Angus has studied many fuel delivery issues over the past few years, and this year there are several unique issues that we have never encountered before.
Our industry has always been challenged by unpredictable deliveries based on K-Factor. While there is a correlation between the weather and consumption, the correlation is too often not strong enough to rely on without a lot of room for error. Our data shows the average delivery for most dealers is roughly half of the tank size, and the reason is that K-factors are generally not much more than a “good guess” coupled with the overarching rule of not allowing runouts.
Compounding unpredictable delivery sizes due to K-Factor margin of error is the world as we know it today, with millions of Americans Working From, or Learning From Home. And while the industry benefits from increased consumption, we simply don’t know with any certainty which homes (and by what degree) are impacted by this factor.
In times of extreme weather swings, fuel shortages, or – what we have now – with unpredictable consumption, what was “good enough” might not be good enough any longer.
Another new challenge this year is the practical matter that drivers in our industry are almost a perfect match for the “COVID-19 at risk” group. What will you do if your drivers need to quarantine for 2 weeks due to contact with someone who is “positive”? Worse, what if your drivers test positive and are out for an extended period?
What strategies can you implement NOW to address those concerns? Here are some things to consider….
The value of remote Tank monitors
If there was ever a time to make the buying decision that you have been holding off on, now is the time! Also, if you have uninstalled monitors in inventory that you have been too busy to get to, this is the time to prioritize and get them installed quickly. Knowing what is in a tank before dispatching a truck to deliver makes more sense this year than ever before.
How do you define “needing a delivery”?
Customers have different K-factors and burn fuel at different rates. We have recognized that relying on the Reserve Level alone is not the optimal delivery indicator. A customer with a K-factor of 12 can go deeper into a tank than one
with a K-Factor of 4, so despite having the same tank size, these customers do not need to be delivered when they reach the predetermined Reserve Level.
Think about how you define “needing a delivery”. Is it when the tank is at a certain level for everyone with that size tank, or should you consider how many days of fuel they have left? Part of ADEPT (Angus Delivery Efficiency Planning Tools) is optimizing that process, but it is something that you should start to think about and possibly implement on a limited basis.
You have access to more data than ever before
You CAN work with fewer trucks and drivers and that is where the future lies. For now, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and work through this winter. You have access to more data than ever before; you need to reap the benefits of it! And even though the saying of “we have always done it this way” should have been retired with your father’s generation, it is time to move forward and embrace what is available now.
Want to learn more strategies? Click here to watch the recorded webinar [Managing Through a COVID-19 Winter].