Fuel Oil News

Fuel Oil News June 2014

The home heating oil industry has a long and proud history, and Fuel Oil News has been there supporting it since 1935. It is an industry that has faced many challenges during that time. In its 77th year, Fuel Oil News is doing more than just holding

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30 June 2014 | FueL OIL neWS | www.fueloilnews.com provide training. Of the others, Busse asked, "Why not?" Busse advised against giving customer service employees a script to follow, instead recommending discussions and guide- lines to let employees know, among other things, how important it is to treat every customer with respect, and to keep in mind that signing up a new customer can cost, according to one dealer who spoke up, $500 to $600. When customers call and say they want to cancel, they may be looking for something else to happen, Busse said. "They want a reason to stay," she said. "Let them tell their story. Ask them, 'Why are you thinking of canceling?'" Customers want to be loyal, Busse said. "They don't like change. It's a hassle. They want to 'set it and forget it.' They want to feel that they are important" to their heating oil dealer. The Case for Tank MoniToring "Why Use Tank Monitors?" was the question at a presenta- tion on Thurs., May 1. Some answers came from case studies, including one in which a propane dealer found that tank monitoring enabled him to reduce trips to a location while still selling the same amount of gas; increase gallons per delivery and profit per gallon; realize 100 percent return on investment in months; and eliminate wasted hours associated with runouts. Another dealer that implemented tank monitoring with the aim of eliminating inefficiencies targeted 75 accounts that represented the greatest demand for deliveries. Tank monitor- ing helped the dealer eliminate 1,623 stops, said presenter Hank Smith, vice president of Independent Technologies/Wesroc, a tank monitoring manufacturer based in Blair, Neb. If a fuel dealer's delivery area is tightly concentrated he may not benefit much from monitoring his customers' tanks, but if customers are spread over a considerable geographical area monitoring can save time and mileage on trucks, Smith said. As well, tank monitoring can be a means to profitably extending a dealer's operating area. For example, a dealer could establish a cluster of customers, say, sixty miles away; with tank monitoring, if one account needs a delivery, a truck can go and fill that customer's tank and top up the others in the area, which can help defray delivery costs and make the trip profitable. Tank monitors can support efficient operation, Smith said, which for a fuel deliverer is to "go as infrequently as possible and put in as much as possible." Smith has developed an Excel spreadsheet that dealers can use to determine when deliveries turn from money losers to money- makers. Dealers can enter their fuel costs, their overhead in terms of wages and truck fuel, and see how low a tank must be before a delivery becomes profitable. aree ProduCT news Exhibitors at the 2014 Atlantic Region Energy Expo displayed a range of products and services. Here are some highlights. degree days online Degree Days Online is fuel delivery software that provides degree day, calendar day and call-in scheduling, and prints deliv- ery tickets too, the company says. There is an option for integra- tion with QuickBooks accounting software as well. The fee is $79.95 per month "for most companies," the vendor says, "with no hidden fees." For an online demonstration go to the website at degreedaysonline.com. fPPf CheMiCal Co. Do you know what asphaltenes are? FPPF Chemical Co., based in Buffalo, N.Y., featured its Super Fuel Stabilizer, a concen- trated blend of additives designed to slow or prevent the formation of asphaltenes and the aging of diesel fuel and home heating oil. Asphaltenes are a tar-like, naturally-oc- curring material, semi-insoluble in diesel fuel and fuel oil, the company says. Asphaltene components separate from some diesel fuels when subjected to high temperatures and pressures in newer diesel engines, the company says. For more information visit the FPPF website at fppf.com. honeywell auToMaTion and ConTrol soluTions The Wi-Fi 9000 with voice control lets homeowners adjust their thermostat from across the room, and from even farther away if they use Honeywell's "Total Connect Comfort" app on their smartphones, the com- pany says. Using the app, hom- eowners can view and change their HVAC system settings, and receive temperature alerts via the app or by e-mail. They can also access multiple locations if more than one system is connected. Cloud-based voice recognition software will automatically update as new voice commands and other enhancements are added, says Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions, headquartered in Golden Valley, Minn. Installation requires no tools and the on-screen set-up process is designed to be simple to help techs get the job done with dis- patch, Honeywell says. Learn more at the website, Honeywell.com. Mid:CoM MID:COM, Hampton, Iowa, exhibited its E: Count LT, designed as a low-maintenance solid-state electronic counter. A 12-volt, single product counter, it is designed for stationary applications such as flam- BUSINESS OPERATIONS

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