2018 LP Gas Rising Leader: Raleigh Garrett

February 9, 2018 By    


Essentials: Age 27; vice president of G&S Gas Service Inc., located in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Years in the propane industry: 5

How did you get your start in the propane industry?

I have grown up in the propane industry. My grandfather, his brother and their friend started G&S Gas in 1963. My father has been with the company for over 30 years and currently serves as the president. I decided to join G&S Gas after working as a traveling consultant for a year after graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in finance, making the company a third-generation company.

What is your vision for growing your company and how can you make that vision become a reality?

My vision for G&S Gas is to work to create an efficient and diverse propane marketer that provides top-notch service to every customer while always placing safety first. By utilizing upgraded technology and expanding our product offerings, I hope to stabilize future revenues to not solely depend on propane gallon sales.

How can the propane industry prosper in the coming years?

In order to continue to thrive in the propane industry, we must embrace new technology and new market opportunities. The days of surviving as a company that only pumps gas and disregards the service and appliance retail side of our industry have passed. Propane-powered home generators and tankless hot water heaters have gained significant popularity in the last several years. These appliances have allowed propane to enter into homes that were once all electric. By getting a tank in the yard with these new appliances, propane companies are much more likely to pick up additional burner tips inside the home when other appliances need replacing. Additionally, the outdoor market for propane is hot! There has been a significant increase in homeowners wanting to extend their living spaces outdoors. Gas fire pits, fireplaces and outdoor kitchens are the perfect addition to any home to create a more comfortable outdoor living space. We as an industry have the opportunity to either become the experts and sell these appliances or at least partner with outdoor retailers to install these appliances in homes we service. Finally, we must embrace new innovative ways to keep our employees generating money during our off season. By focusing on annual service contracts on appliances like tankless water heaters, we can generate great off-season income and ensure our customers’ appliances are in optimal condition.

Companies can no longer disregard the industry’s appliance and service side, Garrett says. Photo courtesy of G&S Gas Service

What does your generation offer to the propane industry that previous generations did not?

By having younger generations working in our industry, we will hopefully be able to adjust our companies in order to appeal to a new generation of customers. Our generation has grown up with technology and information in our hands like no other generation. An updated website, social media pages and search listings are extremely important to gaining this generation of customers’ business. Unfortunately, this generation also likes things to be as easy and as “virtual” as possible. We as an industry must work to provide convenient account information and payment options for this new generation. We must also become experts to our customers and push relevant information to their fingertips since we are now competing with so many false articles that a simple internet search can reveal about the dangers of having propane in the home.

What specific technologies are you using (or plan to use) to support your business operations?

We recently completed our new office and showroom and we were able to incorporate new technology in this space. We installed a large screen inside the showroom that is connected to a slideshow of past installations. Our TV screen also allows us to show customers any appliances we sell, but don’t have space for on our showroom floor. Additionally, we converted our phone system to a voice-over internet phone system, which allows us to have specific messages delivered to customers who are on hold. Finally, we have focused our marketing efforts on social media. Our Facebook and Instagram feeds allow us to use very little investment to target extremely specific. We have seen promoted posts generate hundreds of customers to come into our office by highlighting a sale. We are also hoping to incorporate separate service schedule management software in the future to make our service work orders more organized and efficient.

What propane industry associations are you involved with at the state and/or national level?

I currently serve as president of the Georgia Propane Gas Association. I also am actively involved in my local homebuilders association.

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1 Comment on "2018 LP Gas Rising Leader: Raleigh Garrett"

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  1. We need more youth and enthusiasm like Raleigh in our industry. When you go to the conventions there is too many folks with silver hair.

    Keep up the good work Raleigh.