As a propane marketer, the strategy of using propane tank monitoring for your business is just as important as the tank monitors you choose to buy.
This post will share the 3 most common mistakes propane marketers make with tank monitoring and recommendations to ensure your tank monitoring investment actually delivers business savings.
#1 You Don’t Know the Best Customer Tanks to Put Monitors On
The first question you should be asking yourself early in the buying process is not only the size of investment in tank monitoring (i.e. how many monitors should you buy?) but also with which customers should you start with (i.e. where should you put these monitors?)
Most propane marketers already have certain customers in mind for a monitor. These typically start with important commercial or residential accounts, customers that were just run out (as an apology) or difficult to forecast accounts such as variable use customers. This can be correct, but we often see that this misses key accounts that are costing you money.
Recommendation: Delivery History Analysis (DHA)
When you are purchasing tank monitoring it’s a great time to do a robust analysis of all your accounts with regards to delivery efficiency to confirm your gut is correct.
Most providers will provide a free Delivery History Analysis for your business and be able to rank order the accounts that will drive the greatest delivery savings with a tank monitor. This will give your team a deployment list for when you get your first shipment of monitors and help you understand the dollar impact on customer accounts.
#2 You Fail to Adequately Train Your Staff to Deploy Quickly
We like to say that “the most expensive” tank monitor is the one sitting on your shelf. And many propane marketers fail to receive the benefit of tank monitoring because they do not have the time, people and most importantly, game plan to deploy the monitors.
Recommendation: Work with Your Tank Monitoring Partner to Plan Deployment
The most successful tank monitoring deployments come from propane marketers who bring in their team early and have a plan. Work with your tank monitoring provider to train the staff who will be deploying (i.e. drivers, service technicians or other staff) and set aside time to do so properly.
If you don’t have enough time or people to properly deploy, we also suggest talking with your tank monitoring provider on how they can help deploy monitors for you.
#3 You Don’t Use the Data When Making Routing Decisions
At the end of the day, tank monitoring is not about the monitor, it’s about the data! By having accurate, real-time tank levels for your customers, you are able to make better delivery routing decisions to save your business money while also ensuring your customers don’t run-out.
But this only happens if you are using the data in your day-to-day. And many fail due to using the data sporadically in forecasting their accounts and routing their deliveries.
Recommendation: Back Office Integration
If you are like other propane marketers, your dispatchers live in your back office software. A bi-directional integration with tank monitoring can ensure the most accurate tank level data is used by your team as they pull tickets in the back office software. All without any changes to how they do their jobs.
Don’t have a back office? Then have your dispatch team use your tank monitoring portal every time they pull delivery tickets!
Realize the Delivery Savings with a True Partnership
Tank monitoring fails for most companies not because they bought the wrong technology but because they didn’t have a cohesive plan for deploying, maintaining and using the data from tank monitoring to drive efficiency in their business.
With the right partner, you can use tank monitoring strategically to drive business results including:
- Decreasing overall delivery costs
- Retaining and winning customers with better engagement and transparency
- Doing more with the same team through better operational efficiency
- Driving additional revenue streams through selling tank monitoring services
- Much, much more
Find a partner that helps you not only during the sale but with the on-going strategy to ensure your success. To test a free tank monitor and receive a free consultation from Tank Utility, reach out to us here!