Is there a (propane) app for that?
Smartphones, tablets and other connected devices are nearly ubiquitous in our lives by now. In fact, there’s a 66% chance that you’re reading this article on your smartphone right now. However, there is a significant lag in response in many industries (propane and delivered fuels included) to either enable mobile access to existing software, or to create new software that caters to the realities that we all spend an increasing amount of time on our mobile devices. Where are all the propane mobile apps?
Mobile technology at NPGA 2016
There are a few companies that will be exhibiting at this year’s NGPA Expo in Nashville who have placed a focus on developing mobile technology aimed at transforming the way propane distributors operate.
Cargas offers two different mobile products aimed at streamlining dispatching, navigation and work-order management with real-time data.
Vertrax current has an Android-specific mobile application which also has its sights set on delivery management solutions.
While both these companies are making great strides towards leveraging smart devices to address the growing technology gap in the industry – neither has come out with a mobile-first, truly native application for the market. Though enterprise-level software addresses some of the industries immediate needs to have access to their management systems on the go, it still leaves out a crucial audience that could really benefit from access to mobile apps.
With margins shrinking, and competition on the rise, propane marketers are being forced to find a way to differentiate themselves from their competition. Competing on price isn’t always the most profitable option. Competing on traditional customer service methods can mean many more hours of a staff’s time and more costs sunk into personnel. So why not give consumers what they want, while reducing strain on your staff?
The On-Demand Economy
Consumers want an app for that. With the ability to order almost anything with the tap of a finger, it’s not surprising that consumers expect to be able to order a fuel deliver, pay their bill, request equipment service or repair, or even see their tank level from their mobile devices.
Meeting demand for a propane mobile app
Some propane marketers have taken matters into their own hands to try and meet the changing expectations of their customers by creating their own propane mobile app. JSWest Propane has launched an iPhone app that allows their customers to place an order, manage their bill, and view their tank information. Kitsap Propane has launched an iPhone app with similar functionality for their customers as well.
The propane industry needs technology leaders like the ones listed above to help pave the future of mobile apps – both enterprise-level management systems, and propane mobile apps to help engage their customer base.
Tank Utility provides best-in-class tank monitoring solutions, enterprise portfolio management software that works from any device, and a consumer-focused mobile app with account management functionality.