Georgia World Congress Center
Atlanta, GA
April 13 - 15, 2019

SATURDAY, APRIL 13

GROUP A - 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

2019 Propane Market Outlook: Marekts in Flux (Certificate Session)
Mike Sloan, Managing Director, ICF

This review of major industry trends affecting propane markets includes emerging enviornmental and regulatory risk factors, growth in propane supply and exports, propane inventory outlook, and expected changes in the retail propane market over the next five years. This session also examines the impact of borader energy market and economic trends on propane marketers — including the impact of oil and natural gas prices, housing trends, and home energy efficiency measures. A review of key growth opportunities for propane retailers is also included.

Sponsored by: 

Delivery Efficiency Case Studies
David Lowe, Vice President of Sales, Pro Image Communication

This session examines case studies of multiple propane distribution companies with various before-and-after components where measurement, commitment to excellence, and adjustment to past practices were challenged. These documented strategies resulted in improved delivery efficiencies, as measured by multiple productive industry metrics. Review actual results and examples — including successful methods and applications to successfully improve delivery efficiencies. Plus real-life strategies and suggestions for improving your delivery efficiencies and management of delivery labor and equipment investment by a frontline hands-on leader.

Driving Revenue With Service Operations: Turn Your Appliance and Install Business Into a Money-Maker
Saul Cohen, Product Specialist, Cargas Systems

There is a ton of potential in the appliance and install services you offer. Are you taking advantage of it? Many companies primarily focused on their delivery operation are leaving money on the table. With an efficient process and the right tools, your service operation can significantly boost your bottom line. Learn steps you can take to revamp your appliance and install business to create new revenue. 

Growing Your Gallons With Propane School Buses
Andy Ernst, Propane Marketing Manager, CHS and panel

A three-person panel representing three different aspects for selling propane to schools or bus companies. Panel members include either a ROUSH representative or a bus distributor for Bluebird, a propane marketer that is heavily involved in selling propane to a school district or bus company, and lastly, a school representative who has been using propane school buses.

Propane.com Can Do That
Ingrid Bechard, Director of Market Communications and Gregg Walker, Director of External Communications, PERC

Faster, stronger, and simpler - just better all the way around! Come explore the brand-new website built to serve propane marketers and customers alike. Propane.com is a consolidaton of 10 previous Propane Education & Research Council websites that promote the benefits of propane in all market segments. Find the tools to identify the best customer prospects in your service area. Learn how to leverage the national digital advertising campain with customized messages promoting your company. And see how the changing competitive landscape means timely opportunites for our clean, American energy. Bring your laptops, tablets, and smartphones for some hands-on demonstrations.

Success Stories of Retail Propane Marketers
Pat Thornton, Editor and Andrea Young, Marketing Director, Butane Propane News

Growth and profit are key success metrics to retail propane marketers. Both are achieved through unique approaches at companies that have been successful in the retail propane world. Butane-Propane News highlights success stories of retail propane marketers during recent years. With a focus on a range of companies by size, region, and strategies for success, every company is different in how it achieves success.

Sponsored by: 

Tank Monitoring as a Revenue Opportunity
Joe Derry, Propane Sales, Haffners; Amos Epstein, Founder/Owner/CEO, Tank Utility; Evan Pittsley, Operations Manager, Jaysan Gas; & Adam Shantzer, CFO, GasTec Enterprises

The dream of a monitor on every tank is on that seems costly for most propane marketers but what if we used tank monitoring to drive revenue as well? A panel of propane markters will share how they have been able to successfully deploy, manage, and rent tank monitors to customers reaping the benefits of efficiency at a lower cost. Attendees will walk away with concrete ideas on how to increase revenue and decrease the cost of tank monitoring through service offerings to the customer.

GROUP B - 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Benchmarking Panel Discussion
Panel

Propane marketers participating in NPGA's Benchmarking Council share the most valuable lessons learned to help improve business.

The Changing World of Customer Portals
Robert Kulawiec, Chief Operating Officer, Destwin Energy Systems

It's no secret that providing a superior customer experience is paramount to retaining customers. Join Destwin for a presentation about customer portals and learn how to take advantage of this service.

 Demystifying Digital Marketing (Certificate Session)
Gary Corbett, Regional Sales Representative, Warm Thoughts Communications & Jeff Stein, Marketing Consultant, Reach Local

Are your digital marketing efforts keeping up with the rapidaly changing rules of the Internet? Innovations in marketing over recent years have changed the game with breakthroughs in search engine optimization and the increasing role of social media in attracting new business and selling more to existing customers. However, despite this seismic shift, nearly half of organizations do not have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy. In this session, we'll cover the impact of digital marketing initatives and where to begin when creating a digital marketing strategy. 

Drowning in Data? How to Make Critical Decisions Using Key Metrics and Significantly Reduce Paperwork
Mike Shilts, Vice President Marketing, K&K Management Solutions | Energy-Force

Having too much information is often worse than having too little. Why? Because decision-makers simply do not have the time to read and analyze multiple reprots from disparate and often unrelated sources. This session will include real-world examples illustrating how paperwork and be reduced by 90% but still have key metrics and dashboards to make critical decisions to ensure long-term success. Participants will receive a booklet, presentation outline, and templates to insert data for maximum take-home value.

Engaging Residential Decision Makers in New Construction and Factory-Built Housing
Rich Buckholz, President, Waypoint Construction Services, LLC; and Jesse Marcus, Director of Residential & Commercial Business Development, PERC

Understanding what's important to decision-making professionals in residential construction and the markets they serve is imperative to offering viable solutions to meet their needs. Join two long-time building veterans, to discuss processes, paradigms, and strategies to consider for gaining new business and forming new relationships. Remember, if you see the "coming-soon" sign on the side of the road, you are too late.

Real Accidents: How They Happen and Steps to Prevent the Incident or Protect the Company
John Hansen, Partner, McCoy Leavitt Laskey LLC and Eric Leskinen, Executive Vice President, P3 Propane Safety

This interactive discussion helps the audience understand how accidents occured, what mistakes were made, the impact of the accidents, and what could have been done to prevent them or protect the company. Expect specific recommendations for documenting non-routine calls to help provide legal protection, learn the importance of documentation and how company specific policies and procedures form the basis for action and understand how critical it is to have a comprehensive process to review documentation for accuracy and completion. 

Its Time for a Financial Physcial!
Steven Abbate, President, Cetane Associates

With the new tax laws in place, understanding your income statement has never been more important. Expanding revenue, managing expenses and investing in high return on investment technologies all lead to a growing, more profitable propane business. In addition to diving into the new tax laws, we will drill down and review the five quickest and easiest ways to imporve your profits and the value of your business.

GROUP C - 12:45 - 2:00 PM


 

Building Partnerships With Community Colleges and Vocational Technical Schools
Moderator: Randy Doyle, PERC Councilor Panelists: Jay Carraway, Vice President of Continuing Education, Lenoir Community College; Mike Davis, President, Davis Propane; Bridgett Kidd, Senior Vice President Industry Relations, PERC; Eric Kuster, Director, Safety & Certification, NPGA; and Armistead Mauck, VP/Co-owner, Cherry Energy

A frequent issue in our industry is finding qualified service technicians and bobtail drivers. In response, PERC and NPGA are working through key propane marketers to develop partnerships with community colleges and vocational-technical schools for adding propane skills to exisiting curriculum. In this session, attendees will hear about lessons learned and the plan to help address these key workforce shortages in the propane industry. 

Culture & Education to Autogas Gallon Capture
David Biggs, Executive Director, United Propane Autogas Solutions (UPAS) Group

Join this pointed discussion on removing the stigma and roadblocks that prevent companies from capturing new and 12-month demand gallon growth — through propane as Autogas.

From Prospect to Raving Fan: Understanding the Customer Journey
Ben Gutkin, Vice President Marketing Services and Olivia Mastromonaco, Social Media Manager, Warm Thoughts Communications

To truly understand your customers, you first need to understand how they are being introduced to your company and how they interact with your brand at every touchpoint. In fact, salesforce.com found that it typically takes as many as six to eight touches to turn a consumer into a qualified lead. But what do these touches include? Attende this session to gain a better understanding of the customer buying journey, improve customer relationships and turn prospects into raving fans.

How to Scale Your Deployment for Maximum Return
Boyd McGathey, COO, WESROC

The first step is determining what type of tank monitors and telemetry contribute to your most productive and profitable deployment. This includes a geographical and topographical assesment. Then create the best deployment strategy to maximize your return on investment. Incorporating the latest monitoring technology, with its associated benefits, is necessary in this competitve marketplace to both acquire and retain customers.

Past Due Blues
Milissa Lord, Vice President of Business Development, A.R.M. Solutions

Learn how to utilize your current software platform and technology to develop a consistent customer contact and collections process, retrain slow paying customers, and become a creditor.

Risk Management Tools to Support Creative Customer Offers (Certificate Session)
Angela John, Director of Structured Products, BP

Do you have differences between the pricing structure for your propane supply and how you price your sales to your customers? Would you like more flexibility to price differently to your customers? Would you like to increase the margin certainity? Join this session to learn more about propane price risks and opportunties to manage that risk. You might even leave with ideas for new new offers to your unique customer base.

A Strategic Shift in Developing and Deploying Workforce Training
Stuart Flatow, Vice President of Safety & Training & Courtney Gendron, Senior Programs Manager, CETP, PERC

Regardless of the size of your company, workforce training is critical to ensuring safe, effective handling and installation of propane and propane appliances. However, time, scheduling conflicts, and costs are often barriers to that training. Learn about some of the plans PERC has to continue reducing the barriers to training now — and in the future. These include breaking down training, such as CETP, into smaller bite-size piece. The use of information technologies such as Learning Management Systems and tablets instead of text books. Plus, of course, better training for propane safety educators. Bring your laptops, tablets, and smartphones for hands-on demonstrations.

SUNDAY, APRIL 14

GROUP D - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Autogas Dispensing Equipment: Myth vs. Fact
James Bunsey, Director of Operations, Superior Energy Systems, Mark Denton, Vice President of Business Development, Blossman Gas, & David Kennedy, Director of Autogas Design, Alliance AutoGas

Congratulations! You landed an autogas account. Now, how do you keep that account in service? In this session, we cover the myths, facts, and ease of successfully maintaining autogas dispensing equipment.

Benefits and Rewards of Hiring Veterans (Certificate Session)
Jesse Lord, Account Executive, Vets 2 Techs

Vets 2 Techs was founded as a volunteer effort to connect the Uunited States military veterans in need of employment with propane and fuel oil companies in need of loyal employees. Vets 2 Techs  trains, educates, and supports companies that offer secure employment and career advancement opportunities to veterans who have dedicated their lives to proect our freedom and future.

Customer Service Representatives: True Partners in Safety
Stuart Flatow, Vice President of Safety & Training, PERC & Paula Laney, Safety Director, OK LP Gas Board

Your customer service representatives have many responsibilite, from responding, to billing questions on why a customer's tank cannoy be placed in a certain location. They are also on the front lines of safety and their response to odor complaints and out of gas calls can literally make the difference between life and death. This interactive session provides suggestions for training your CSR's on how to handle such calls and actually making them part of your safety team — including a mock deposition on a real case where a good-natured CSR got it wrong, resulting in devastative consequences. We'll also have mock odor complaint calls with audience members to help prepare your CSRs for the real thing.

Low-Cost Residental Load Growth Strategies
Bob Torbin, Director of Codes & Standards, OmegaFlex

The propane industry can increase gas load per customer using semi-rigid metallic tubing to create a multi-functional gas distribution network. Gas lines can be routed cost-effectively to every portion of the home, including outdoors, during both construction and remodeling — including pre-piping. Use of elevated pressure reduces initial cost while providing future load growth. A gas load center permits the integration of the gas system with appliances controls/sensors and home automation systems.

LPG Combined Heat and Power Systems: Supporting Business Continuity in Critical Infrastructures
Ramon Gonzalez, Vice President, Empire Gas Company Inc.

This session reveals real life examples of LPG CHP Systems that successfully maintained two businesses before, during, and after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rice last September. Hear the speaker discuss the importance of high-efficiency LPG cogenerating systems in critical infrustructures, as well as, highlight the economic benefits — including reduction of emissions, business continuity, and ROI.

Stand Out From the Crowd With Google My Business
Mike Blumenthal, Local U; Bridgett Kidd, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations; & Paula Wilson, Director of Industry Engagement, PERC

Savvy business owners get their company to shine brightest when potential customers are looking for them with online search and map tools. Google My Business is a free listing that increases the chances of your company showing up in Google search results. Attend this session to learn how to optimize your listings and bring in new customers.

How Well Do K-Factors Predict Individual Deliveries?
Danny Silverman, Vice President, Angus Energy

Just because something has been around for a while doesn't mean that it's the best thing. This presentation will look into actual K's, actual weather, actual consumption — and will explain why most of you are actually doing very well based upon the technology and methods that you currently employ. We will also look at whether the current methodology is going to serve you well in the future.

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