You’ve finally pulled the trigger. After months, maybe even years, of thinking — numerous product demos, number crunching, and negotiating, you’ve selected your tank monitor partner. The right one of course (check out tips from JP Carroll and Schagrin!)
This is a crucial moment. Most tank monitoring projects fail not due to the cost, but the lack of follow through in implementation. While there are various deployment strategies for incorporating tank monitoring solutions in your business, what success really boils down to is one thing, buy-in from all parties – your team and your customers.
Today, let’s talk about how to get your team on the same page for a successful (and profitable!) tank monitoring deployment.
Measuring Success and Securing Buy-In from Your Team
Success with tank monitoring deployments can be measured in various ways:
- Overall bottom line increase
- Elimination of a bobtail
- Territory expansion opportunity
- More automatic fill customers
- And many more
However you measure success is up to you – but to reach that level of success you want, you need quantifiable goals that can help you secure and maintain buy-in from every member of your team.
If your office staff and dispatchers don’t use and trust the data, or if drivers and technicians don’t understand or become fully comfortable installing, deploying, and managing the solution, then tank monitoring will be costly and less useful.
To ensure a successful tank monitoring implementation, target the following key personnel to make sure they’re fully equipped to use this new technology.
1. Office and Dispatch Staff:
This group will be interacting with the software the most, scheduling installs of monitors, and using the data to increase efficiency and overall profitability. If they don’t know how to properly use the software, that’s a big roadblock to your success. If they don’t trust the data coming in and wait until the tank is at the alert level to dispatch, full success won’t be attained. This group is key in terms of reaching success and without buy-in from them, well, you won’t be saving as much money as you’d like.
- For dispatching teams that are heavy users of their Back Office Software, integration with your tank monitoring provider is a must. This will make it easy for your dispatchers to leverage this data when making dispatching decisions!
2. IT Personnel:
Anything technology related is going to bring about questions from whoever is in charge of the IT Department. This is a must, in terms of getting buy-in. IT will be crucial in integrating your monitoring program into the rest of your systems. They will raise the technical questions and if those go unanswered, more friction will arise. Bring your IT personnel to the product demos so that technical questions can be answered upfront and if things need to be custom built, your monitoring partner can set expectations early on and then no one will be left feeling unheard.
Drivers know their routes and they know their customers. In a lot of cases, your drivers have been with you for many years and you trust them to do their job and understand what needs to be done. Change is hard, and altering drivers’ normal behavior (i.e. routinely delivering to Mr. Jones every 1.5 weeks) can create friction. It is up to you as the project leader to educate your drivers and promote this as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to add more customers to their routes and expand their territory, engage with their customers and try to sell monitors (we have fuel suppliers that commission drivers on this sale), and an opportunity to make smarter deliveries overall.
4. Sales Staff:
If you are the only sales person or you have a sales team, tank monitoring should be part of your pitch to customers. This value-added service for customers can be the difference between winning a customer or losing to a competitor. Give your sales team the authority to charge a premium tank monitoring service to specific customers, such as generator or pool heater accounts, as they speak with them.
If you’re able to promote this service and educate your customers around this new technology effectively, that’s a huge win. This is a great way to differentiate your business to customers, in addition to offering lower prices. We’ve also seen fuel suppliers that are incredibly successful at selling annual premium services to customers, which offsets the cost of tank monitoring and makes this investment more ROI positive.
You Don’t Need to Go It Alone
Change is inevitable. We often like to stick to what we know. The old adage, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it is true – but most of us know by now what technology can do for our business and so it’s up to you as the individual spearheading this initiative to make sure that your organization is ready and willing to adopt this new thing. But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.
The right tank monitoring partner will help you with securing buy-in within your organization. They will provide the content, guidance and expertise to ensure you deploy quickly and use the data even quicker to enhance the value of your company by greatly reducing your operational spend and creating longer, meaningful relationships with your customer.
Tank monitoring is not a project you should do all by yourself. Make sure to choose a partner that can help you think about the 30, 60 and 365 days in your tank monitoring implementation and can consistently help you improve how your business operates going forward.