Whether it’s diesel, gasoline or propane: monitoring tank levels remotely helps fuel distributors increase profits and better serve their customers. If you’re thinking about incorporating or expanding your tank level monitoring now is a good time. Technology, reliability and costs have improved in your favor.
Like anyone in business, you want to make sure that the investment is going to be worth it. Here are 4 ways you’ll improve profitability.
First is the most obvious impact: operational efficiency. The basic formula goes something like this: by knowing the level of fuel in a tank, you can delay delivery until it’s a little closer to empty than you normally would. For each tank, you may find that you’ll be able to deliver the same number gallons per year but with fewer deliveries. For example, if you can save 10 deliveries per year and your average cost per delivery is $150, then you get a savings of $1500 per year minus the cost of the tank monitor. Your trucks will deliver the same gallonage but with fewer trips and therefore fewer miles and less time in traffic. Consider the savings if you were to go from an average drop of 30% of tank capacity to 70% across all, or even some of your tanks. As a bonus, you’ll avoid costly runouts and zero-gallon deliveries. But the efficiency savings don’t stop there…
Second is something slightly harder to calculate but with a potentially larger impact: capital expense savings realized by your fleet of trucks and drivers. Fewer miles can mean fewer trucks. So, think about which truck you’d retire first. Probably the oldest, costliest truck in the fleet. If you retire a truck, you’ll probably have one less driver position to keep full. Drivers are valuable and can be hard to keep and hard to find.
Third, keeping customers for life. Customers will stay because of your great service and the additional assurance you give them by using tank monitoring. In some cases, you’ll save them the time and avoid the dangerous chore of “sticking” the tank to get a measurement. You’ll even deter customers from being “will call” customers, always some of the hardest to serve.
Fourth is sales. There are few ways to differentiate your company so it can really pay to have tank monitors in your arsenal of sales tools. Empower your sales reps to go after the bigger accounts! Include tank monitoring in your price proposal to demonstrate that your competitive price isn’t just a teaser. Gain oversight when involving common-carriers or sub-contract fuelers. Expand your geographic territory. Use Tank Monitoring to grow your gallons!
Go ahead and give tank level monitoring a try. Free trials are usually available and will give you some initial data to work with in predicting ROI. You’ll be happy you did!