Remote tank monitoring has been surging in popularity recently, and for good reason — the benefits it holds are staggering for both the consumer and supplier. With this rise in popularity comes the emergence of various competing tank monitoring solutions with wides ranges in quality and functionality.
So with so many options to choose from, how do you know you’re selecting the right one for your operation? Read on to discover the top 5 areas to evaluate when you’re choosing a remote tank monitoring solution.
While cost can play a large role in the decision-making process, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. It’s essential that you choose a quality tank monitoring solution that will accommodate all of your needs and perform at a high-level for an extended period of time.
Evaluate not only what the upfront costs will be, but also the recurring maintenance costs that come with low-quality solutions. The return on investment yielded from first-rate tank monitoring will be obvious fairly quickly. With greater visibility into customer tank levels, you are able to increase gallons delivered per stop, in turn reducing delivery costs significantly.
The quality of coverage that accompanies a tank monitoring solution is extremely important — it determines the ease at which you can connect and monitor even your most remote customer tank locations. Without reliable coverage, you’re at risk of tank level misreadings which can lead to run-outs, inaccurate data which effects deliveries, and a host of other issues.
There are four main coverage types: cellular, WiFi, satellite, and radio. Remote tank monitoring solutions that rely on just one of these methods can put you at risk of data loss if the coverage goes down. Therefore, solutions that leverage multiple communication methods are much safer and have the necessary processes in place for failsafe data transmission.
With a majority of current tank monitoring solutions, a meaningful and scalable deployment is nearly impossible. Many solutions require you to make tank modifications to accommodate the monitor. Often times this isn’t possible due to varying factors such as tank age, condition, or location.
If the tanks are able to be fitted with the monitors, it takes valuable time and resources away from your organization. As we covered in a recent blog, the industry average deployment time for more than 100 devices is upwards of six months.
Evaluate whether or not you have the necessary staff to handle a full-scale deployment and still service your customers. You also have to take into account that training and/or certifications may be necessary for some installations due to the needed modifications to tanks.
Vertrax Tank Monitoring Service is managed and deployed by Vertrax. Apply for the pilot program today to learn more.
4. Tank Measurement Method
There are various methods for measuring the liquid levels of tanks, but all are not equal. Read ready gauges are currently the most popular tank monitoring solution, but they have large limitations. As touched on previously, this solution requires tank modifications that aren’t always possible due to tank age or condition. This equipment is also low-tech and unreliable — with a 5-15% variance seen in readings based on manual gauges.
Other tank monitoring solutions in the market utilize ultrasonic technology to measure tank levels. For this equipment, a probe is required to be installed inside the tank positioned as horizontally as possible, along with the sensor being attached to the top of the tank. The sound waves used measure the empty space within the tank to get a reading, but this method is limited to only certain types of tanks that allow the sound waves to travel back.
Emerging sonar tank monitoring technology looks to be the most promising in terms of accuracy, ease of installation, and types of tanks that can be measured. With this sonar technology, a sensor can simply be mounted on the underside of a tank magnetically and without modification, and then get extremely accurate liquid level — rather than empty space — readings. This technology can monitor any tank, of any age, in any size, in any location.
It’s important for you to assess the tank conditions of your customers, along with how big of an impact accurate data can make on your organization. The monitoring method that the solution you choose uses plays an integral role in the quality and consistency of data collected, along with what tanks you can even monitor.
5. Customer Relationship Building
All of the above areas roll into having a major impact on the relationship that you hold with your customers. With low-cost solutions, you won’t have to pass the cost on to your customers. Easy installation will allow you to start monitoring your tanks quicker and service customers in an efficient manner. With reliable coverage and a tank measurement method that is always accurate, you can ensure that customers never run out and keep them happy.
Certain tank monitoring services also offer custom branded equipment and consumer apps with your branding to keep your organization top of mind — increasing customer retention. With the app, consumers are able to have greater visibility into their tank levels — and in today’s technology-driven age, almost everyone is demanding this.
Choosing a remote tank monitoring solution shouldn’t be taken lightly. These monitors will likely be operating for years to come, giving you valuable insights that let you streamline and optimize your operation — leading to an increased bottom line and happier customers.
Vertrax Tank Monitoring Service is the only end-to-end bulk tank monitoring solution leveraging sonar. With real-time, always accurate liquid level readings, you’re able to improve inventory management and have unmatched delivery forecasting. Learn more here or apply for the pilot program today!