By Sandeep Singh, Product Manager – Digital Platforms, DFS
Managing dispensers across networks of retail fueling locations can be challenging. In addition, retailers typically don’t know when a dispenser isn’t operating correctly until a customer tells them, which is too late.
Approximately 39 million Americans fill up their gas tanks every day at fuel dispensers, and many have experienced the following scenario:
The customer pulls up to a fuel dispenser and there’s a problem. Maybe the fuel site isn’t on or it won’t take your payment. Maybe the flow of gas is really slow or maybe, you can get through the entire process of pumping your gas but can’t get a printed receipt and need to go get one from the gas attendant. In the vast majority of cases, gas station site operators don’t know there’s a problem until a customer tells them or complains.
Start monitoring your sites today!
Did you know approximately 90% of out-of-action fuel dispensers are reported by the customer? Without a remote monitoring system in place, it’s the customer who is informing the store operator of problems with their fuel dispensers the majority of the time. To makes matters worse, equipment problems can cause negative customer experiences that can affect both short- and long-term sales due to the customers reluctance to come back to the fueling site the next time they need to fill up.
Needless to say, staying on top of issues that prevent critical equipment from operating at its best and resolving issues before they cause an impact is of critical importance to all site owners. Without proactive monitoring and real-time alerts on the health of each dispenser, service to customers can be interrupted, leading to customer dissatisfaction. Disruption to normal forecourt operations can be easily resolved or avoided through a remote management and site optimization solution that gives you the information you need to make your site more efficient and more cost-effective.
We’ve gathered a few tips to help you navigate the remote monitoring and management technology landscape.
Identify and mitigate equipment problems before they happen
Remote monitoring tools like DX Monitor, part of the DFS DX™ connected solutions platform, can be configured to report a number of alerts either via email or SMS. These alerts allow for timely awareness and responses to issues that can impact equipment performance or availability, or otherwise create a negative customer experience for those affected. Examples of alerts supported include: printer and paper issues, low flow rate, bad card reads, dispenser offline, secure payment module battery low, door breach and security issues.
QUICKLY RESTORE EQUIPMENT
Timely understanding and clear communication of specific issues with identified equipment can speed response times by store operators or designated maintenance personnel, restoring equipment to optimal performance and supporting the fueling experience your customers deserve.
Manage and maintain equipment remotely while lowering operational costs
REMOTELY FACILITATE TROUBLESHOOTING
Remote monitoring software can help facilitate troubleshooting and analysis without maintenance personnel being physically present at the site. In addition to alerts, personnel can securely retrieve data logs, view the dispenser screen, initiate a reboot and inventory equipment.
In many cases, rebooting the dispenser can clear error conditions and return it to a normal operating state. Rebooting can also be a key part of troubleshooting to return the dispenser to a known good state prior to focused investigation.
REDUCE SITE MAINTENANCE VISITS
Remote monitoring software can receive timely condition-based alerts, remotely manage and troubleshoot issues, and initiate upgrades that contribute to lower overall operational costs. With typical costs for site visits by service personnel ranging between $250 and $500 per visit on average, any site visit avoided produces direct benefit to the site’s bottom line.
The ability to deploy software upgrades remotely has proven to be a tremendous benefit with well-established parameters for savings over the need for personnel to physically attend sites. With remote upgrades, software can be deployed to individual dispensers, all dispensers at a site or all dispensers at multiple sites. The customer is able to schedule these deployments in a way that suits their site and schedule. This can include immediate ad-hoc site visits or scheduled for periods that will minimize disruption to site operations, such as early morning hours or on weekends.
In addition to minimizing service visits, well-maintained equipment can cost less to operate. Addressing these issues proactively while they’re still minor or small instead of waiting can minimize larger, more expensive and higher impact problems that could potentially shorten the life of your equipment.
Proactive monitoring and remote management can help you maximize the efficiency of your forecourt by identifying and responding to issues while minimizing the time, resources, and expense associated with maintaining your equipment.
The ability to remotely update dispenser software and firmware can reduce maintenance costs and maximize fuel dispenser uptime. Having visibility over the health of each forecourt in your enterprise enables you to proactively prioritize maintenance activities and focus on sites that need immediate or near-term attention.
Interested in investing in a remote management solution? Dover Fueling Solutions can help! Contact us today to learn more.
Sponsored content by Dover Fueling