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e-Fuel Revolution Forecasting

All great fuel delivery scheduling starts with great forecasting and e-Fuel Forecasting provides PowerMax with an accurate prediction of when a customers tank will hit the target fill % using the latest data available, including historical weather, historical fuel usage, customer fuel usage statistics profiles, tank monitor float level and fuel levels recorded by the driver or customer.

Take control of your operating efficiency:

  • Leverage information your organization has about customer usage to continuously improve forecasting and scheduling efficiency year after year.

  • Improve max drop size and increase gallons delivered per mile.

  • Streamline delivery operations and customer service.

  • Make the most of your tank monitor investment.

90 Day Rolling Forecast

90 Day Rolling Forecast combines the latest in automated data collection, weather data reporting, weather forecasting and real time analytical processing to predict customer fuel usage by tank for the next 90 days.

Maximizes the effective use of tank monitor and weather data. State of the art statistical profiling identifies fuel usage patterns for the last 8 rolling seasons for use by the forecasting engine.

Short and long term fuel planning capabilities. Manage periods of high fuel delivery activity and shoulder seasons based on complete historical usage patterns and timely 90 day forecast.

Adapts fuel usage estimates daily for each tank based on the latest:

  • tank monitor level data

  • live weather feeds

  • NWS  weather forecasts

The most accurate customer fuel usage forecasting model available. Up to 18 statistical records for each tank, updated daily. Create a statistical usage model specific to each tank based on individual tank monitor data, & professional weather forecasting. Maximizes investment in broad tank monitor deployments as knowledge of local fuel usage patterns can be applied to non-monitored tanks.

Benefits

90 Day Forecasting works seamlessly with PowerMax Scheduler as fuel delivery schedules are continuously updated in the 90 Day Order Queue. Increase average fuel drop size and reduce fuel delivery costs.

Forecast Accuracy Controls

The most automated and flexible methods available for accurate forecasting of customer fuel usage.   Supports multiple fuel delivery scheduling methods including:

  • Fixed Repeating Schedule

  • Fixed Julian Schedule

  • Forecast Delivery Date

  • Delivery Date using Zone Calendar

  • Completely Automated Forecasting

Fuel delivery forecast methods can be combined for a specific account or type of account. The fuel usage forecast is based on historical fuel delivery data, tank monitor data and weather forecasting. Depending on the data available, statistical forecast parameters are determined for each week, season or year. See what forecast methods are being used & the methods available. Select or delete scheduling methods as needed. For new accounts, use standard usage forecast parameters or select forecast parameters from a similar account with known usage patterns. e-Fuel provides a graphical representation of customer fuel usage over the last 30 days.

Weather Forecasting

  • Streamlines scheduling and automates, improves, or eliminates:  

  • degree day forecasting

  • local temperature entry

  • K-Factor adjustments.

Detailed fuel usage and temperature data from tank monitors are integrated with real time weather data and forecasts from NWS. Each customers usage is indexed to local temperature differentials & the NWS feed. Historical data every 30 minutes, 5 and 10 day forecasts 4 times per day, and 30 year averages for each location.

 Provides a much more accurate relationship between customer fuel usage and weather, allowing for a timely response to changes in customer fuel usage patterns and local weather conditions. Forecast and delivery schedules are automatically updated simultaneously in response to new weather data.

Key Feature    Manage Forecast Charts

Use the e-Fuel Manage Forecast Charts to see as far as 90 days into the future and to interactively refine and lock in the best forecast and schedule for each tank as well as for your total operation. Quickly view historical, current and future forecast and scheduling information for your customers:

  • See prior usage rates and 90 Day usage rate forecast.

  • See prior weather data and 90 Day weather forecast.

  • See prior float level including tank monitor data, if available, and 90 day forecasted float level.

  • See delivery history and future schedules.

  • Put in date ranges to refine search results and compare forecast and deliveries for different periods. e-Fuel pops up a new chart while still keeping the old chart for comparison.

See results immediately when interactively adjusting forecasts and schedules using:

  • Load Profiles-Adjust for non-heat, unusual usage patterns and periods with no usage.

  • Impersonations-For new account setup and custom statistics.

  • Forecast Preferences-Adjust how e-Fuel applies automatic forecast methods.

  • Observed Tank Level-Adjust the current tank level.

  • Automatic Scheduling Method-Choose from 5 different automatic scheduling methods.

  • The Delivery Set Chart-to see the overall impact on the number of gallons delivered and the number of deliveries per day over the next 90 days.

New Features to Manage Forecasts

A new reforecast button has been added to the Manage Forecast chart page. The reforecast button pops up a page with a new forecast using the latest settings. Adjust the settings that affect the forecast for a tank and see the results immediately on the active forecast.   Interactively refine the usage forecast to maximize delivery drop size and get added control to continuously improve delivery operations.

Example:  A recent customer delivery was 20% off ideal. Further investigation revealed the customer recently added a spa. Adjust the forecast to account for the new spa load using load profiles and interactively reforecast to hit the ideal delivery day.

A new reschedule button has been added to the Manage Forecast chart page.  Users can immediately reschedule deliveries after making forecast changes. The changes affect the actual delivery schedule immediately. Combined with the reforecast feature schedule deliveries for the maximum drop size. Get added control and continuously improve delivery operations.

Example: Continuing from the above example, the forecast has provided the ideal delivery day; use the reschedule button to apply the PowerMax automated scheduling control to arrive at the best delivery day.

A new Load Profile button has been added to the Manage Forecast chart page. Now Load Profiles and Forecast Preferences can remain on the screen while reforecasting and rescheduling. Easily capture and adjust future usage forecast based on new information about customer loads. 

Example: While making a delivery, the driver notices that the homeowner is installing a spa. Using e-Fuel Mobile he creates a customer service case, to inform the office. Customer Service creates a load profile record for the new spa at an additional 5 gallons a day during the summer. The new forecast adjusts the usage rate automatically using the load profiles and the scheduling system reschedules automatically.

A new Forecast Tab was added to the Setup Menu in order to consolidate all forecast related settings into the Setup Menu, allowing you to easily find all the default settings affecting forecasting in one place.

Tank Monitor Input and Impersonations

Knowledge of local fuel usage patterns can be applied to non-monitored tanks using tank monitor impersonations.

Using tank monitor impersonations.

  • A non-monitored tank can be assigned the statistical profile of a similar monitored tank.

  • A group of custom fuel usage profiles can be set up using existing monitored tanks with solid statistics.

  • Custom manual statistical profiles can be created for special categories of tank monitor impersonations.

  • NEW Manual Usage Statistics: Create a 'manual usage statistic" with an average user rate.   

More flexibility to accurately forecast and meet your customers propane needs. A great benefit of the Manual Usage Statistics is that you can modify them for any season of the year. You can set the Winter, Spring, and Fall forecasts to have the same reaction to weather changes, i.e. temperature drops and usage increases accordingly. When summer comes, the temperature will likely be too high to generate a forecast using the same rates as the other seasons. With the Manual Usage Statistics, you can choose an average usage rate (i.e. 1% per day of a 1000 gallon tank>10 gallons per day) and have that be used for the summer instead of attempting to forecast based on weather changes.

Recording tank level & inside/outside temperature every half hour provides the daily fuel usage, local weather and historical user habit data that enables highly accurate customer fuel usage forecasts.

Automates the use of historical data by applying the fuel usage rate from the same period last year as a variable to forecast this year. Smoothly handle new accounts, rentals, and home sales.

Planning Tools; Will Call and Shoulder Season Management

Improve operating efficiency during seasonal transitions and high activity periods and easily fit will call customers into your fuel delivery schedule. Fuel delivery forecast details are displayed sequentially based on the Data View selected in 'My e-Fuel', the fuel delivery date and fuel delivery zone. Search tools easily find forecasted customer information. Select one or more filtering criteria to create customized search results to save time.  

Will Call Management

Forecast and schedule will call customers just like automatic fill customers.  Review a list of will call customers estimated to need a fill in the next 90 days at any time. Proactively call customers and fit them efficiently into your regular fuel delivery schedule.  Supports preferred fuel delivery days that a customer may have or a tank may require.

Shoulder Season Management

Better management of fuel deliveries during seasonal transitions based on the relationship between historical usage patterns, professional weather forecasts and user behavior.

Benefits

Improves the ability to negotiate bulk fuel purchasing requirements, take advantage of special pricing programs, and load up available fuel storage to better manage preseason fuel purchasing programs.

Data Integrity / Statistical Profiles

Automating forecasting and fuel delivery depends on data integrity and consistency to and from anywhere in the organization. Data entry and validation methods of the past are no longer sufficient.

Integration with remote services reduces costs and improves fuel delivery service and communications. This requires trading critical data between multiple locations and servers.

Data is imported from your existing accounting system and combined into one database. Data cleansing focuses on keeping imported data clean for generating accurate fuel usage forecasts and fuel delivery schedules. The e-Fuel automated system checks each item affecting fuel delivery planning and the message system allows you to act early on any data inconsistencies. Easy to use tools to review and cleanup data. 

Advanced Statistical Profiling

Creates a statistical usage model for each active tank. Uses forecasting parameters that relate temperature to fuel usage as determined by a customers historical inside/ outside temperature, historical fuel delivery and tank monitor data. Identifies fuel usage patterns for the last 8 rolling seasons. Fuel delivery statistics updated daily from tank monitor data. Up to 18 statistical records generated for each tank.

Forecasted Results Summary provides statistical data on the system performance. 

Benefits

e-Fuel ensures consistency and validity of data as it enters and exits the system, meeting the rigid standards required to run fuel delivery automated systems that reduce costs and improve delivery service. Continuously fine tune customer usage patterns and forecasting accuracy as the system accumulates historical data in each customers fuel usage profile.