Week 5 - Forecasting
Welcome to week 5 of our 8 week series on modern technology, specifically in the downstream fuel space. This week we’re discussing specific functionality, starting with forecasting.
The primary questions that must be answered everyday to ensure an efficient operation are what needs to go, when does it need to go, where does it need to go and who is going to take it. Underpinning those questions is the retain / runout logic. That's the essence of forecasting. Don't run the site out and don't create retains.
In most instances users are making these decisions manually, meaning someone is looking at tank levels, sales history, driver / carrier schedules and trying to prioritize orders. In many instances, they're using multiple systems to do this. There are landmines everywhere and periodically they get stepped on.
We propose a different way to think about it and we call it "the ham sandwich". Keeping with our theme of automation and being a data hub, we have all the data (tank levels, site information, driver schedules, carrier availability, and sales history) and we're pretty good at math so the system will make accurate recommendations on what needs to go, where and when.
The reason it's called "the ham sandwich" is we had a salesperson tell a dispatcher he should go have a ham sandwich for lunch while the software created the forecasted loads since he wouldn't have to do it anymore. We thought it was clever, so it stuck.
We digress. The point is, since we have all the information and we know what the site expectations are we make very accurate recommendations on order creation. Leaning on what we've discussed before (ML / AL + automation) our forecasting module leverages these things and drives a reduction in errors and man hours, meaning reduced costs.
When you think about how you build and plan your schedules, maybe ask how it's done now, is it manual, how many people and systems does it require and are there errors happening? If the answer is yes, we may be able to help.
If you would like to learn more, just hit us direct and we'll get something on the books.