Flanders, NJ -ADD Systems (Advanced Digital Data, Inc.) and Suburban Propane, L.P, announced the completion of a rollout of more than 900 Raven units in 134 Suburban Propane customer service centers across the country. RAVEN® (Remote Access Vehicle Extended Network) is a handheld computer used by propane, heating oil and wholesale distribution companies to automate delivery information and billing,
Suburban Propane has had handheld units in their trucks tied to electronic registers since the late nineties, In September of 2010, Neil Scanlon, Vice President Information Services, indicated they would need to pursue a different direction if they were going to achieve the necessary improvements and efficiencies that were so critical to their business plan, “The existing technology had outlasted its useful life,” ADD Systems, Suburban Propane’s long time provider of “back office” software, was approached and agreed to take on the challenge to design, develop and deploy the enhancements using ADD System’s existing RAVEN product. In October of 201 0 a pilot was conducted in their Augusta, New Jersey customer service center using the “out of box” functionality offered with Raven, This pilot program demonstrated that the RAVEN application, running on the Intermec CN3e mobile device, was a highly reliable and efficient solution.
In March of 2011, ADD Systems completed necessary development, which included nearly a decade of Suburban Propane specific enhancements developed in the old solution, That same month Suburban initiated a “fully functional” pilot with RAVEN at their Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Millsboro, Delaware locations, After successfully running for two weeks, the team received the green light to move ahead with full deployment.
Due to the streamlined communication process, Suburban can now make changes, send them to all 134 customer service centers, and download those changes in 7-8 minutes a day, down from the previous transmission times of 45 – 60 minutes, RAVEN also replaced a complicated printing process for the drivers with a simple, quick solution resulting in more efficient deliveries, less driver frustration and fewer delays,
Training time has also been reduced with RAVEN, Suburban was able to provide a 30 minute training webinar for their d11vers over the Internet, eliminating costly travel to all 134 remote sites. Suburban finds that drivers quickly accept the RAVEN application and can make deliveries within a day of training. Vince Rooney, Director of Engineering at Suburban Propane said, “I would say that this was one of the most successful deployments that I have been involved in. The drivers that I have met were impressed with the quality of the RAVEN hardware and the user friendly functionality of the software. The fact that we provided a 30 minute webinar was certainly an acknowledgement of our drivers’ capabilities to adapt seamlessly to the RAVEN.”
Mary J. Keller said, “Business requirements continue to grow; it doesn’t stop because software is old. We have yet to find a reported issue not to be resolved by ADD Systems. We are confident ADD Systems will continue to meet our future needs.”
Neil Scanlon concluded by stating “With this latest deployment of technology from ADD Systems, we have already taken some costs out of supporting this environment, while operating more effectively. By tighter integration with having both RAVEN and ADD Systems E3 backoffice solution, we are confident we have identified a platform that continues to position Suburban as the industry leader in on-board technology.”
Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. (NYSE:SPH) has been in the customer service business since 1928. A Master Limited Partnership since 1996, headquartered in Whippany, New Jersey.
Suburban is a nationwide marketer and distributor of a diverse array of products to meet the energy needs of its customers, specializing in propane, fuel oil and refined fuels, as well as the marketing of natural gas and electricity in deregulated markets. With nearly 2,600 full-time employees, Suburban maintains business operations in 30 states, providing prompt, reliable service to approximately 750,000 residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers.
Visit their Web site at www.suburbanpropane.com.
ADD Systems is a leading provider of software for the petroleum, propane, gasoline, and convenience store industries. The organization has over 38 years of industry experience, 160+ employees, and 650+ customers across the US and Canada supported from offices in Flanders NJ (HQ), Orlando FL, Montreal Quebec, Canada and Cranston RI. Their software solutions include ADD Energy E3®, ADD eStore