LPG Spotlight: Propane Depot

January 25, 2022 By    
Propane Depot serves customers in New York’s Nassau and Suffolk counties. Photo courtesy of Propane Depot

Propane Depot serves customers in New York’s Nassau and Suffolk counties. Photo courtesy of Propane Depot

Chris Brody hasn’t always been in the propane business.

In fact, prior to launching Propane Depot in the early months of 2020, Brody hadn’t been an industry member at all. But that proved to be just the edge the company president needed to create a competitive business model where technology is king.

Brody’s passion for technology led him to the propane industry, where he saw an opportunity for high-tech solutions to prosper. Thus, he founded Propane Depot to serve residential and commercial propane customers in New York’s Suffolk and Nassau counties.

For the past 20 years, Brody has also owned a home automation business, which aims to give customers control over nearly every aspect of their home – including lighting, TVs and security systems – using their smartphones and tablets.

According to Brody, this existing business set up Propane Depot for success by providing both capital to invest in the company and the customer service experience required to connect with customers.

“I’ve always been big into tech, and going into tech with the propane industry was not even a question for me,” Brody says. “It was a ‘have to do’ and not a ‘should.’”

Brody integrated technology into Propane Depot’s business model from conception by choosing to equip each tank with a monitor and cover all monitor-related costs for clients. This has led to happy customers, he says, who can check their levels and usage at any time through the company’s mobile app or website. According to Brody, not one customer has run out of fuel at Propane Depot.

“Clients like it because they can see [their tank levels],” he says. “For us, it’s a comfort factor. We get to see where our tanks are at; we see what people are burning. It gives us data to really accurately do our routes and also keep our clients [from] running out of fuel.”

The retailer also equips each truck with tablets, which allow efficient routing for drivers and enable those in the office to add or remove a service stop on a driver’s schedule. Doing so automatically reroutes the driver and keeps up communication between employees on the road and in the office.

“It just leads to ultimate, top-level customer service,” he says.

Propane Depot also uses its website to show propane’s price at any given moment. In doing so, the company aims to cultivate a transparent relationship with its customers.

Marketing the company’s integrated technology, transparency and customer service has been key to Propane Depot’s growth since 2020, according to Brody.

“To me, it was taking my fresh approach from the tech background and looking at the industry as a whole and saying, ‘What can I do different? What is it missing?’” he says.

He adds: “It’s [about] putting the whole package together. The customer experience is really what it’s about.”

Company profile: Propane Depot

Year launched // 2020
Founder & owner // Chris Brody
Headquarters // Westhampton Beach, New York
Employees // 10
Website // propanedepot.com

About the Author:

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

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