Gaslog Tank Monitors Increase Delivery Efficiency & Customer Loyalty
by By Jim Schwartzfisher, Tank Monitoring Specialist, Bergquist Inc.
The use of remote tank monitors in the propane industry has steadily increased and for good reason. As in other industries, information is power. Armed with tank monitor data, propane marketers have found a reliable tool, and competitive edge, to grow their businesses. Marketers are able to decrease operating costs through efficiency and productivity. These improvements have led to increased customer satisfaction and, as a result, have improved customer retention. In addition to tank monitors, improvements in communication technologies have aided in this trend. Cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity have continued to shrink “no coverage” areas. Even with these benefits, it is estimated that less than 10% of all residential propane tanks are currently monitored.
Gaslog remote tank monitors offer countless opportunities to maximize efficiency. Everyone has heard the saying “time is money.” It has never been truer than today. Business owners simply cannot afford to waste time and resources. It is estimated that the industry average drop size for a propane delivery is only 36% of a tank’s water volume. There are various reasons for this, but the biggest contributor is inefficient route fill-ups. Tanks are being filled, even when not needed, just because a driver is in the area. A customer’s tank could be weeks away from requiring any propane, but a stop is made anyway due to its location. The average delivery cost is estimated to be anywhere between $50 and $90 a stop.
Combining a tank monitor with routing software can target locations that require filling and allow a driver to avoid unnecessary stops. Delivery efficiency is the most tangible evidence of a monitor’s effectiveness. Not only is a savings in delivery costs realized, but reduced wear and tear and maintenance costs on bobtails are also possible by reducing the number of stops. Furthermore, marketers have been able to reduce employee overtime. With remote tank monitors, drivers are no longer going miles (and eventually hours) out of their way to make inefficient deliveries. Using tank monitor data, propane marketers have even been able to eliminate bobtails. As a truck nears its end-of-service life, or a driver retires, marketers are able to retire a bobtail and not replace it, thanks to improved route efficiency.
Remote tank monitors can increase customer loyalty by preventing out-of-gas situations. The Gaslog monitor is set up to provide multiple alarm levels. It also possesses a rapid-fall detection feature that alerts marketers to potential leaks. Some retailers have gone so far as to provide a no-run-out guarantee, giving the end-use customer peace of mind. By preventing interruptions to propane service, tank monitors equip propane marketers with a unique marketing message — one that competitors who aren’t deploying monitors can’t provide for their customers, or yours. For that reason, as well as the aforementioned, remote tank monitors are attractive for any high-use and/or critical accounts, and a great way to keep customers from being tempted by competing fuel providers.
With Gaslog’s sophisticated software, owners can check tank levels for key accounts, sporadic users, and hard-to-get-to locations at a glance. All alarm percentages can be customized and arranged to send notifications if a tank reaches preset limits. Gaslog also has the option to search for stuck gauge issues. This provides security for both the propane marketer and end-use customer. Additionally, there are functions for forecasting, days-until-empty, and customized reports to review usage trends.
With advancements in technology, the growing popularity of remote tank monitors, and new monitor providers, the price of monitoring equipment and communication fees continue to drop. On the other hand, with more monitor options out there, it is extremely important to choose a product that will provide features required now, as well as when your potential monitoring needs evolve. The Gaslog remote tank monitor, manufactured by Silicon Controls, is the leader in propane tank monitoring innovation. The combination of superior product quality, ease of use, insightful analytics, and customer service makes Gaslog the clear choice in remote tank monitors.