One of the primary challenges for a company that delivers fuel, chemicals or other liquids is making their deliveries more efficient. A key competitive factor that differentiates distributors, often having a significant impact on whether they are profitable and survive in business, is their ability to routinely deliver their products cost effectively.
Many distributors supply a variety of companies with a wide array of needs. This in turn can lead to a lot of hypothetical guesswork when it comes to ensuring that the client has the appropriate amount of product on hand. Often the distributor will dispatch a truck to top off a tank(s) of a customers and the end result would be that they arrived on site with too little product or return to the terminal with too much product left over. This was particularly inefficient when a truck would return with product that could not be reused (as in the case of many soaps and specialty chemicals).
Distributors recognize that delivery inefficiencies would require a solution that provides readily available, real-time data that was available to the distributor and the customer. This level of transparency would support the distributors desire to operate a delivery schedule that reflects the true need of the client while easing the customers transition to this efficient scheduling approach. The goal was to maximize fill efficiencies through the knowledge of having accurate data on the precise needs of each of the distributor’s customers.
- Maximize fill efficiency through accurate data on precise needs of each customer
- Increase profitability through efficient route planning and reducing instances of over capacity on non-reusable products
An additional benefit for the distributor, from having ready access to accurate real-time data on customer’s inventories, was their ability to reduce the number of days that deliveries were required. In addition, they could also consolidate and optimize delivery routes. Not only did this reduce fuel costs and labour outputs, but it also meant fewer hours on the road for their trucks. The immediate benefit was lower operating costs and fewer traffic accidents by drivers, which is a leading source of loss exposure for many distributors.
Distributors that manage their deliveries with accurate and real-time data are also positioned to be able to save money through reducing their administrative tasks. The reduced needs for invoicing and managing short notice delivery schedules are just two of the ways to serve the same customer base with fewer resources. The savings that can be achieved can be utilized to grow the business in different areas.
- Real-time data on customer’s inventory can reduce fuel costs and labour outputs
- Reduced deliveries can result in fewer accidents by drivers (a leading cause of expenditures for distributors)
- Minimizing administrative tasks (invoicing and short notice deliveries)
Enhanced Customer Service
Most companies thrive or languish based on the level of customer service that they provide and distributors are no different. On one level, a distributors’ business is built around supplying customers with what is often seen as ‘low priority items’ – things that are not necessarily directly related to the product or the service that the distributors’ customers sell. Irrespective of what the customers’ business is, the product(s) that the distributor is delivering would rarely be the primary thing that would be on the mind of the owner or operator. A solution that provides readily available, real-time data to the distributor would result in fewer deliveries, meaning fewer interruptions for the owner or operator. That results in less time away from the primary focus if the customer’s business: their customers! The goal of the distributor is to be a more seamless component of their customer’s business, which is exactly what customers want from a low-priority supplier.
Customers are often very interested in the information that can be provided from a solution that provides readily available, real-time data. Even with a low-priority product, customers appreciate being able to monitor usage of products across their operations and facilities. And if there is no infrastructure on the part of the end user, the transition is often a seamless process for the customer.
- Access to real-time data would result in fewer deliveries, meaning fewer interruptions for the owner or operator
- Customers will have access to real-time data across their operations and facilities
- Distributor can be a seamless, yet integral, component of the customers’ business
Tank Monitoring Solution
Distributors know they need to implement a solution that will provide them with accurate and readily available real-time data to provide the benefits. Implementing a remote monitoring solution can achieve that result.
Asset Monitoring Solutions’ eTankdataTM was designed for the efficient, real-time monitoring of tanks. The unique feature of eTankdataTM is the mobility it provides while managing the system. Distributors and their customers have access to the cloud server to monitor and control tank inventory anytime, anywhere, from a desktop computer and mobile devices. Distributors can check inventory levels, set up and monitor alarms as well as analyze historical data all from their smartphone.
eTankdata’sTM cellular communication provides access to the cloud where eTrackdataTM automates the data collection process from remote tanks. Distributors can organizer all of their customers tanks (by customer, facility, etc.) and also manage user access and their levels of permission.
- Automated tank monitoring inventory.
- Optimize logistics and increase efficiency of field operations.
- Mitigate risk with real time inventory and alarm notification.
Implementing a remote monitoring solution requires a bit of culture chance for the distributor and the customer. However, the benefits derived – vastly more efficient routing, lower costs and a higher degree of customer service – will make remote tank monitoring well worth the investment.