11 March, 2021
The rise in interest in wetstock management services in the Asia-Pacific Region
Fuel retail markets across the globe have been exploiting the advantages of efficient, third-party fuel management services for many years, ever since the first statistical inventory reconciliation (SIR) service was launched well over twenty years ago, replacing traditional, manual processes such as the use of dipsticks to measure fuel. Since then, the fuel retail industry has become far more technologically advanced, and retailers now have access to a vast array of wetstock management and tank gauging products and services that can not only tell them if they are losing fuel (and subsequently pinpoint the source and exact location of the loss), but can also give them valuable insight into many other aspects of running a fuel business, such as the accuracy of fuel deliveries, the best way to optimise a fuel station to increase sales and throughput, logistics and financial reconciliation.
Over the past decade or so, the popularity of adopting such services as a tool to effectively manage the running of fuel businesses on a day-to-day basis really taken off, but there are still some markets that have been slower to catch up. Recently, there has been a sharp rise in the number of businesses in these regions looking to invest in fuel management services and upgrade their on-site equipment in order to increase profitability and improve efficiencies across their site or network. Many independent retailers and national oil companies in these markets – unlike the major oil companies in these territories - are still relying heavily on manual processes to complete wetstock analysis and reconciliation and as a result, there is great opportunity for third-party companies, such as Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS), to provide them with industry-proven wetstock management and tank gauging services.
Discovering the needs of the market
Fergus Heading and Andy Fawcett, Business Development Senior Managers at DFS within the ATG and Wetstock Business Units, recently attended a virtual event for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, hosted by OpenRoom Events, to discover more about the fuel management needs of the market. The event brought together experts in the downstream fuel industry and fuel retailers to discuss how they could work together to maximise the opportunities available to them.
“It was clear from the PetroForum event that there are hundreds of retailers looking to invest in smarter wetstock management services,” said Andy Fawcett. “Many retailers are aware of the automated data services that major oil companies in the region are using, but have not yet access to such services themselves. The event provided the ideal platform to showcase not only how DFS can help protect their businesses against fuel loss, but also to demonstrate just how far advanced data services can help.”
Fergus continued: “It became clear from the many discussions we had with these retailers that they believed their site infrastructure simply just wasn’t set-up to readily implement the equipment needed to deploy an integrated wetstock management service. We had a huge surge of interest in our wireless probe solutions when we explained that retailers could avoid the expensive re-wiring and digging costs associated with installing wired probes to measure fuel. Our wireless option means that there is no need to invest in a new cable network – therefore it can instantly integrate with unmodernised fuel sites, providing a method of upgrading the site without making any physical structural changes or any large financial implications."
"The cost aspect was an influential decision factor for the retailers we spoke to. The fact that we were able to prove to them that they didn’t have to invest in new cabling was really attractive. We were also able to show them that because there was no need to install underground duct work to manage the cables, our wireless solution means that there is little to no disruption to site, so retailers can continue trading and not miss out on valuable sales. This was a real positive for them during our discussions.
“Further to this, our consoles are configured to support both wired and wireless probe options, adding an extra level of flexibility to fuel sites depending on their existing site set up. They’re also are already enabled with wetstock ‘onboarding’ capabilities, meaning that from the day of installation, they are already set-up to provide the retailer with wetstock management through integration with the probe and the Fairbanks expert monitoring service. It also means that our equipment is future-proofed, ultimately giving the retailer access to many other services that DFS provides, such as the DFS DXTM Connected Solutions Platform. From speaking to the many attendees, the possibilities that were available to them from just installing a few pieces of equipment on site were clearly very exciting.”
“It’s not just that,” said Andy. “There’s been a rise in HSSE initiatives in the region in relation to the environment. Companies are becoming more and more concerned with the impact that their fuel business might be having on the environment. They’re comparing themselves to the major oil companies and asking why they can’t have the same capabilities, as well as the environmental protection that comes with third-party wetstock management. From an opportunities perspective, that was really great to hear.
“Installing one of our ATG systems on site means that retailers no longer need to dip their fuel tanks to get fuel level readings,” Fergus added. “This obviously reduces the risks of accidents or spillages on the forecourt, which is especially problematic at busy sites. Our ATGs means that site staff are not required to enter the forecourt and put themselves at risk whilst opening fuel tanks to take the readings – another positive from an HSSE perspective.”
For more information on DFS’ Wetstock monitoring products and services or to contact us to speak to a sales representative, please visit doverfuelingsolutions.com.