With volatile demand, erratic prices and tight operating margins, fuel buyers are always on the lookout for opportunities to make a profit. Trying to manually ascertain fuel allocation at a terminal costs precious time. An automated process can make your operations more efficient and accurate. In an industry that has such a low margin for error, accurate fuel allocation data is mission-critical.
While the decisions regarding fuel allocation are complex, some fundamental principles still apply.
Accurate Days Are Necessary For Profitable Months
In any given month, fuel buyers must make product allocation decisions based on many factors. Tracking efficiencies those factors can often reveal inefficiencies that cause profit-robbing delays at any given point. Following each day’s product movement in real-time will lead to better allocation decision.
Have A Flexible System
Unfortunately, changes in fuel demand don’t always fall fortuitously at the beginning or end of the month. You need to have a system that can adapt to changes-on-the-fly. Those changes necessitate accurate daily tracking, which leads to proper monthly reconciliation. Ensure your platform for fuel allocations adapts to those changes.
Having a system that runs smoothly isn’t only about efficiency. It’s about ratability: operating an enterprise that works from the inside out to be competitive and reliable. The more ratable you are, the more business you will ultimately receive as you become your stakeholders’ partner of choice.
Good Measurements, Better Allocations, Best Production Management
For fuel marketers to determine accurate fuel allocations, they must avoid inadequate data. These inaccuracies can occur for a variety of reasons. In older systems, measurement methods are often flawed (or nonexistent). Daily values should be tracked on each point of data. Downtime should be adequately accounted for as well. Information that is current and accurate is invaluable because it leads to more efficient operations.
If a fuel seller automates their operations, they can allocate products with accuracy, gaining the trust of their customers. Processes such as assigning the executing customer transactions and managing credit limits are handled with efficiency, accuracy, and lower costs.
Fuel Sellers Depend On Accurate Allocation Data, Too
Managing credit allocations and communicating accurate product availability is the lifeblood of fuel sellers. If their customers get turned away at the terminal, they don’t just lose time; they’re now missing product that they have to scramble to find, in order to deliver what they promised to their customers. After a couple rounds of that “truck tango,” they’ll move their business elsewhere.
When a fuel seller can have certainty that they’re not short on credit, and that product will be available when their trucks arrive at the terminal for lifting, they’ll keep coming back.
The Right Stuff: Accurate Fuel Allocation Data & DTN
In an ideal situation, both the fuel buyer and seller work together to be profitable. DTN Allocation Tracker allows buyers to make data work for them. Buyers can set custom alerts to seize profit opportunities while working with sellers hand-in-hand.
When fuel allocation data is accurate, both buyers and sellers will get into a rhythm of great business.
In a low-margin market like the downstream fuel industry, Fuel buyers need to see where they have allocations at every moment—seconds matter in this business. DTN Allocation Tracker recognizes this. You will be able to make the best buying decisions possible at a moment’s notice in this competitive industry. DTN Allocation Tracker delivers accuracy and eliminates risk.
For fuel sellers, DTN Allocation Viewer is a valuable extension of our industry-leading DTN TABS® solution. It offers your customers an intuitive interface, where they can create customized alerts and even forecast product needs, eliminating last-minute “fire drill” calls to your customer service team.
The energy industry is a vast and essential part of our economy. Keeping up with the most current and cutting-edge products in fuel allocation is essential for success. Visit DTN today to learn how to take your downstream operations to the next level. While you’re there, arrange a demo of DTN Allocation Tracker or DTN Allocation Viewer.