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Pursue Real Gains in Productivity, and Don’t Fall for Buzz Words

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is sponsored by Cargas Energy, which also sponsors Propane Intel. This is the first of two posts on the topic Productivity Redefined.

 

Software vendors parade through fuel company offices on a regular basis promising that their product will increase “efficiency” and help “optimize” your business. These hollow buzz words are more prominent in our industry than ever before, permeating every conversation that involves an IT purchase. Sales reps rattle them off as if efficiency and optimization were “things” that came in the box with your software, or a feature you can turn on with a mouse click.

Have you ever challenged them to tell you how their application will deliver “efficiency” and “optimization”? Better yet, if you asked them to really define these terms, could they even do it in an intelligent manner? If not, it’s probably time to talk to a new software company.

Efficiency is nothing more than the concept of preventing waste. Optimization is simply doing things as well as possible. When viewed in this basic context, the words ring empty, kind of like the rhetoric from a presidential candidate.

What we are really talking about is “productivity.” Technology helps you do things efficiently and allows you to optimize business processes, all in an effort to improve workforce productivity. Productivity is important because it is the primary driver of value and growth for your fuel company over the long run. The more you can do with less resources and time, the happier your employees and customers will be…and the higher your profits.

Productivity gains, however, have a shelf life. Our industry’s legacy business model and dated software systems from a bygone era are no longer effective at delivering progressive improvements. The evidence is everywhere. Walk into many dealers even today, and you will still see the traditional scrum of noise, CSRs running down the hall to talk to service, dispatchers wondering how their fleet is doing using only a two-way radio. The vast business solution innovations of the past 20 years seem to have passed many fuel dealers by.

This failure to adopt new technology is proving to be a profit killer in terms of lost productivity because old systems literally cannot keep pace with emerging operational pressures. Anyone who believes that it is cheaper and easier to “do nothing” with outdated software that “still works fine” is making a costly error in judgment.

In their next post, Cargas explores causes of poor productivity and explains how companies can leverage new technology to improve productivity.

 

To learn more about how Cargas Energy can help improve productivity, visit www.CargasEnergy.com.

To see Cargas Energy in action, visit the Demo Center for dozens of self-run videos featuring the software.

 

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