America is facing an increasing labor shortage in the trucking industry with 63,000 open positions in 2018. While some fuel marketers are feeling the effects of this shortage, others are not or are pretending that this will pass. The reality is that while companies try to attract more drivers with higher pay and bonuses, the number of open positions is expected to double in the next few years (source: The Washington Post).
Thankfully, the heating fuel industry has solutions that can help fuel marketers survive this driver shortage and set them up for success in the coming years. Tank monitors have been around for years but have recently made their way onto nearly every fuel dealer’s radar. Most fuel marketers understand the benefits of tank monitors; daily tank readings, decreased run-outs, optimized operations, etc., and are proactively deploying them for next season, especially after the very unpredictable Northeast Winter in early 2018. However, some may underestimate the power of tank monitors to minimize the need for more drivers.
When you acquire more customers, it creates more deliveries and the need for more drivers. So, while the country is expected to double open drivers positions and attracting new customers will continue to be every fuel marketers’ goal, we need to seek a solution that allows fuel marketers to continue to attract more customers and decrease the need for drivers, right?
Tank monitors can give fuel marketers the ability to cut deliveries by an average of 1.5 deliveries per customer per year. Having access to -real-time tank-level data will allow fuel marketers to schedule more efficiently by delivering only to the homes that need a delivery vs. stopping by because they’re in the area. Even in severe weather tank monitors can help manage your deliveries so that you can quickly prioritize the homes that need immediate attention.
Business intelligence software is another tool that can help you cut deliveries by giving you the ability to quickly hone in on your delivery inefficiencies, from driver-related problems to unprofitable small drops. Business intelligence tools generally work by pulling information from your back-office system and translating it into digestible reports that let companies easily seek out potential problems before they become too big. These tools can tell you which driver is spending too much time on the road and making inefficient deliveries. It can also show you which driver is making too many sub-optimal drops. Think of what you could do if you knew that much about your drivers!
As we continue to hear about labor shortages in the trucking industry, take this opportunity to assess your operations and find strategies that will allow your company to grow and remain profitable into the future.
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