September 24, 2021
So, the UK government said don’t panic buy.
Yet, as I write this, most stations are between 50% and 600% up across the EdgePetrol network. And this is climbing!
With an estimated shortage of 100,000 drivers, suppliers are already rethinking how they operate. BP have announced that delivery times for dealers will be moving to “within five days” and their Head of UK Retail, Hanna Hofer, is describing the situation as “very, very bad.”
The UK supply chain could handle this. In BP’s case, they seem to be on top of it, having spoken out ahead of time and preemptively shut a handful of company owned sites to keep their dealers pumping petrol.
But the supplier can only do so much. They are all going to need to spread out deliveries and will be needing flexibility from the dealers they supply.
This puts the dealer in a dilemma. Demand is up, supply is down. Panic buying could run the tanks dry. Dealers will be finding it more difficult to manage volatile cost prices as they have less flexibility in buying fuel. Get it wrong and margins, volume and shop sales could all take a big hit.
As well as getting on top of their margins. One of the ways retailers are getting through this is by keeping a closer eye on their tanks and using EdgePetrol’s BuySmart to understand how their tanks are running dry. Tony Head of eleven site operator Highway Stops says “In times like this, EdgePetrol’s BuySmart is critical to give us live data when planning deliveries.”
Using a volume forecasting algorithm, EdgePetrol’s BuySmart shows the user their future tank situation. This means retailers can fast forward in time up to 7 days and have a great understanding of when their tanks are actually going to run dry.
This is imperative in times like this. As Amar Tanna of two site operator SKT puts it “It’s days like this that you love having an Edge.”
This isn’t the only use for BuySmart though. Retailers are able to better manage deliveries around the cost of fuel, holding when prices are going down and taking deliveries when the price is going up. This is amplified if they are on weekly lag contracts and are choosing whether to take a delivery before their costs change. Better visibility around procurement and cost prices can save users thousands of pounds a month, if managed correctly.
The market continues to change and this shortage doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. However you do it, getting a better handle on procurement and pricing is going to be imperative for retailers going forward.
And if you want to find out more about BuySmart, you can request a demo here.
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