2019 LP Gas Rising Leader: Allison Perry

February 20, 2019 By    

The essentials: Age 39; director of operations at Mobile Bottle Gas Co. in Greer, South Carolina

Years in the propane industry: 14

How did you get your start in the propane industry?

My family established Mobile Bottle Gas Co. in 1986 as a portable propane refilling station, so I guess you could say that I grew up in the industry. I began my career as a propane professional by working in the office at my family’s propane business, in which I learned about accounting, bookkeeping, billing and customer service. During this time, I developed a desire to learn more about the business and the propane industry as well. As of today, I am also skilled in all aspects of cylinder refilling, requalification and cylinder service, as well as marketing, customer relations and supplier negotiations.

What is your vision for growing your company and how can you as an individual help to achieve that vision?

The key component to the growth of our business begins with strengthening the relationships we have with our current customers. We must continue to invest in educating the consumer about the benefits of propane versus competing energy sources, the environmental advantages propane provides and the diverse nature of the various uses of the fuel. The investment we make in building this relationship of trust and loyalty with the consumer is an important aspect of our marketing plan. A loyal customer who is well informed is an asset that will potentially increase the current customer base and annual gallons sold. As an individual, I can help achieve this goal by strengthening my customer relations skills, my interactions with customers and the level of service provided to those customers. I can also be an example to other employees on how to achieve this goal with their customer interactions.

How can the propane industry prosper in the coming years?

The propane industry has tremendous room for growth, and we have a responsibility as propane professionals to ensure the prosperity of the industry, as well as our own respective businesses. In order to achieve this goal, we must work together as an industry with one main goal in mind, instead of working independently for our own individual goals. Instead of the traditional “supplier versus retailer” way of thinking, I believe that by working together as a team in the supply chain, companies will see the benefit upon the industry, as well as upon each respective business in that chain.

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

My generation offers a different way of marketing and technological advances that streamline operations that previous generations did not offer. We have social media outlets available to us that are capable of reaching more potential customers at a lowered cost than traditional propane marketing outlets. Our culture has become more reliant on the internet and social media in our everyday lives, therefore the propane industry must embrace these changes as well. I believe my generation offers the biggest advantage in integrating our current industry practices with advancements in technology and reliance on social media because we have pioneered these methods.

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

Our company has utilized advancements in technology, such as remote tank monitoring, upgraded software systems for customer usage tracking and billing, digital communication and marketing methods to reach more potential customers, and automated systems through our supplier that streamline our operations and costs. These advancements in technology have provided our company the ability to provide the lowest price possible to our customers, therefore enabling the customer to be able to diversify their usage, in turn increasing the annual gallons they are likely to purchase.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself, your company and/or the propane industry?

Mobile Bottle Gas Co. was established on Oct. 13, 1986, in Greer, South Carolina, as a small, family-owned-and-operated portable propane cylinder refill station. Prior to opening the business, my grandfather was told that a propane refill station alone would not survive, and that without home delivery and appliance sales profits would never be sufficient to promote internal growth within the business. Over 32 years later, the company is profitable and growing as a portable propane cylinder refill station.

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