Every large scale propane user has their own particular set of needs, and every wholesale propane supplier offers different capabilities as well. When your operation needs to select an LP gas supplier, choosing the right one will make for a seamless experience.
Evaluate Your Business Needs
Before selecting a fuel supplier, assess your own business needs. Consider the amount of propane you use, your preferred delivery schedule, your storage and staffing capabilities, and your preferred payment schedule. Be prepared with a list of any special requirements. For example, if you’re a propane retailer, find out whether you might end up competing with the wholesale propane supplier’s retail operation in your area.
Contact the Wholesale Propane Supplier
Contact the wholesale propane supplier to gather information.
- Delivery area: Verify what geographic area they cover, whether their delivery rates are included in the price, and how supply would be delivered to your area.
- Supply sources: Find out what supply sources the LP gas wholesaler is able to tap into in order to best supply your needs and even out price fluctuations over time. Would the supplier have gallons at each terminal that would be dedicated to your operation?
- Convenience: Also ask about policies, service fees, or pricing structures that fit your particular business needs. Are services such as autopay offered? Does the supplier arrange for delivery, and do you know if it is from the most cost effective terminal location? When you ask for pricing, is everything included (e.g. delivery charges, PERC charges, any state taxes)?
- Safety record: Ask questions about their safety procedures, standards, and record. See if the company recommends contacting the state regulatory agency, which would indicate that they are open about their safety record.
- Additional services: If you require services like physical storage, inquire whether those services are even offered. If you are a retail seller of propane, find out whether your wholesale supplier will be competing with you in your market.
Contact Outside Agencies
You can also follow up on certain questions about a wholesale LP gas supplier by contacting outside agencies.
- Regulatory agencies: Each state has a propane regulatory agency or commission to regulate and monitor all activities related to LP gas within the state. This agency may be able to provide specific information about the supplier’s safety record, compliance, and whether or not the supplier is enrolled in any safety programs offered by the agency.
- Professional organizations: Most states also have a propane gas association, so you can verify the supplier’s membership in that organization. Membership in these organizations is one way a company can stay up to date about industry related compliance and safety issues.
- Better Business Bureau: You may also be able to do some research with the Better Business Bureau. Although BBBs are regional, they can often provide valuable information about a propane wholesaler’s history, reputation, and how they have dealt with any past complaints.
Seek Customer References
Once you are considering a particular wholesale propane supplier, seek references from other customers, particularly customers that are similar to your operation. If you need propane for corn drying, talk to another agricultural propane user. If you are an LPG retailer, talk to other LPG retailers. These are a great way to make sure that the supplier you select can meet your needs.
When you are in the market for a wholesale propane supplier, you will find differences in the capabilities of potential suppliers serving your geographic area. Your diligence in seeking out the right supplier for your needs will save a lot of effort down the line. Contact Smith Gas Liquids Company today, to review how we can meet your needs.