Five Ways to Make Better Use of Tank Level Monitoring
By Carolina Ruiz • Published January 19, 2022 • 5 minute read
For most of the past year, the news cycle has been reporting that high demand, a limited labor force and backlogged ports are the main factors causing shortages of consumer and industrial goods.
Severe weather events also carry some blame. Last March, freezing winter storms blanketed the Gulf Coast and shut down oil refineries and chemical producers. Hurricane Ida caused similar problems in August.
Extreme weather events impacted petrochemicals, which are perhaps the most important industrial goods. Derived from oil and gas, petrochemicals are essential ingredients for plastics, fertilizers, packaging, clothing, digital devices, medical equipment, detergents, tires and more.
Demand in this sector will continue to increase at a rapid pace. According to a study by the International Energy Agency, petrochemicals will account for more than one third of total growth in oil demand by the end of this decade. If true, this growth of oil demand will be more than the freight, aviation, and shipping industries are expecting for the same period.
Growing demand and tight supplies in the petrochemical supply chain give private fleet operators, wholesalers, and distributors little room for error in managing inventories and deliveries.
Here are five areas where distributors can use the most recent advancements in remote tank level monitoring systems to solve present and future-day challenges.
1. Smarter Distribution
Eliminating pain points for customers is a surefire strategy to win new business.
Distributors that use remote tank monitoring systems can prevent guesswork and labor for customers who otherwise will have to manually stick tanks and call in orders for tanks in the field, bulk storage tanks, and tanks below ground.
Collecting tank status data automatically — fill levels, product temperatures, usage history, and other insights — will give distributors a competitive advantage by establishing automatic reorder points for customers and scheduling deliveries based on actual need.
2. Better Operational Efficiencies
Distributors can plan delivery routes that maximize the number of gallons per stop by having foresight on when and how much product customers need. With this insight, distributors can increase service levels and free resources and capacity to grow by adding new customers.
Also, delivering more gallons at each stop will increase revenues and profitability by getting more utilization from assets and drivers.
3. Driving Fewer Miles
The efficiency of a delivery route is a function of density, which is measured by the number gallons per stop. Greater density means orders are fulfilled with fewer miles. This translates to less fuel spend, and lower operating costs and accident risks.
In addition to maximizing gallons delivered per stop, distributors can use data and insights from wireless tank monitoring systems to optimize the sequence of stops to reduce mileage and maximize customer service levels.
4. Eliminating Emergency Deliveries
Supply chain disruptions this past year have made it necessary for distributors to ration supplies. In times of crisis, remote tank monitoring systems can help by assessing customer needs and minimizing disruptions in real time.
Distributors can identify patterns in daily usage and anticipate spikes in demand. They can also use tank monitoring systems to receive immediate notification if inventory reaches a level that requires immediate attention, and then schedule deliveries to prevent runouts.
5. Improving ROI
Advancements in remote tank monitoring systems are increasing the value of the technology beyond visibility of tank status and usage history.
Real-time visibility can be part of a fully integrated delivery route planning and dispatching system that helps distributors maximize time savings, eliminate errors, and fulfill customer orders with higher levels of productivity and profitability.
As a leader in industrial IoT telematics solutions, SkyBitz has developed SmartTank Dispatch. This unique, turnkey software-as-a-service platform comes with a full suite of workflow automation tools for distributors.
The SkyBitz SmartTank Dispatch platform uses the SkyBitz SmartTank portal for real-time visibility coming from highly accurate sensors in the field connected through satellite or cellular networks to the SkyBitz SmartTank wireless tank monitoring system.
The portal has a new User Interface (UI) that presents key indicators and market insights in an interactive Business Intelligence (BI) dashboard. Users have a visual snapshot of critical information such as low-level tanks, demand forecasts and delivery efficiencies by customer and geographical areas.
The new SmartTank UI, together with the SmartTank Dispatch platform, gives distributors everything needed to maximize profitability and customer service: accurate tank readings and forecasting feeds to generate orders automatically, along with optimized delivery scheduling and route planning.
Contact SkyBitz today to see how the integrated tank monitoring and dispatching solution, SmartTank Dispatch, can help you solve customer pain points and operate more efficiently in the year ahead.