Expending the Energy to Learn How an Energy Delivery Business Operates

on March 16, 2015 at 12:18 PM

Cold Snap Drives Demand For Home Heating Oil

Mobile devices are at the forefront of transforming the energy industry in general and the delivery of propane and petroleum in particular.

This milestone coincides with a strong tradition of personal values, as many businesses in this space are family-run companies with a longstanding sense of history within their respective communities.

In this regard, technology can strengthen productivity, increase efficiency, streamline operations and improve worker morale. But these rewards do not spontaneously occur; they do not appear without a conscious decision by software developers to leave their glass-enclosed conference rooms and data centers so they can meet with the namesakes and inheritors of family-run enterprises.

Before these programmers write a single line of code, and well before these developers plan to debut their latest applications for Android smartphones and tablets, these individuals must answer the one question every dispatcher or driver within the propane industry will ask: “How well do you know my business?”

That query demands a full – and fully persuasive – answer because, with over 475,000 Google search results for “Mobile Applications for the Propane Industry,” there is no denying the fact that there is a robust marketplace for applications that purportedly enhance the most relevant features on a series of devices workers use throughout a given day.

I celebrate this discussion because in my role as Vice President of Operations for Digital Dispatcher, I can attest to very impressive and measurable results, which correspond to an application with a specific function; I can see – and I continue to see – the way a propane delivery business can transition from issuing paper tickets to drivers and having multiple assistants audit volumes of orders and receipts to quickly eliminating redundancies and enjoying the power of real-time intelligence.

I also know that these developments are a response to an additional question, which I pose to each business owner or manager: “What do you need?”

While it is one thing to know this industry (and to know it extremely well), it is still essential to understand what each company wants.

The best way to acquire that knowledge is by abandoning the “detached convenience” of video presentations or Skype calls or group discussions via Google Hangouts – and choosing, instead, to travel along the suburban streets and rural roads where a community exists; where residential and commercial clients are the lifeblood of a town or city.

Come, See and Conquer: The Personalization of Technology

The overarching theme to this argument is straightforward.

Which is to say, if you want to inspire business owners with an inspired piece of technology, then you need to show up, listen and learn.

You need to know why a fourth-generation, family-run company, which delivers propane to clients in New York’s Hudson Valley or the Greater Philadelphia area, is successful.

You need to see how that business operates, so you can make that company even more effective.

You need, in other words, to come and see things for yourself so you can conquer for the good of a client with many customers.

That business needs an application that is applicable to its industry, customizable for its existing contacts and adaptable for everyday use by drivers and dispatchers alike.

Following these criteria can revolutionize a company’s culture, while energizing workers at the center of this movement.

A mobile application that honors these goals and fulfills this mission will win something much more valuable than praise.

It will win users, today and for many years to come.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Bill Stomp is Vice President of Digital Dispatcher, a wireless dispatch solution for optimizing routes, real-time inventory tracking, point-of-sale invoicing, flat rate billing, and more.