3 Tips for Saving Money in the Fuel Industry
Several common money wasting practices in the fuel industry can be prevented or minimized. You just need to prepare, be aware, and follow these three top tips.
1. Down Dispensers
When a dispenser machine goes down, this can pose a problem even though this situation is common and largely inevitable. Many customers will spot the out-of-order cover on a nozzle, choosing to move on without stopping there, even to park and go into the store to buy an item. This means the gas station loses out on even more business than just the gas.
Monitoring solutions are in place that can indicate when a dispenser is down so that a service call can be ordered, the pump can be fixed in a timely manner, and the retailer can make money again.
2. Meter Loss
Fuel is a product you don’t usually see as a consumer. Think about it: the liquid is delivered from a truck via a hose to another vehicle after being converted from cubic inches to dollars and gallons. How do you know how much is coming out, aside from a fuel gage that shows Empty or Full? There’s really no exact confirmation as to the numeric values associated with the fill up.
Check out how the metering/dispensing process works in a nutshell:
- Fuel is dispensed and metered in cubic inches; after that, it is converted to gallons and dollars
- 231 cubic inches are contained in one gallon of liquid (1,155 cubic inches in five gallons of liquid)
- Federal guidelines say meters/totalizers to be “off” by as much as + or – six cubic inches per five gallons of product dispensed
- The amount of slack allowed in a meter is ½%: o six cu. in. / 1,155 cu. in. = 0.0052 o 0.0052 x 100 = 0.52% or ½%
The government guidelines are in place for accuracy but they do allow for an acceptable margin of error. This is designed to accommodate “meter drift.” However, with the economy the way it is now, any variance greater than zero has a huge impact on retailers losing money.
At $2 per gallon, a one cubic inch loss translates to a $649 per month loss for a 150,000-gallon per month gas station!
3. Slow-Pumping Dispensers
There are a multitude of variables that influence how quickly a particular dispenser is flowing. It could be an issue with the pump, the nozzle or the filter. It’s no secret that slow flow dispensers annoy customers. But it could be a long time before a store clerk is made aware of a slow flow pump from a customer who has just had enough. By then, though, the pump has likely been slow for some time, costing the gas station business.
The solution is to monitor and forecast flow rates weeks in advance in order to figure out the most cost-efficient time to handle a filter change. There’s no need to change out all the filters on all the pumps at the same time. Some pumps get more action than others, needing filter changes more frequently. Some may still have many more months of useful time left.
When you take the time to address these three core money saving fuel tips, you can save cash, time and hassle as a gas station owner or other retailer.
Contact Taylor Oil Company
To learn more money saving fuel tips or to schedule your 24/7 onsite fueling services, contact us now.