13 July 2022

How has digitalisation impacted the fuel industry?  

National and international businesses are continuously innovating, reviewing, and improving operations through harnessing the capabilities of digital technology. Whether this is to enhance operations, streamline processes or introduce business efficiencies, digital practices have, and continue to have a significant impact across all sectors, with the fuel industry at the forefront of digitalisation. 

Here, we look at the fuel sector and its leading role as a digitalisation front-runner.   

A leading digitalisation front runner

The fuel sector is undisputedly at the forefront of digitalisation. Described as an “early adopter of digital technologies”, the energy sector is no stranger to using technology for business gain and has done so for decades.

Digitalisation has significantly enabled the fuel sector to explore and implement key changes, with oil and gas companies long using digital technologies to improve decision making for exploration and production assets.” It is evident that the pace of the adoption of digital technologies within the energy sector is increasing, with projections suggesting that this trend is set to continue over the next decade. This ever-growing trend of digital technology investment demonstrates that fuel sector companies are acknowledging how pivotal its insight is for business operations.  

From customer relationship (CRM), resource planning, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and energy trade and risk management (ETRM), the use of digital resources continues to grow and, for many, has started to include artificial intelligence (AI) as a way of processing data. The impact of digitalisation in the fuel sector is evident, and its role in downstream operations is unquestioned, which we explore in more detail below.  

Digitalisation in downstream operations

Digital technology is significantly improving the efficiency of oil and gas downstream operations. The implementation of oil tank telemetry systems is a key example of digitalisation starting to impact on downstream fuel operations. A sophisticated wireless oil tank monitoring system, tank telemetry enables complete visibility of stored fuels across an entire organisation. This technology allows businesses to:

  • Monitor stored fuels to keep costs low.
  • Avoid any site/operational downtime.
  • Control liquid container data in unstaffed areas.
  • Gain content data, such as volume or temperature.
  • Access a data backend that collects and displays findings.
  • Keep informed of their tanks 24 hours a day.

The solution offers machine-to-machine cellular connectivity linking sensors installed in industrial vessels to measure content properties – once installed, this technology can start operating in a matter of minutes, allowing organisations access to otherwise unattainable data.

Oil tank telemetry systems and their capabilities for downstream are just one of many examples of digitalisation at play in the fuel sector, and it is only set to grow as further digital milestones are achieved.  

Touchstar Digitalisation at work

At FuelStar, we are aware of the challenges faced by businesses in the sector, whether that is maintaining reserves, or staying competitive while facing rises in renewable energy sources, all while delivering operational efficiency and guaranteed pricing.

With the industry turning towards new technologies to mainly supply and retain their customer bases, we assist customers to digitise and reap technology’s many rewards. Among these customers is Flogas, which embraced the benefits of FuelStar's digital technology in order to break down operational silos and promote collaboration across its supply chain.

The market-leading LPG supplier wanted to digitise as much as possible, including how orders are captured and created, and how those are fulfilled, tracked and delivered.  The integration of FuelStar technology was instrumental in achieving Flo Gas’ journey to digitisation:

·         Obtaining vital information in real-time to centralise orders and draw volume at quieter times and outside of peak periods.

·         Computer scheduling system: The business adopted seven-day rolling scheduling periods and can identify potential gaps.

·         On-truck computing system ties all front and back-end business operations together.

·         Ends a reactive approach, with a move to proactive operations.

·         Fulfilling requests through the use of demand sensing across its forecasting operations.

·         Ability to extrapolate three months of rolling forecast data to aid planning and set resource levels.

Find out more about Flogas’ journey to digitalisation here. 

The future of digitalisation

As we have explored, the trend of adopting digitalisation within the fuel sector is on the rise and only set to continue, with organisations harnessing its countless capabilities to gain huge operational rewards. Like other industries, the fuel sector will continue to develop and welcome more digitalisation and technologies with open arms. Whether that’s using the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) to manage remote workforces and monitor equipment or adopting AI technology to analyse geological data for site exploration, there will be continued support for digitalisation within the sector and all the benefits it brings. Watch this space!  

Find out more

Here at TouchStar, we recognise that digitalisation is very important for the fuel industry, throughout the supply chain including logistics. We pride ourselves on staying up to date with the latest industry developments and how these can be used to optimise operations. So why not get in touch to talk to our expert team to find out how our FuelStar system and technology can help your business to develop and progress in the future.                   

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