Why Monitors…Why Now?
Here we are knocking on the door of another Fall season and finding ourselves getting ready for the upcoming heating season. There are a million things to do, not withstanding getting your customers and your teams thinking about deliveries for the season, making sure your equipment is maintained and ready to roll, and finishing up AC season so you can roll in to tune ups and heating equipment maintenance. No shortage of things to think about.
One question we hear over and over again is “…how do we decide who needs a monitor?” There are several ways to come up with a targeted strategy we would like to explore.
We look at the use of monitors as a three-legged stool.
- You want to eliminate as many stops as possible without letting anyone run out (while flattening the delivery curve). This will help you make the deliveries that need to be made in the heat of the winter while making deliveries to smaller customers during the shoulder months of the heating season. In other words, take care of your largest customers when it’s the coldest and when they need fuel and take care of the smaller stops, the customer who only needs one or two deliveries per year, when there is more time and the push isn’t so extreme.
- Maximize gallons at every stop. Just because a tank will hold fuel doesn’t necessarily mean you should fill it. Allow for the monitor to help you make optimal deliveries. If you have a 550 gallon tank and you are only delivering 250 gallons at a time, wait, and fill that tank when you can add another 100 to 150 gallons. You may not only save a stop, you will add some extra margin to the bottom line. If you deliver an extra 100 to 150 gallons per delivery, and you do that a couple thousand times or more per year, what is the affect on YOUR bottom line and how does that affect the ROI of a monitor?
- Protect high value customers. All companies have customers they tend to “over service” because they are large, they pay good money and if they run out it gives them an opportunity to look around for a new supplier; and a competitor an opportunity to cherry pick one of your really good customers. There is nothing worse than losing a customer who pays well over a mistake in making a delivery late. Make a conscience business decision to add monitors to these customers.
If you balance these three strategies in the process you will certainly have a firm foundation to build your monitoring program. Lean a little too far to one side or another, the foundation may get a little off center. By using solid dispatching fundamentals, and the three steps above, you will be ready to maximize your deliveries, flatten the delivery curve and protect you companies bottom line with incremental improvement. We can help you analyze the data, set up an install plan which in return will help create a purchasing plan for monitoring. Winter is right around the corner…will you be ready?