09 Sep 2019 By Russell Dupuy

Live data – what is it, and how does it improve your wetstock management?

Data has become the most valuable thing in the world – and using it the right way can add considerable value to your business. While many use it to sell products, it can also be used successfully to better manage your business, and your fuel.

You already rely on data for much of your wetstock management, but not all data is equal. The quality and relevancy of this data is most important – and unfortunately, most fuel retailers are using poor-quality and irrelevant data to help them run their fuel sites.

Historical data, or data that has be adulterated and passed through different sources, is more likely to be inaccurate. Using this data as the main source of information for your wetstock management will see you facing multiple problems:

  • Safety issues, including leaks, will take longer to identify, increasing environmental damage and the heftiness of fines
  • Suppliers will be provided with the wrong delivery information, increasing the likelihood of fuel overfills and poorly timed deliveries
  • You’ll risk non-compliance with pricing, fair trade, safety and more
  • You’re unable to be proactive, having to wait for something to go wrong before acting on it

These aren’t things that might happen–they will (and do) happen. It’s not uncommon to hear news stories about leaking tanks that weren’t discovered until much later, or fuel overfills that lead to leaks and fires.

The cost, hazard and reputational damage that these problems lead to are extensive. But, they’re also completely avoidable.

8 things you immediately improve with the live data

As you can see, data that is a day, a few days, a week or month old may not be enough to manage your wetstock or your business. To achieve wetstock management that is effective and safe, your systems need to be enabled to deliver data in real-time–also often referred to as live data.

Live data is delivered as frequently as every 1, to 30 seconds. And while that might seem excessive and unnecessary, there are actually several ways frequent updates can save you time, money and reputation:

1. Over or under dispensing fuel to consumers

Save yourself the cost of fines or unnecessary scheduled maintenance by being alerted every time hose calibration is out

2. Leak fuel systems

Traditional fuel analysis can take up to 6 weeks to identify irregularities. Live data will tell you within a minute if you’re experiencing fuel loss that could be a leak

3. Poorly performing hoses

Determine a behaviour pattern for your hoses so you can identify problems and shut off hoses immediately –before customers can complain

4. Electronic Price Board compliance

Detect inaccuracies and discrepancies between your price board and dispensers to avoid with fair trade non-compliance and disappointed customers

5. Detection of water in fuel

Don’t wait for cars to start breaking down –be notified immediately and lock-down the afflicted pump/tank

6. Just in time fuel management

Give suppliers access to live fuel data so they ensure they’re delivering the right amount at the right time, eliminating the risk of overfills

7. Critical sensor alerts

Receive immediate critical alerts from site-wide sensors to notify you of a serious breach or error

8. Pricing

Optimise competitive pricing and profit margins with insight into sales data and volume points

Live data enables better wetstock management now, and into the future

The biggest power live data gives you is the ability to make informed decisions based on what is happening in the moment, as opposed to what happened last week, month or year.

Nearly every decision made in fuel retail can have major repercussions, so informed and accurate decision making is the goal.

With the take up of Cloud and more recently IoT, petroleum retailers can now exploit proactive fuel system management and maintenance like never before.

This is directly:

  • Improving consumer experience
  • Cutting operational costs
  • Improving stock control
  • Simplifying site safety & compliance

But as well as improved decision making and the string of other immediate, short-term benefits, live data also supports long-term capabilities. This includes the adoption of newer technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine and Deep Learning, that are unlocking new insights to old problems and exposing new information.

Discover live data for yourself

This is all achieved by knitting together disparate fuel system devices so the key data per device is matched in a way that unlocks new information that allows actionable insights.

Fuelsuite was designed to be the system that brings other systems together, optimising data and enabling the receipt of live data and alerts.

To discover more about live data, or how it can be enabled at your site through Fuelsuite, click here to contact EMS.

EMS is the creator of Fuelsuite, and a leading global provider of wetstock management solutions.