It’s a simple question that requires a simple answer. If you’re in the Petroleum Distribution space, your answer should not only be yes, but you should be confident that your company has the digital capabilities in place to provide a transparent stream of data that supports rigorous inventory reconciliation procedures.
This task mainly falls on the Accounting side of the Operation, as they are the responsible party for posting payables to the oil companies and accounting for every gallon they purchase. By implementing digital technology, this process can be automated, resulting in proper billing, accurate revenue targets, and a happy accounting department. However, more than 70% of distributors are not utilizing the necessary tools to shift to an automated inventory reconciliation process, leaving money on the table.
The task of reconciling inventory is a complex process that often leads to errors and ultimately, profit loss. Not only is manually keying in gallons and BOLs into a spreadsheet time-consuming and therefore inefficient, but the risk of human error is naturally present. Tank levels across your entire supply chain must be taken into consideration from the start. As well, drivers must conduct proper pre-trip inspections, confirming loads at the beginning of the day and exact status of trips, including all deliveries, transfers, and blends back into the system. Without this data, true reconciliation does not happen.
SkyBitz platform enables customers to log in and see their transactions along with a myriad of other critical information, to address inconsistencies with deliveries, location data, inventory control, customer status, and revenue. One of the common issues this technology can also address is fuel fraud, which can be drastically reduced by setting up geofences to alert teams when trucks are outside of their designated areas.
Consider getting into the habit of reconciling your inventory at the same time every day. This helps with end-of-shift discrepancies and allows you to calculate where errors may have occurred within those 24 hours. By implementing a digital process for inventory reconciliation, you’ll be more confident in your communications back to your customers while ensuring your profit margins are exactly where they need to be.