Why Tank Monitoring is the New Insurance for Distributors
By Carolina Ruiz • Published July 19, 2021 • 4 minute read
Petroleum and chemical distributors have to manage numerous risks from storing liquid inventory in tanks at company locations and customer sites.
The most salient risk is low or depleted tank inventory. Out-of-stock events result in lost sales, and drain productivity and profits by causing distributors to fulfill emergency orders from customers that disrupt their normal delivery routes.
Additional risks include delivering the wrong products or quantities to customers, inventory shrinkage from theft, spills and other mistakes that are not identified until after the damage has been done.
Technology now makes it possible for distributors to mitigate, if not altogether eliminate these common business risks.
SkyBitz offers a comprehensive platform that combines tank monitoring sensors with automated driver workflow and delivery controls. The integrated delivery platform, SmartTruck, uses robust SmartTank sensors that share data with a fleet management dashboard, mobile delivery application and rugged device.
The platform has configurable reports and workflows that match clients’ specific business needs to maximize asset and driver productivity to grow revenue without having to add more trucks and drivers.
Installing the robust SkyBitz SmartTank monitors at company and customer locations gives distributors 24/7 access to accurate data on tank fill levels and historical inventory usage. With the integrated SmartTruck platform, distributors can operate with certainty and maximize productivity by automatically forecasting customer orders and planning deliveries when tank levels reach established re-order points.
The technology also provides an active insurance policy that identifies and protects companies from two primary types of business risks:
1. Inventory runouts and product retains
SkyBitz SmartTank sensors reliably monitor various products from gasoline to liquid chemicals. With the accurate tank readings, distributors can verify product quantities on hand. When they receive orders from customers the system can automatically match the gallons ordered to the requisite amount needed to fill the tanks and nothing more. With this assurance, distributors can prevent spills and eliminate “product retains” or instances where gallons are remaining in delivery vehicles.
SkyBitz SmartTank sensors transmit telemetry data through cellular or satellite networks to the cloud-based SmartTank portal where users have a real-time, accurate record of inventory to detect instances of unauthorized use.
When delivering product, the SmartTruck mobile device communicates directly with the flow meters of tankers to capture data and provide a digital workflow for drivers. The device can directly control and verify the number of gallons dispensed at each site.
Additionally, distributors that provide mobile onsite fueling services can enter odometer readings of customer vehicles into the SmartTruck mobile device for the software to detect instances of possible theft by monitoring the miles per gallon of vehicles between fueling events.
With the fully integrated SmartTank and SmartTruck platform, distributors can offer customers new value-added services, expand their product offerings and enter new markets. Additionally, the 24/7 visibility and planning features can increase profitability by maximizing delivery volume and decreasing the frequency of site visits.
The powerful combination of wireless tank monitoring, automated dispatch planning and delivery controls is a new type of insurance policy to manage risk. Instead of covering losses that have already occurred, distributors can proactively identify problems with the automated, intelligent workflows to eliminate mistakes in all phases of delivery planning and execution.