LPG Spotlight: Paraco Gas

January 19, 2021 By    
Photo courtesy of Paraco Gas

Paraco Gas is utilizing software from Salesforce to enhance operational efficiencies. Photo courtesy of Paraco Gas

Throughout last year, many industries witnessed a shift toward digital – and the propane industry was no exception.

Propane retailer Paraco Gas, which is based in Rye Brook, New York, and serves several Northeastern states, was ahead of the times when it began the process of adopting software to improve efficiencies in October 2019.

The software, tentatively scheduled to roll out this February, is designed to simplify customer interactions while allowing employees to work more efficiently.

The decision was prompted in large part by customer feedback, with customers asking for more efficient ways to complete requests. Prior to this, employees would track all orders, service requests and more using pen and paper or manual data entry, meaning customer and employee interactions typically involved several steps.

For example, when a customer would call for inquiries such as an order or refill, that inquiry would jump through seven individuals in seven different departments at Paraco, explains Will Fabrizio, director of production and Northeast service at the company.

“Talk about the potential for mistakes or handoffs,” he says. “The customer never really dealt with one person for any significant amount of time, and it wasn’t how we wanted to interact with our customers.”

Fabrizio, keeping that feedback in mind, spearheaded the search to find a platform capable of handling nearly all customer requests directly, and selected a software company called Salesforce.

“It’s completely mobile,” Fabrizio says. “Everything is automated; everything is digital.Customers can request service appointments online, and we’re also able to offer smaller service windows.

“Marketing, sales and service all take place in the same platform. It really gets a real good view of the exact lifecycle of our customer. What drives them to us? What are they looking for? And how do we best provide that service?” he adds.

The team at Paraco focused on learning the Salesforce software and training employees throughout much of 2020. While the retailer is finalizing it for public use, Fabrizio anticipates that customers will be pleased with the final result.

“These are the things that people have asked us for over the past five to 10 years,” he says. “I think people are going to be really happy when they see the level of service that we’re able to provide because of it.”

In addition to improving the customer experience, the new software will give Paraco employees, who have spent many hours doing raw data entry, ample time to complete other tasks integral to the operation.

“Using a technology like Salesforce really lets you cut out that bottom layer. All of the manual part is done for you, and it really lets you focus on the important stuff: making sure that the customer is having a good experience, that we’re performing as we should, that we’re meeting our service-level agreement.”

Fabrizio encourages retailers to take the necessary steps to provide a positive customer experience, which, in some cases, involves adapting to the technology used by customers.
“There’s no time like the present to really get started,” Fabrizio says. “It’s always hard, but anything that’s worth doing is hard.”

Company Profile: Paraco Gas

Year Founded // 1968
Founder // Pat Armentano
Owners // The Armentano family (second- and third-generation family owners)
Headquarters // Rye Brook, New York
Employees // 422
Bobtails // 99
Gallon Sales (2020) // 65,409,632

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) was the managing editor at LP Gas magazine.

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