By Todd Ward, SkyBitz
Many variables that help determine profit for fuel distributors who provide fleet fueling service are out of their control—from volatile oil prices to fluctuating margins—but the key to maintaining strong margins is for fleet fuelers to nail down what they can control.
Fuel distributors can lower their overhead costs while increasing deliveries per shift using an end-to-end petroleum logistics solution. These features allow petroleum distributors to eliminate paper tickets and automate business processes and data capture for dispatchers, drivers, back office staff and the customer. They also enable petroleum distributors to create detailed, accurate cost-to-serve reports.
Nine Petroleum Logistics Features That Enable Efficient Fleet Fueling Operations
The components of a full-service solution should include:
1 Barcode scanning to accurately identify vehicles and prevent cross contamination
2 Digital totalizer capture to accurately record gallons
3 Locked vehicle list to prevent unauthorized fueling
4 Unfueled vehicle reason codes to communicate missing or inaccessible vehicles
5 Wireless vehicle odometer capture
6 Support for multiple companies on the same site and mobile vehicles
7 Emailed sequential fueling tickets with totalizer values, latitude/longitude and signatures
8 Customer portals for real-time and historical access to fueling transactions
9 Automated emailed fleet fueling reports and file feeds to fuel clearinghouses
By preventing cross contamination of fuel products, unauthorized fueling and manual data entry, petroleum distributors can keep their budgets lean while ensuring all inventory and asset management data is accurate and up-to-date. By eliminating manual paperwork, drivers can save time and enjoy more productive shifts.
Use Transportation Logistics Software to Track Your Most Important Asset
Using an end-to-end petroleum logistics solution, you can also track mileage, maintain paperless delivery records, manage driver and overtime hours, and keep tabs on equipment maintenance needs. With complete visibility into, and control over, your business assets in transit—and access to this data from your mobile device—you can stay compliant with industry regulations (like hours of service requirements) while finding ways to reduce inefficiencies.
Also useful is data-driven load and dispatch planning, order management, and route and schedule planning features. Fleet fueling companies can also track real-time vehicle locations, alarms, deliveries, shift statistics, inventory and other business-critical data from one centralized solution. They can then use this data to optimize their processes, better anticipate customer needs and improve quality of service.
Yes, All Fleet Fueling Companies Need Petroleum Logistics Solutions
The petroleum distribution and fleet fueling market grows more competitive by the day. With more competition from large wholesalers, small-to-medium fleet fueling companies must leverage high-touch service and efficient operations to win more business. Maintaining an outdated status quo by relying on manual processes is a recipe for failure, as more efficient businesses with sophisticated technology can move in on your territory.
The workforce automation that petroleum logistics solutions enable doesn’t just save time and cost. It also empowers distributors with standard daytime commercial tank fueling to increase their capacity by running the same truck on a second or third shift to take on more contracts, improving business scalability and fueling growth.
Todd Ward is Vice President, Business Development at SkyBitz Petroleum Logistics. SkyBitz helps petroleum distributors overcome fleet fueling challenges. SMARTLynx and SMARTruck allow fuel distributors to decrease costs by providing transaction integrity, totalizer reconciliations, GPS geofencing capabilities and patented odometer capture technology. Fleet fueling companies can use these solutions to automate processes, go paperless and increase profitable deliveries. Visit SkyBitz at https://info.skybitz.com/.