Capitalizing on Predicting Trends and Optimizing Processes
Collecting accurate business intelligence in any industry provides a decisive competitive advantage. This holds especially true for petroleum marketing. With insight from the NACS State of the Industry summit in April, the prospects for fuel marketers presents a mixed, though relatively optimistic, picture of the immediate future of the industry. Sales volumes should remain healthy (more than 97% of vehicles sold in 2015 still use liquid gasoline), but trends in technology (electric and hydrogen powered vehicles), now-widespread services (Uber, Lyft), and an increase in ride-share present some short-to-medium term challenges for fuel marketers. Developing fuel solutions to keep clients in the know with current and future trends, especially on a regional basis, remains one of Pinnacle’s primary goals.
Fuel Smart and Predicting Your Inventory Needs
Part of forecasting trends requires analyzing data from the past. Though we anticipate the volume of fuel sales will decrease steadily over the next decade (and beyond), a client’s value is maximized through the ability to accurately predict and respond to short-term fluctuations of fuel demand. Fuel Smart allows you to target inventory levels based upon the direction of the market at the individual fuel product level, which gives fuel marketers a very specific picture of what inventory should look like at any moment in time.
Even more powerful, presets that determine how Fuel Smart calculates sales and market trends can be customized for each individual location. Since every region will often maintain drastically different buying patterns, having a location-specific solution for purchasing the correct inventory is an absolute must to ensure profitability.
The Value of Optimizing Processes in a Volatile Market
Market trends in the petroleum industry can change on a dime and it’s imperative that clients have the tools necessary to adjust. Even in times of lower fuel costs, keeping control of your fuel inventory processes is critical to meet sudden fluctuations that often occur in an unstable marketplace. Having these controls in place gives Fuel Smart marketers a distinct competitive advantage over those who cannot adapt as quickly and confidently to changes in the their inventory values. By continually optimizing your processes, you’ll get the best return no matter what the market is doing. You can’t control the market, but you can control how you manage your inventory.
The consistency in which clients handle their fuel inventory as they adjust to market trends is what allows them to keep their competitive advantages going. As the market continues to fluctuate, fuel marketers’ attitudes towards their own internal processes cannot change with the same ebb and flow. To truly get the most from this dynamic industry requires business intelligence- and Fuel Smart delivers.