If you’re a distributor of liquids such as propane, diesel exhaust fluid, or gasoline, your customers are relying on you to fill their tanks when needed. Making emergency trips for unplanned refills is bad for your bottom line, and emergency situations can put you in a bad place with customers. In any business, you don’t want to be reactive with your customers; you want to be ahead of the game and predict their needs.
However, customers are not necessarily consistent in their fuel usage patterns, and that means their replenishment schedules aren’t consistent either. So, how do you make sure you roll trucks for replenishment at the right time and keep your customers and bottom line happy? This is where IoT liquid level monitoring solutions come in!
If you’re not familiar with the concept of the IoT (“internet of things”), it refers to technology that enables devices and objects to communicate with one another by sending and receiving data. Essentially, IoT tank monitoring allows your customers’ tanks to talk to you. With a liquid level monitoring system, your tanks can tell you when they need to be refilled.
Let’s explore the impact of remote tank monitoring on customer relationships and take a look at one propane and gas company that saw an enormous ROI from liquid level monitoring.
How South Florida Gas Became Predictive Rather than Reactive
Many of life’s necessities and luxuries rely on timely deliveries of fuels such as gas and propane. South Florida Gas Company installs, refills, and refurbishes their customers’ propane tanks. A significant portion of their customer base consists of affluent homeowners who use propane-powered lifestyle products such as pool heaters, barbeque grills, and patio fire bowls. Many of these customers are located in areas that can’t be easily accessed, and they may power their entire homes with propane, making it all the more vital to not run out.
Here’s the challenge: propane customers, like all people, can be quite unpredictable. It’s hard for the retailer to know when a usage spike will occur due to an event such as an outdoor party. Companies like South Florida Gas must be proactively responsive to customers’ needs to keep them content. No one wants to have their plans ruined–or worse, lose power for their entire home—because they ran out of fuel! South Florida Gas relies on the SkyBitz Tank Monitoring solution to know when to refill their customers’ tanks and proactively avoid these unfortunate scenarios.
Because South Florida Gas monitors tank levels remotely, they can tell when there’s a usage spike and stay on top of it rather than having to react with a costly emergency refill. That makes for happy customers.
Avoid Leaking Revenue With a Liquid Inventory Management System
Before South Florida Gas started using liquid level monitoring, a major problem they faced was what their president Chuck Robb described as the “gas taxi” effect. Drivers were coming back at the end of the day with a half-filled tank truck because they left with more fuel than their customers needed. Transporting heavy tanks of unneeded fuel is a waste of the vehicle’s fuel, and it’s an all-too-common concern for distributors who hope to improve their margins.
Thanks to their liquid inventory management system, South Florida Gas is now able to dispatch drivers with the correct amount of gas. Drivers come back at the end of the day with empty tanks. The company has reduced deliveries by 25% because they’re no longer dispatching trucks when they don’t need to. The more efficient South Florida Gas gets, the more they’re able to expand their business and territory without having to buy another $100,000 truck and hire another driver for it.
Remote Liquid Level Monitoring Helps Fuel Delivery Companies Stay Ahead of Customer Needs
If you’re hoping to boost customer satisfaction by proactively monitoring tanks, a wireless liquid level monitor installed under the tank cap is ideal. Many of South Florida Gas Company’s residential customers did not want their landscaped yards to be disturbed by digging during the installation process, but with a wireless solution, this isn’t a problem. Tank monitors should also be installed under the tank cap where they are protected from disturbances such as children and lawnmowers.
While tank monitoring has many benefits for fuel distributors, there are situations where it doesn’t provide an ROI. In some cases, usage is not unpredictable, and the cost of monitoring is greater than the benefit. South Florida Gas has only installed SkyBitz monitors on 750 out of the 5,000 tanks that it services. Using the tank data they collect, they can make informed decisions regarding which future clients are good candidates for liquid level monitoring.
Your distribution company can see the same success as South Florida Gas by implementing a liquid inventory management system. When you can predict your customers’ needs, the relationship is much healthier for both parties.
Want to learn more about how liquid level monitoring improve customer relationships? Contact SkyBitz Tank Monitoring today!