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What does it mean to “share the view?” With competition increasing and margins growing even tighter, fuel marketers need to improve communications through automation and expand the sharing of information across not only their own organization – but to customers and carriers as well.
When marketers have the technology to share their information quickly and simply, it opens up new pathways for them, as well as their partners, to work more efficiently and profitably. Whether you are sharing data and decision making tools internally or with third-party vendors, increasing your data visibility can give you a leg up in this fast paced and unforgiving market.
By utilizing today’s data automation technology, fuel marketers can reap the benefits of more efficient and accurate customer mandates and reduced overhead costs, while ultimately bringing in more business. Unfortunately, increased visibility does not mean simply inviting coworkers to your computer monitor. It means being able to seamlessly weave information between departments in order to ensure your organization and its partners are on the same page – with the best information possible.
So, what can fuel marketers improve by ‘Sharing the View?’ The three major business functions that can benefit from better and more interconnected data are the purchasing process, allocation management, and billing. Ultimately, when these functions are synchronized, you can successfully share all inbound and outbound documents – in one, easy-to-access place.
Improve Your Purchasing Process
In order for you to make the best purchasing decisions, you need to be able to procure every price and share it with your entire network.
Beneficiaries of a shared, real-time purchasing process include: fuel managers and pricing analysts, accounting departments and sales groups. To avoid unnecessary inconsistencies, it’s critical that they all have access to real-time pricing to ensure that, if multiple people are making buying decisions, they are all working off the same price.
Whether you are a manager, analyst, accountant or sales rep – access to real-time data that can be customized, consolidated and shared on one screen puts your organization on the path to success.
Share Real-Time Allocations:
To best manage the allocation juggling act, marketers can capitalize on automation technology that delivers interconnected data. By doing so, marketers can work in unison with logistics, supply, and common carriers.
With real-time supplier information at their fingertips, logistics can utilize a configurable, aggregated view of their allocations across suppliers – offering peace of mind through constant tracking and reporting of valuable supply assets and ensuring drivers are not stuck at the rack with no supply.
If your bills of lading (BOLs) are coming in from different sources, you never know what you’re going to get. This challenge is one often faced by marketers – maybe they’re emailed or faxed in, or delivered in a crumpled mess by the driver. Time is money and nobody has the time to decipher and enter information manually.
In order to speed up invoicing, your accounting group needs to have timely, accurate and aggregated data in their billing system. Through automation, they can avoid manually gathering BOLs – saving time and money for your organization.
It’s Time to Share the View
The refined fuels industry is always trying to make communications and information sharing easier. For fuel marketers, the most important processes and tasks can be improved through automation. Whether you are sharing information with your colleagues or outside partners – if you are sharing on your own terms, you can achieve greater accuracy and efficiency.
Having accurate, real-time, and shareable data is critical to your success. When you can tap into a vast customer base and put your key audiences on the same page, the productivity of your organization will transform. In an industry where volume is vast and margins are tight, ‘Sharing the View’ is an innovative way to have more productive, automated operations.
To check out Schneider Electric’s unique, automated solutions for the downstream oil & gas industry, click here.