While many propane and fuel suppliers implement tank monitoring for the economical and efficiency benefits, often overlooked are the safety benefits that monitoring provides. Out-of-gas situations for both commercial and residential customers can be extremely costly for suppliers, and in most cases, these run-outs are preventable.
Fuel and propane suppliers are generally responsible for providing their customer’s tanks with enough fuel to ensure the functionality of the equipment that use the fuel, such as heaters, boilers, ovens, etc. The damages that result from a run-out can fall squarely to the fuel provider.
A residential customer whose pipes have frozen due to an empty tank may have significant property damage. Costs for cleaning and repairing a customer’s flood and water damaged home will no doubt affect a supplier’s insurance costs if found liable, not to mention the potential loss of a customer and the business reputation that comes with it.
A worse-case scenario for fuel and propane providers is a homeowner who causes an explosion from attempting to get their appliances back in service. At first glance, it would seem the homeowner would be at fault for attempting their own pilot lighting for example, without following proper safety procedures. Unfortunately, the liability does not always solely lie with the homeowner. The supplier may be held liable for this type of accident depending on circumstances and the law in the State where the incident occurred. Any scenario where a business is liable for a preventable accident that causes injury or death is often devastating to any organization.
Another area of exposure related to out of gas customer tanks can occur responding to the call. Waking an employee up in the middle of the night to brave the cold and potentially dangerous driving conditions to respond to the out of gas call, can put your valued employee and vehicle at significant risk as well.
With tank monitoring implemented on difficult to forecast residential and commercial tanks, the risks associated with tank run-outs are virtually eliminated. The ability to see the current inventory level of any and every customer tank with a monitor can be a very valuable in avoiding the aforementioned safety scenarios. Having the monitored tank information readily available on a web portal, smart phone or directly integrated in to the supplier’s back-office platform, can not only improve safety performance but also increase operating efficiency and profitability.
In addition to seeing tank levels, monitoring companies like WESROC, provide intelligent software that enables its users to customize notifications and alerts to meet their needs. For example, suppliers can set up an alert that is triggered when a certain tank falls to 30%, thus giving notice to schedule a delivery.
Quality monitoring software, like WESROC.net, is designed with the intelligence to recognize drastic changes and inconsistencies in the data that it analyzes. For example, if the data shows that tank has a sharp drop off in tank level within the time span of an hour, an alert can be sent to the software user signaling that a possible leak or decompression has occurred. Another example would be a “no usage report”. The software is able to recognize that the tank has a history of a consistent and predictable draw rate, and the tank level has not changed in a certain amount of time, the software alerts the user to a possible float gauge or dial problem.
Recognized mostly for improving delivery efficiency to improve profits, tank monitoring undoubtedly adds a layer of safety and peace of mind for fuel and propane suppliers as well as their customers. The safety benefits for both customers and delivery personnel make the investment in tank monitoring essentially pay for itself.
Making a smartphone app like the MyTank App available to your customers you can provide peace of mind to keep full / auto fill customers. It can also be used with will call customers to monitor their tank and use push notification to order gas all within the App.
Eliminating out of gas situations leads to safe happy customers!