or-miss marketing tactics of the past, offering every propane delivery business the chance to expand through targeted intelligence and customized outreach.

For example: What was once a series of territories controlled by a handful of propane delivery companies within a given area, with a high bar (for would-be competitors) of entry, is no more.

The access to technology – namely, the freedom to have a comprehensive database that contains the information described above; a development cycle that takes just one year, compared to four or five years, for a fraction (10 percent) of the cost – is the proverbial game-changer. It is disruptive, precise (in its reach), personal (in its messaging) and profitable (in its design).

Now, add the features of an ordinary tablet or smartphone into this dynamic, and you have the lean business every propane delivery company covets.

bill-stomp-blog-connected-to-cloudYou have, in other words, an application that creates an up-to-the-second, color-coded digital dashboard – a marketer’s ideal environment, free of guesswork and devoid of piles of paper receipts and client tickets – showing the location and details of every customer and prospect. It allows dispatchers a visual display of every fuel customer and delivery status for, respectively, every driver and destination throughout a given day. It provides those with safety and maintenance responsibilities wireless and paperless documentation on their screen moments after a technician completes a job. And for the sales side, every invoice or proposal is done once and digitally transmitted to the office and prospect with photos and signatures on company-formatted forms that can be printed – but only if truly necessary.

This material reveals redundancies, needless paperwork, duplicative routes, sales opportunities and subpar delivery times.

It eliminates the need to manually enter and belatedly review the same data, without the advantage of calculating these factors as they happen, and it ends the era of death by a thousand paper cuts, so to speak. This is to say mobile technology renders paper invoicing, accounting and confirmation of deliveries, among other things, superfluous.

In this scenario, you can print whatever you want, but you do not have to print anything you would otherwise have to approve, stamp, mail or ship.

Leanness, in all its manifestations and measurable returns, is a revolutionary matter. It will make the propane and fuel delivery business a marvel to behold. It is a wonder to enjoy, today and forevermore.

 

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

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