Fuel oil and propane business management teams are occasionally met with the prospect of an acquisition. Your business may be considering acquiring another branch or you may be considering selling your business. Regardless of which side of the picture you are on, a big consideration during the acquisition process is the management of data.

What will happen to the data? How do we convert data from the acquired company’s system to ours? Do we have to re-enter all of the data manually? These questions and many more will cross your mind during the process and, to be honest, customer data can either be a huge weight on your shoulders or it might be easily handled.

For fuel oil, propane, and HVAC businesses running on the Ignite Software Suite, acquisitions are, luckily, the latter. Blue Cow Software and the Ignite Software Suite are built and designed to provide all of the necessary support during an acquisition. We touched base with Jacqueline Hart, the Vice President of Operations at Hart Home Comfort in New York to learn more about their recent acquisition.

Hart Home Comfort has over 5,400 residential customers, servicing all of Nassau County and delivering out to Suffolk County. As part of the acquisition, they acquired one branch in an area that they were already servicing, giving Hart more market share in the region.  Hart Home Comfort was running on the Ignite Software Suite, using Enterprise and Mobile to manage and handle daily operations. A big task that the Hart team faced was converting the acquired branch’s customer data to Ignite. “Without the Blue Cow Software team, we would’ve been spending an entire weekend with our staff in the office manually entering every account.  This often increases the risk of errors,” said Jacqueline.

With the Blue Cow Software team by the Hart team’s side, the acquisition occurred seamlessly. “We appreciated the list of acquisition questions given to us before the acquisition, because it made us really think and plan out how we wanted the information to come over.  In this case, the conversion was from a 20-year-old piece of software,” commented Jacqueline.

Blue Cow Software’s Implementation and Development team worked with Hart to compare their current data to the new data. Together, they identified what information was needed to accurately transition the new customer data. “Before the acquisition, we were able to review all of the account screens we have in Ignite and send the information to the previous owners to let them know what type of clarification we would need on their fields,” said Jacqueline. During an acquisition, Blue Cow Software dedicates personnel to work with Ignite customers to help answer any questions or concerns that may arise.

“Jairo [a Blue Cow Software Implementation Specialist] was extremely helpful in the entire acquisition process,” said Jacqueline. “He asked all of the questions he needed to in order to prep the data he was getting from the other side for a smooth transition.” After Hart’s data conversion was complete and the branch that Hart had acquired went live, the Blue Cow Software team continued to check in with Hart.  “Jairo was very patient, and willing to help with the small amount of database tweaks even after the conversion was completed.”

If your company is considering an acquisition to help grow your fuel oil, propane, or HVAC business’s market share, don’t be scared away by the process. Instead, stay calm and openly communicate with your software company so they can provide the best service during this exciting business move.

For information on Blue Cow Software and the Ignite Software Suite of Solutions, please visit bluecowsoftware.com or call 888-499-2583. Blue Cow Software aims to make your business ‘Be Better.’