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Russell Dupuy 29 Apr 2019 By Russell Dupuy

Time for an upgrade? 3 steps to optimising your wetstock management system

Like most things in life, upgrading your wetstock management system is a lot easier said than done. Analysing your fuel management system performance is a good start – but where to next?

I’ve seen a lot of people go down this road only to be left with less than ideal systems and capabilities – investing the time, effort and resources into something that is ultimately disappointing.

This all comes down to how you approach the change. When it comes to implementing the right upgrades, it’s important to be clear about what specific results and capabilities you expect out of your system before racing ahead to implementation.

With the right preparation, knowledge and dedication, your wetstock management will be easier and more accurate than ever, helping to reduce your risks and your fuel variance. So, here’s how to do it in three steps:

Step 1: Protect yourself from failure

Upgrading your fuel systems is an investment that can generate a significant return when implemented correctly.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see automation upgrades fail due to poor planning and utilisation.

It’s incredibly important to know what you want to achieve before you implement anything. This might sound obvious, but failing to do so is a major reason why a lot of sites struggle to achieve improvements.

In my time working with fuel suppliers, I’ve seen even some of the big-name companies make planning and implementation mistakes that have led to upgrade failures and huge costs.

Inadequately assessing and preparing for automation upgrade can result in businesses:

  • Experiencing systems not working to full capacity because they did not have a clear outcome defined right from the start
  • Receiving the wrong equipment, service or software capabilities due to poor communication with providers
  • Not achieving the desired results or experiencing poor ROI due to a failure to use the equipment properly or consistently
  • Implementing equipment without planning for the future, thus restricting the potential of your own system
  • Not being able to achieve desired processes because equipment was not programmed correctly or is missing software enhancements

Step 2: Define your needs and keep them front of mind

While these mistakes are easily made, they are also easily avoided – if you’re willing to put in the work. Prior to planning or implementing your upgrade you need to ask yourself three questions:

  1. What wetstock management capabilities do I need?
  2. What outcomes do I expect?
  3. Once implemented, how will I audit to ensure I’m getting these outcomes?

Having clear answers to these questions will ensure you don’t fall into the trap of unclear communication or bad forward planning. When it comes to considering your technology options, keeping these answers front of mind will also help you decide whether:

  • Your desired outcomes can be achieved with a standard system, or if they require more advanced services
  • Your site risk factors (environment or location) will affect which management capabilities you need
  • The outcomes you’re aiming for require a certain level of system integration
  • You need a system that will work if circumstances change (e.g. if your business grows)
  • You need a provider that can offer a higher level of support

Knowing your initial needs and expectations will keep the process on track, and ensure you’re clear about answers to any further questions that arise. Being sure and sticking to these three clear requirements helps remove the risk of problems cropping up after implementation.

Step 3: Find support that will help you succeed

Once you’ve decided what you need, what you expect, and what success looks like, you are ready to begin upgrading your wetstock management system.

However, a successful implementation shouldn’t just rest on your shoulders. When engaging a service provider to implement your carefully planned upgrade, you want to ensure they can supply everything you need.

You need an implementation partner who:

  • Provides clear Support and Service Level Agreement with well-defined escalations and processes
  • Has expertise in their equipment and solutions – not someone who is just selling or installing a product and leaving the rest up to you to work out
  • Delivers a level of service that suits you – from basic through to full service

Not everyone’s needs are the same – which is why it’s important to plan for yours, and find a supplier that can adapt to fulfil them.

EMS is a leading supplier of wetstock management solutions and creator of Fuelsuite, a cloud-based wetstock management tool which offers a full range of automation features.

Fuelsuite offers numerous automation capabilities, meaning it can cater to every site’s needs, big or small. The team at EMS work with you to determine exactly what you need, make sure implementation is correct and ensure ongoing service and support for optimal results.

To discuss your specific wetstock management needs, or to find out more about implementing, upgrading and optimising your system, contact EMS on 1300 367 783 or click here.