In the Know: Technology boosts business value

January 30, 2023 By and    

In the Know is a monthly partnership between LP Gas and Propane Resources. This month, Adam Zoellner and Sean McCann explain why implementing software can improve your propane company’s value proposition.

QUESTION: How does software impact the value of your business?

ANSWER: When was the last time you modernized an aspect of your company? Was it this year, last year, five years ago, even longer?

Photo: ipuwadol/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: ipuwadol/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Your competition is always modernizing and so should you. A reluctance to modernize and adapt to ever-changing technologies will decay your company from the inside out. A successful propane company requires implementation of modern technologies to remain competitive. Negligence to adapt will result in an antiquated operation.

Technological adaptation can improve all aspects of your company’s functions, including routing, customer management and weather-based operations. Business owners will see tremendous value in software applications that are on the market today. The value of these new system upgrades will spill over into other aspects of your business.

From the smallest operation with a handful of employees to companies with several dozen, every company has a routing method that “works” for them. One big difference is the amount of time and effort spent calculating and organizing daily routing. Companies with improved software systems are spending a fraction of the time to coordinate operations. Time is money, and those who manually develop routes are burning through it. Routing software allows a company to plot dozens of drops for multiple drivers in a matter of seconds, reducing the amount of batch work on office staff.

Adopting new, upgraded software also allows for enhanced customer management, adding value to the company. We see companies that do not update their software. When software is released, it is suitable for the time of its release. But it needs frequent updates to maintain functionality and to add and implement new tools and features. Updating software can alleviate frustrations and limitations.

Accurate and up-to-date software systems also make selling your business significantly easier.  Buyers want to know the customer data is organized and accurate. Antiquated systems give buyers concern because they are unsure exactly what they are buying.

Technological updates in weather tracking and monitoring play a huge role in a company’s ability to predict customer propane usage. Recent weather trends have become more unpredictable. This causes customer propane usage predictions to be more challenging for companies not using tools such as tank monitors or degree-day tracking software. The value resides in reduced operating expenses, including fewer out-of-gas situations and leak checks, larger gallon drops and fewer stops per year.

With these technological modernizations at your disposal, can you afford not to keep your company systems upgraded and up-to-date?

Improving your company’s software adds tremendous value. We see this increased value being realized when it’s time to sell the company. Buyers are attracted to modernized, efficient and profitable companies. Investing in your company’s software and back-office systems can save money and time in your current day-to-day operations and pay dividends down the road.

Adam Zoellner is a mergers and acquisitions manager at Propane Resources. He can be reached at Sean McCann is a financial analyst consultant at Propane Resources. He can be reached at

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