Fuel distributors are constantly battling rising fuel prices, high shipping costs and finding ways to improve customer service. Mitten Inc. is one of the largest bulk fuel storage and fuel distributors in Kansas with over 500 customers in the farming, dairy, agriculture and trucking industries. Mitten also relies on its own bulk fuel for its Mitten Travel Plaza gas station located in Oakley, Kan.
Like most storage and fuel tanks, Mitten’s tank levels were monitored manually, taking up to a half hour each. Mitten customers would manually measure the tanks either using a float gauge or measure the fluid level by dropping a tape measure into the tank. With measurement in hand they contacted Mitten to report the data. This process was not only time consuming, but often the refueling trucks would end up filling tanks that didn’t actually need to be topped off. Conversely fuel trucks occasionally arrived too late, allowing tanks to run empty.
“We knew we needed a way to streamline our delivery process,” said Jerry Chaput, Fuel Manager with Mitten Inc. “With its reliable system and full-service support, TankScan was the ideal choice.”
In March 2013, Mitten turned to ATEK Access Technologies for its TankScan wireless tank monitoring system, which allows Mitten to monitor the liquid levels of its tanks remotely. TankScan uses a battery powered radar sensor that sits on top of each tank and takes measurements several times daily to determine fluid depth.
“The installation process was easy and TankScan was ready to help when we had questions,” said Chaput. “Once the monitors were installed, we were amazed at how easy it was to access the data from each tank.”
The monitor collects data about the tank’s fluid level and sends it to TankScan Global Internet portal. Chaput is able to log into TankScan Global from a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone and monitor all of Mitten’s customer’s tanks from anywhere an Internet connection is available.
Mitten began using the TankScan TSM7000 monitor at one location with nine tanks. It recently installed the new TSM8000 series monitors at four sites in Kansas and one in Nebraska.
“We’re now using TankScan on 26 tanks that service the farming, dairy and agricultural industries, and one trucking firm,” added Chaput.
Through utilizing the TankScan solution Mitten realizes numerous benefits including:
Mitten has reduced its labor and other associated costs with manual tank measurement while increasing efficiency.
Through remote asset visibility, Mitten optimized its distribution process. It can schedule delivery and collection of liquid products ahead of time, eliminating costly emergency trips and reducing excess inventory. This process also allowed Mitten to enhance its customer service.
TankScan enhances safety by eliminating the need to climb and crawl on top of tanks for manual tank measurement.
The ATEK Service Platform allows ATEK Access Technologies to remotely monitor the health of TankScan TSM8000 wireless tank monitoring sensors in the field, ensuring that its TankScan TSM8000 monitors are online and operating at the best possible level.
“TankScan takes the guess work out of our delivery process,” said Chaput. “We can schedule on-time deliveries easily, providing our customers with the peace of mind that they’ll never run out of fuel.”