In today’s market we are all looking for ways to gain that competitive advantage. One area that is so often overlooked is fully exploiting company data.
Buying fuel is a process which involves multiple stakeholders such as Sellers, Physical Suppliers, Buyers, Agents, Brokers, Vessels, Operators etc. When dealing with so many parties you encounter a lot of information, it’s therefore essential to be able to access the right information at the right time in order to make the most effective business decisions.
At Inatech, we are seeing more and more bunker buyers move away from manual systems and excel spreadsheets and start to deploy new technologies and fuel procurement systems. This move to new technology is changing the way companies gather and use data.
With fuel procurement software bunker buyers can store data from supplier RFQs, fuel deliveries, BDNs, lab results, claims, price reconciliation, finance and invoices, supplier ratings, port information and relevant fuel prices, contract management etc etc.
Unlike data from spreadsheets and manual processes, that is usually stored in lots of individual files and owned by lots of different people, data from fuel procurement systems is stored centrally and can be accessed easily by a wide range of people.
This makes that data extremely valuable to the business as it can be now be accessed quickly – allowing companies to make better informed decisions. It can give buyers an advantage when negotiating a deal. It can help a business reduce costs. It can be the difference between choosing a good fuel supplier and a bad one. It aids decision making, helps drive efficiencies throughout the business, can streamline operations and ensure on-going profitability.
With so much valuable business data now available – how can you be sure your systems are properly collating and processing this data into high quality, usable business information?
The simple answer, either ensure the fuel procurement software you buy provides an in-depth data analysis tool/plug-in or buy an add-on data analytics application.
What should you be looking for in an analytics application?
An analytics application should give you the most comprehensive view of your fuel procurement operations in one, easy to access location.
You need to be looking for an application that lets you easily tailor reports to your specific business needs.
You need to be able to view those reports across multiple devices and in multiple formats.
Look for functionality that delivers:
• Interactive dashboards
• Multi-chart views
• Drill down reports
• Ad-hoc reporting capabilities
Make sure you can provide detailed analysis for the strategic, tactical and operational sides of your business.
Ensure any system integrates easily with all your existing applications.
Look for specialist tools designed for your specific industry. These kind of applications will likely include many standard reports you’ll need such as:
• Reports that enable you to show fuel price history, trends and prices.
• P&L reports that allow bench-marking against market data.
• And in order to address increased regulations your procurement teams will need the flexibility to generate multiple reports from operational data.
Turn your data into action-orientated knowledge
So as you move away from manual processes and look to implement the very latest fuel purchasing software always keep in mind the potential business benefits of the data you gather and make sure that data is fully exploited.
Many companies don’t and won’t realise the true value of the information they have, so use yours in order to gain a real competitive edge.
Let Inatech help
Shiptech is Inatech’s specialist bunker fuel management system. With simplicity in mind, the complex operations of fuel procurement from spot RFQ, fuel quality and quantity discrepancies management, claims or ECA compliance are streamlined into easy to use Shiptech applications that provide a seamless buyer experience.
A key application within the product is Analytics. Through sophisticated data analytics and reporting it puts the bunker buyer at the heart of fuel purchasing and provides the tools needed to ensure you can buy the highest quality of fuel at the lowest price. For more information or to book a Shiptech demo click here