Fuel Companies Purchasing Tank Monitors Should Be Doing This 1 Thing…
Written by: David Montgomery, GREMLIN Customer Relationship Manager
In my travels I have the opportunity to meet a lot of people, make new friends, and work with people I have known for many years in the fuel industry. As GREMLIN Tank Monitors continues to create these strong relationships and partnerships with our clients, I see one common theme in all tank monitor tests and roll outs. People don’t like change! After all, your team has been doing this for a long time and it seems to be working…or has it?
Remote tank monitors are pretty basic in their functionality. A tank monitor can be installed on various tanks and provide daily fuel level readings. The real power is when those daily readings are used to drive decisions in your delivery department. In order to allow this tool to save deliveries and operational expenses, a tank monitor must be viewed as a strategy that requires change management.
What is change management?
According to Prosci “Change management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adapt to change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.”
Change management can be used for adopting anything new, from a new back-office system, routing system, business intelligence, etc. Once the company decides to move forward with this new technology/software/process, senior managers and owners of the organization should:
- Identify the work groups/teams within your company who need to change for this project
- Designate a project manager to manage the entirety of the project from beginning to end
- Create a plan for each impacted department to guarantee they understand the benefits and reason for this change
- Set up proper training for each impacted department
Change management and tank monitors
In order to make the operational and efficiency changes that tank monitors can offer, dispatchers, drivers, CSR’s, senior managers and even owners have to go through a metamorphosis of change to understand the power of this tool that the company has invested in. This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for all in an organization to understand that the tank monitoring technology works and how the data will benefit the delivery process. Only when the entire organization understands the goals of senior managers and owners will the organization understand their part of the change process.
Developing a change management plan
The overarching purpose of a change management plan is to spread awareness to the people who will be affected by a new project. An organization must provide awareness for what they would like to change and the desire/need for the change, which creates more opportunity for all team members. This creates knowledge and a greater understanding of what the company is working to accomplish. While this may not be enough, you still have to provide the ability for your teams to accomplish organizational goals by giving them the proper tools. In this case it’s about creating the most efficient delivery every time.
Follow up is not optional
The follow up process is generally spearheaded by the designated project sponsor. To ensure the success of the change and reinforce the new processes, the project sponsor should follow up with the team to find out what is working and what may need some improvement. Follow up and follow through seem to be the hardest things for people to do but they are the most important. Only when we reinforce winning behavior and coach missed opportunities will the organization be successful at any real change in operational process.
It’s easier than it seems
A change management plan is not as cumbersome as it may seem. It’s a research-based approach that will help your new tank monitors truly improve your delivery efficiency. Change is hard, and even harder if it is not executed with precision. As the sponsor of the organization, your team members should have a solid understanding of what you are trying to accomplish and why. You must give your team the opportunity to catch up with your decisions and gain a greater understanding of the “Why”.