Learn how to Profitably Forecast Your Deliveries and Avoid Milk Run Scenarios

One of the challenges companies face when they first implement a tank monitoring solution is the proper analysis and use of the tank data as it relates to existing, non-digitized processes. Every operation is different and maintaining accuracy across customer channels is imperative in the early stages of tank monitoring adoption. When monitored properly, tank data is the foundation of your operation and understanding how to read the data will eliminate costly milk run scenarios.

SkyBitz tank monitoring solutions offer customers a number of data sets and reporting tools that help organize the way teams analyze information from tanks and use it to their advantage. It is essential when first implementing a solution for both the customer and the provider to develop the proper notifications and reports so dashboards will be the most effective for that particular business.

Taking the time to understand how different users will analyze the information is also vital to the success of the solution. For instance, an Operations Manager is responsible for the overall efficiency of the organization. The SkyBitz SMARTank application provides several key pieces of insight in this area such as comparing fixed costs against average fills to better determine customer pricing or customizing fixed delivery costs per tank for detailed reporting. Additionally, Dispatch Managers need to determine which tanks require service immediately or within the next few days and align this data to driver availability based on proximity of customer and the fuel in their trucks. SkyBitz application ensures that each person is capitalizing on the data they need to be more efficient in their job.

In an earlier blog post, we explained the concept of milk run, which describes an inefficient process for delivering the product to a group of customers without any intelligence behind how much product they need. For Dispatchers, tank monitoring data is beneficial when determining how to schedule deliveries based on multiple factors – known tank levels because of monitoring technology, existing drivers in the field that day, and customer call-ins. They all play a part in how efficient the dispatch operation is.

With SMARTank, SkyBitz customers use Tank List Management features to organize customer tank data in a myriad of ways. They can view tank status easily on a map as a GPS pin, where each pin is a different color, indicating the level of that tank at that exact time. They can also sort by alarm status and location, to name a few options, which allows them to manage which tanks need to be serviced based on delivery priority and driver availability.

Taking it one step further, Dispatch Managers can begin to forecast more efficient delivery routes over time based on product inventory in the vehicle, driver availability, tank data, and customer locations. There will always be unique scenarios where customers call in with emergency requests, as well as online orders that need to be factored into daily deliveries. However, capturing exact tank level information on monitored tanks allows dispatchers the ability to deliver more fuel using less trucks, which reduces retains and maximizes both the driver time and the truck’s fuel each day.