Genesis: Lynx Propane Software

C&D Propane was started by Dave Gerdts and his friend Curt Estep in the fall of 1972.  After a few years Dave purchased Curt’s interest in the company.  In the early 80’s Dave decided to use a glorified cash register to help keep track of customer balances and prepare statements.  This was an improvement over doing the books by hand.




By 1984 C&D had grown to around 1000 customers and was in need of a fully automated accounting system.  During that time personal computers were gaining acceptance and were becoming affordable for small companies like C&D.  Dave looked at several software programs and decided on a program named Propane Management Systems or, as it was more affectionately called, P.M.S.  This system proved adequate for a time. 

After using the system for more that 5 years it seemed clear that there must be a better solution.  Dave then went in search of better software.  After purchasing new software it quickly became apparent that the old system was probably just as good if not better than the new system.  Unfortunately, the money had been spent and the work of entering the customers by hand had been done.  There was a promise from the new software company that the data would be converted but after the money had changed hands C & D became a second class customer and no conversion ever materialized.  Since the money had been spent Dave had decided to use the software until he felt that he had gotten his use value out of it.

In the middle of the heating season in 1993 things were rolling along smoothly at C&D - except the software.  Compared to the new Windows®-based applications that were becoming available for other industries, C&D’s software was what you might call user-abusive.  In December the hard drive crashed on the file server, and serious support was needed from the new software company.  This much-needed support never became available.  The hard drive crash was not the fault of the software company, but their attitude and empty promises were the catalyst for a new propane software program.  That day Propane95 was born.  Propane95 became Propane97, Propane97 became Propane98.  Propane98 has become Lynx Propane Software.

After 20 years of Windows® platform development Lynx Propane Software a product of Columbus Systems, Inc. is the most experienced Windows® software development company in the propane industry.  We are currently doing business in 35 different states.  Looking toward the future Lynx Propane Software will continue to lead the way in customer support and technology advancements.  The ability to lead the way is and will be a result of our experience with current programming technologies, our real world propane experience but most importantly our relationship with our customers. 

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