Tips for the Manager

The following information is addressed primarily at the owner/manager of the propane company using Lynx.

Lynx will help you run your business smoothly and efficiently. It will give your staff the software tools to take care of your day-in and day-out business needs like handling invoices, dealing with customers, recording deliveries, and getting statements and other accounting documents prepared.

More importantly, however, Lynx can also help you run your business MORE PROFITABLY. Properly used, the system can help you make more money, protect your investment in tanks and equipment, optimize your staff and drivers, and improve your cash flow.

Here's how . . .



Having a well run office will make all the other parts of your business run better too. And how well you use your computer system (and Lynx) will be a big part of this.

The single most important concept is to instill good office discipline. This means developing well defined ways of doing things and precise timetables for each task, including the use of your computer system.

Specifically, this includes the following:

1. Use the system to help you do your work. 


2. Make sure all of your customer records are complete. 


3. Diligently maintain the information in the system. 


4. Have a fixed daily routine. 


5. Run system backups daily. 


6. Use good control procedures to insure that the system is in balance.



Every business has both "good" customers and "bad" customers. There are a lot of ways to define who these are but, from the standpoint of improving your profits, they are usually defined as those who pay their bills versus those who don't. In the propane business, "bad" customers can also be those who regularly require off-route emergency deliveries (because that causes extra delivery expense).   

The trick to "managing your customers" is to take care of your good customers with prompt delivery and courteous service while not letting bad customers eat up your cash and cause you extra expense by making deliveries that don't get paid for (or are not cost effective).

Lynx can help you identify and deal with these "bad" customers if you do the following:

1. Work your bad credit customers daily. 


2. Establish specific policies for bad credit customers. 


3. Establish specific policies for "off-route" customers. 


4. Eliminate (or at least minimize) "Will Call" customers. 


5. Make sure you aren't losing customers. 



A major cash flow concern in any propane company is the cost of tanks. Either money tied up in existing tanks or the expense of new tanks. To protect your investment in tanks, it's critically important that you know two key things 

  1. Where every tank is located
  2. That each tank is the right size, neither too large OR too small.

Here's how Lynx can help you with this:

1. Make sure you know where every tank is located.


2. Make sure every customer has the right size tank. 


3. Make sure all deliveries are posted to the correct tank. 



The bottom line is to deliver "to the right tank at the right time". . easier said than done. Having the right size tank for each customer (discussed above) is the first step in optimizing your deliveries. Minimizing the number of Will Call customers (also discussed above) is the second step. These two things will do more for improving the efficiency of your delivery scheduling than anything else.

However, having done these two things, here's what else to do:

1. Make sure your routes are set up correctly.


2. Decide on the routing method for each customer. 


3. Use Lynx to help you do your routing. 


4. Continuously monitor the "efficiency" of your routes. 



Typical propane plants experience good cash flow when deliveries are heavy (winter) but suffer when deliveries are lighter (summer). Unless this is managed, cash flow problems can ruin a good company.

Here's some ideas on how to improve this situation and how Lynx can help:

1. Set customers up on budget payment plans.


2. Schedule tank rent payments for early summer. 


3. Work past due customers daily. 


4. Make sure every customer has the right size tank.