In the Know: Technology Enhances Business Value

In the Know is a monthly partnership liquefied petroleum gas and propane resource. This month, Adam Zoellner and Sean McCann explain why implementing software can improve a propane company’s value proposition.

Question: How does software affect your business value?

Reply: When was the last time you modernized an aspect of your company? Was it this year, last year, five years ago, or 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. An unwillingness to modernize and adapt to changing technology will rot your company from the inside out. A successful propane company needs to implement modern technology to remain competitive. Neglect to adapt will result in obsolete operation.

Technological improvements can improve every aspect of a company’s function, including routing, customer management, and weather-based operations. Business owners will see tremendous value in the software applications in the market today. The value of these new system upgrades will spill over into other areas of your business.

From the smallest operator with a handful of employees to corporations with dozens of employees, there is a routing method for every company. A big difference is the time and effort it takes to calculate and organize your daily routes. Companies with improved software systems are spending a fraction of the time coordinating operations. Time is money, and those who develop routes manually are burning it. Routing software allows companies to map dozens of drop points for multiple drivers in seconds, reducing batch workload for office staff.

Adoption of new upgraded software can also enhance customer management and add value to the company. We see companies not updating their software. When software is released, it is appropriate for the time it was released. But it requires frequent updates to maintain functionality and to add and implement new tools and features. Updating software can alleviate frustration and limitations.

An accurate and up-to-date software system also makes selling your business easier. Buyers want to know that customer data is organized and accurate. Antiquated systems worry buyers because they’re not sure exactly what they’re buying.

Technological updates in weather tracking and monitoring play a huge role in the company’s ability to predict customers’ propane usage. Weather trends have become more unpredictable lately. This makes customer propane usage forecasts more challenging for companies that don’t use tools like storage tank monitors or degree-day tracking software. The value is in reduced operating expenses including fewer starved and leak checks, greater gallon drops and fewer downtime per year.

With all these technological modernizations at your disposal, can you afford not to upgrade and refresh your corporate systems?

Improving your company’s software can add enormous value. When it comes time to sell the company, we will see this added value realized. Buyers are attracted to modern, 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 off in the future.

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

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