Case Study:

Static Tank

Customer Challenge

Manually based systems were failing to capture all the volume of fuel being dispensed from the customer’s home base tank, as volumes per month were increasing this became a concern.

Administrators were spending hours chasing down erroneous entries and recording, as well as being unable to establish any use analysis.

To compound the challenge, more than one branch uses this tank creating a requirement for inter branch reconciliation to ensure that the correct branch (and thus the correct plant / job / user) is being captured.

Solution:

Using the Fuel-IT cloud based software combined with world leading data capture technology means that every litre of fuel used by the site is recorded and captured, even via fuel card.

Rundown:

The site uses a combination of heavy trucks and local plant as well as different divisions through the tank, with average monthly volume around 35,000 litres prior to engagement, calculated on the bulk delivery records not the dispensing records.

The location’s 15,000L bulk storage tank had single manual (Type42) meter relying on manual transaction capture (pen/paper) and without any secure functions to prevent fraud, other than the pump was padlocked each night.

Weekly tank dip provided information (approximate) on volume of fuel in tank, and this highlighted the inability of the users to accurately record data as discrepancy between dip and dispensed was significant.

Outcome:

The following table indicates the improvement in data capture, and therefore fuel management over the two months after installation.

1 Based on estimate only

The introduction of the SmartMeter initiated instant control to the bulk tank, after a short training session the drivers / operators could operate the system with ease and enter the required data into the meter using the keypad quickly and easily.

Unaccounted for fuel (by litres) was quickly brought under control and plant / vehicle efficiency was able to begin to be monitored and tracked.

Benefits:

By utilising the Fuel-IT System the client has improved accountability by:

  • Capturing all transactions through the tank – the system does not allow the pump to operate without capturing a minimum of 3 cross checked data points.
  • Accurate capture of the volume of fuel into plant / vehicle enabled the customer to track efficiency and, in some cases, operator performance.
  • Allocation for fuel to each division is automated, no longer manually accounted for, reducing Admin time by a combined 56 hours per month across two administrators.
  • Virtual elimination of unaccounted for fuel (direct from tank) – Branch has capability to track actual plant performance on any individual contract.
  • Plant / vehicle overfill report showed some loss by a spillage and / or filling fuel cans – in some cases the filling of cans was legitimate, in others not.

Cost Benefit:

The reduction of unaccounted for fuel, estimated at 8,000L (approx. $8,200/mth or close to $ 100k p.a.) more than covered the cost of the system. Unaccounted for meant fuel not billed to customer or ‘lost’ fuel.

The reduction in ‘wasted’ admin hours has improved productivity in other areas for the admin staff resulting in faster job sheet processing and more accurate invoicing to customers.

General Comment:

As the SmartMeter can be managed remotely through the Internet (wifi) or through wireless 3G/4G connectivity, any changes of a temporary nature, for example a loan truck while the customer owned truck is being repaired, can be added to the system and updated almost immediately.

All transactions at the site were updated to the cloud-based server within an average of 4 hours after the transaction had occurred, making ‘realtime’ monitoring available to the client for the first time.

Result:

The client has seen significant cost benefits not just from fuel savings but from staff time and, in particular, admin time, from being able to manage the home base tank accurately. As a result the customer has been able to embark on a maintenance programme for efficiency as well as implementing a driver education programme for fuel reduction whilst operating / driving.