Keeping customers warm through the winter is the most important part of your business. So, it’s no surprise that deliveries are the largest component of your expenses. When you dig into ways to cut down on those expenses in many cases it comes down to making larger and (therefore) fewer deliveries. However, simply targeting larger deliveries may or may not be optimal and as such may not decrease but actually increase delivery costs! How do you define an Optimal Delivery?
Most fuel marketers still rely heavily on K-Factors to predict, prioritize and route their deliveries. This method of calculating next delivery based upon a mathematical formula has allowed fuel marketers to operate as efficiently as possible. But are K-factors really the most efficient option?
The largest expenses for heating oil and propane distributors are those related to deliveries. Fixed fleet costs including trucks, insurance, and maintenance, as well as variable costs of wages and fuel during the heating season that always seem to be on the rise. The trick… deliver all your gallons with fewer trucks during all four seasons.…
Your biggest expenses are the fleet that delivers fuel to your customers and the wages for the drivers, dispatchers, and mechanics who make those deliveries and keep the fleet running. In many cases, those expenses can equal 75% of all of your operating expenses. You are (or should be) aware that there are new and modern ways to improve your economics. The costs are minimal relative to the benefits, the implementation is fairly easy, and the results outweigh just about anything you can do with any other delivery and dispatch technology.
In any business, in any industry, the “3 legs” that are required to support a business are Sales, Operations, and Finance. Sales can include sales, marketing, customer support and retention, data analytics, social media, etc. Operations includes “everything you do” to serve your customers. In our industry, it is primarily delivery of fuels and the installation and servicing of heating and cooling equipment. Finance includes everything from budgeting, analyzing, reporting, banking, credit, hedging, and more.