What propane retailers are saying about drivers, trucks, operations

June 19, 2023 By    

Here’s what some propane retailers are doing to meet labor and supply chain challenges, according to LP Gas’ 2023 Top Propane Retailers survey.

LP Gas: Can you tell us what your company is doing to find and retain employees?

“Employee referrals. Attending truck driving schools. Presenting at job fairs.” – California retailer

“We have partnered with organizations to provide a path to CDL certification program to attract new employees and upskill existing staff. We have also leveraged the veterans in our organization to help recruit other veterans to join our team, as we believe that veterans make strong employees due to their experience, skills and work ethic. Additionally, we have implemented competitive compensation packages and benefits to attract and retain top talent.” – Washington retailer

“We are struggling with labor issues along with all other companies in the area. We have increased wages, been more lenient with time off during the season, have not required technicians and drivers to work every Saturday, and have referral bonuses. Our office staff and drivers have stayed fairly consistent, but technicians have been the hardest to find and retain. We have seen greater success in the last few months and actually were able to hire a handful of very talented gentlemen.” – Virginia retailer

“Labor shortages in the trucking industry remain a challenge. It is time all of us increase wages and add flexibility to our valuable drivers’ positions.” – Minnesota retailer

“Encouraging employees to obtain CDL, hazmat licenses and qualifier cards.” – Florida retailer

“Qualified drivers are difficult to find and retain. We look for a solid work ethic and stable job history.” – Texas retailer

“Low unemployment is causing drivers to look for other opportunities. Flexible work hours and good work/family life balance opportunities keep our drivers working for our great company.” – Montana retailer

LP Gas: Can you tell us what your company is doing to overcome challenges related to product shortages?

“Keeping more inventory of all parts, tanks and trucks.” – Wisconsin retailer

“One thing it has forced us to do is recondition trucks rather than replace them. However, this can only go on for so long. Understanding lead times for products and equipment and communicating this to our customers upfront is also a change. Instead of days or weeks as it was pre-pandemic, it can now be weeks or months.” – Minnesota retailer

“The pandemic encouraged us to reevaluate our supply chain processes. [We have] always had a good relationship with our vendors, and that interpersonal connection and constant open communication allowed us to secure necessary products when others could not. We had to diversify the sourcing of materials, turning to secondary and third vendors for materials previously purchased through the leading supplier. We had to improve our demand forecasting, become more proactive versus reactive with our buying habits and become extraordinarily intentional and transparent with our communication within our organization. We worked to reduce freight costs, utilizing a central distribution point and our trucks wherever possible.” – New York retailer

“Diversifying suppliers, supply locations and transportation. We are also strongly looking into purchasing our own propane transports as well as beginning to take deliveries via rail. We have diversified our suppliers as well as supply locations.” – Montana retailer

Other comments

“Our company was founded on a set of core values and ethics, and that following has brought us incredible growth and success in these last two years. We have added an employee and/or a truck every other month for the last 20 months. We have grown to over 1,000 customers in just under two years with over a million gallons set to be delivered in 2023 without accounting for any further growth.” – Connecticut retailer

Source: LP Gas Top Retailers survey

Featured homepage image by LP Gas staff

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