One of the most exciting developments in petroleum software to happen in years is the new “push” type technology that facilitates timely management decisions. This software allows you to set certain parameters for critical components of your business, and then the system automatically generates reports when your company gets outside of those parameters.
This automated type of system is a huge improvement over most older systems where the user had to remember to pull certain key reports. Often by the time you pulled the report in the old system, it was too late to affect a result. With the new system, you have vital information on a real-time basis.
Based upon this new technology, the new buzzwords in petroleum software are push versus pull technology. The old systems, where you had to pull the report are called pull. With the new systems, it pushes you to timely decisions, hence the name push system, or perhaps think of it as the system automatically pushing out the report you need. Here are the benefits of the new push type systems.
Inventory—Since these systems are designed item by item, rather than by product category, the system will alert you with a warning report any time any product in inventory varies from your pre-set minimum and maximum avoiding shortages and overstocking.
Profit Center Sales—Push reports will alert you any time there is a significant change (up or down) in volume based upon prior period. (You can specify the comparison period such as last month, average of last quarter, or same month last year, etc.
Fuel Volume—Works in the same way as your profit center sales, or you can specify a range of acceptable volume and the system will push out a report when fuel volumes deviate from these preset levels. This is an excellent tool to detect non-working pumps, or even to detect competitive pricing problems immediately.
Past Due Receivables—Instead of having to pull an aging report, the system will alert you to all past due accounts on the first day you specify. For instance, you may set the system to alert you when the customer is one or three or five days past due, whatever works best for your credit department. Of course, you still have the option of agings and listings, or a report with all of the past due accounts.
Credit Limits—Most systems, push or pull, will allow you set individual customer credit limits and not allow a sale to a customer over limit. With a push system, the system can also alert you to customers who are getting close to their limit on a regular basis so you can review the credit limit in a timely manner and avoid the last minute consternation associated with a credit hold.
These are just a sampling of what the new systems can do. The exciting part as well is that many of these systems will be available on-line at a rental fee, so you won’t be investing large dollars in hardware.