Wilson Oil and Propane is a full service home comfort provider located in southeast Pennsylvania, specializing in heating, air conditioning and indoor air quality. Established in 1926 as a family-owned and operated business, the company has set themselves apart from competition with unparalleled dedication to quality, affordability, reliability and their commitment to community.
Wilson Oil and Propane was growing, causing their business processes to expand. However, many of their procedures were paper-based and manual. Moreover, efforts were often duplicated to keep multiple departments informed.
One of the areas Wilson Oil and Propane identified as a top priority was streamlining the delivery and service department’s hour long, labor-intensive morning dispatch routines. The company operates ten delivery trucks and has twelve service vans. Dispatchers were tasked with manually reviewing tickets and work orders to categorize customers in need, which were then ranked by priority and sorted by zones. Finally, drivers and technicians would retrieve their paperwork and prepare their own route mapping for the day. Wilson Oil and Propane wanted to eliminate this process.
The Solution and Benefits
Wilson Oil and Propane selected a fully integrated solution, including Cargas Energy, Cargas Mobile and Microsoft Dynamics GP financials. The company has experienced the following benefits by investing in this system.
Delivery operations are now well-organized, and drivers have the right tools to quickly optimize their daily routes. Mobile handheld devices keep them informed and connected to the back office. Fully automated paperless processes afford drivers an additional two hours every day to focus on deliveries.
In response to fluctuating oil prices, the system is set up to alert drivers electronically of real time price changes, resulting in billing accuracy and reducing costly undercharges. With streamlined route planning, drivers have the ability to quickly respond to will call and emergency deliveries. Integration to Roadnet Technologies enables the system to produce the most efficient course for drivers, complete with mapping and directions. Cost savings are experienced in decreased fuel usage by eliminating unnecessary miles driven.
Customer service is empowered with data and far more prepared to manage inbound and outbound calls. Customer information is accessible in a real time, centralized dashboard.
Representatives have been able to increase their productivity by 50 percent with the new system by spending less time per call. With the right information at their fingertips, customer service has been able to detect the risk of run outs and overlooked service appointments before they occur, further increasing customer loyalty.
Service and maintenance is another key area that has experienced large efficiency gains. Previously, Wilson Oil and Propane’s manual service scheduling process was cumbersome and inconsistent. Now the process is completely automated, with all planned and unplanned appointments entered into the system, which automatically produces a work order and updates a priority-based electronic dispatch board.
Service technicians are electronically notified of their daily agendas via mobile handheld devices. While in the field, technicians have access to complete customer account information, including history. When a service call is complete, technicians simply update the work order status on site, obtain the customer’s electronic signature and print an invoice. The transaction is then transmitted to the back office system for billing.
Accounting functions and processes have become streamlined and integrated, and in some cases altogether eliminated. With over 75 percent of Wilson Oil and Propane’s customers on a monthly credit card payment schedule, the old billing process required manual entry of data in an antiquated terminal and three days of processing. Cargas Energy’s automated functionality has reduced this process to three minutes.
For many customers, the distribution of monthly statements is executed from the system via e-mail, eliminating unnecessary materials, cost and labor. Enhanced reporting capabilities and proactive collections management have resulted in improved cash flow and the reduction of potential credit risks. Wilson Oil and Propane has the ability to easily generate reports to identify on-hold and outstanding accounts. Sensitive collection letters can be customized and automatically generated by the system in a professional format with the user’s signature attached and ready to print or e-mail.
Sales representatives have also benefited from the integrated solution and centralized information. Through the use of mobile technology, technicians in the field are able to update the system with cross-sell opportunities as they arise. Wilson Oil and Propane’s manual process of filtering leads to the sales department has been replaced with full automation and access to critical prospect information, reducing missed opportunities.
The Bottom Line
Through the use of these automated tools, Wilson Oil and Propane conservatively reports up to $250,000 in savings per year.
“The use of Web-based and mobile technology allows us to maximize productivity with a minimal amount of staff. The Cargas Energy solution integrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP helps us to significantly reduce our manual efforts to optimize deliveries, capture service calls, post transactions and create financial statements,” said David O’Connell, president of Wilson Oil and Propane.
Built on Microsoft.NET technology, the integrated solution from Cargas has also proven to be flexible and highly scalable. In addition to creating immediate relief from their labor-intensive processes, Wilson Oil and Propane experienced bottom-line savings through rapid return on investment and a low total cost of ownership.