Customized mapping

August 18, 2016 By    
Image courtesy of Propane Resources

Propane Resources’ CTMS service allows its users to see the generalized city data around their market areas. The company color coded portions of its maps to show how many propane users are located in one particular area. Black areas have the most propane users, followed by gold, purple, green, blue and brown. CTMS users can also click on a location to pull up details on homeowners in that area, including their home-income ranges and the number of households in that area. Images courtesy of Propane Resources

Analyzing spreadsheets about thousands of propane customers can be daunting.

This year, Propane Resources released its Customer Tracking & Marketing Service (CTMS) tool to help retailers interpret their customer data by plotting it onto a digital map.

“Looking at a spreadsheet, things might blur together,” says Tamera Kovacs, a consultant and trainer at Propane Resources. “We’re putting your spreadsheet of customer data into a picture form so it’s much easier to discern where you might be experiencing problems versus trying to figure it out from a spreadsheet.”

CTMS provides retailers with an interactive map to visualize where their customers are located.

Cooper Wilburn, a consultant at Propane Resources, says retailers can also zoom in on a customer’s house while using the service to see whether neighboring homes also run on propane.

Wilburn began to develop this service in January, and Propane Resources released it at the Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo in Nashville, Tenn.

CTMS is customized to each propane retailer, and retailers can connect with Propane Resources to get a version that applies to them. The only feature common to all retailers is the city data, which is color coded to show the density of propane users in an area.

Image courtesy of Propane Resources

Propane Resources can organize a retailer’s office locations and a variety of customer information on a customized map.

Retailers can decide how much information they want to appear, Wilburn says. Propane Resources’ service can chart just about any numerical data that retailers provide as a way to help them optimize their businesses.

Here are some examples of datapoints that can be added in CTMS:

  • Residential, commercial and cylinder delivery customers
  • Customer credit levels at each account
  • Propane uses on each account
  • Will-call and routed customers
  • Office locations
  • Customer-owned and company-owned tanks
  • Zero-throughput customers
  • Routing maps
  • Last Gas Check dates at each account
  • Storage tank locations

Although CTMS requires an upfront and monthly fee, the program is specified to each user and it’s updated throughout the year.

Conger LP Gas owner Dan Richardson learned about CTMS during the Propane Expo in April, and he says it seems like a great tool for propane salespeople who want to expand their reach into new communities.

“It’s got a good layout,” he says. “It lets you see the best areas to target for expansion.”

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About the Author:

Megan Smalley was an associate editor at LP Gas magazine.

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