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Profitability and the ability to compete in the oil and gas industry is largely determined by the efficiency of your business operations. The last few years have seen more change and market disruption than normal, making productivity a priority. Petroleum marketers, jobbers, commercial and industrial distributors, and bulk lubricant suppliers all have common goals: drive costs down, improve customer satisfaction, and produce bottom-line growth. You can start by following these seven tips, leveraging digital technologies to optimize your business. 1. Get Accurate Insight into Inventory On-hand inventory is likely one of the biggest contributors to daily operating expenses for petroleum marketers. So control it. A sophisticated inventory management solution provides accurate insight into your inventory levels down to the smallest detail. Whether you’re managing bulk plant product or operating a warehouse with lubricants and other petroleum-based packaged goods, it’s imperative to maintain a delicate balance between over- and under-stocking, especially during periods of fluctuating demand. And while predicting demand isn’t an exact science, basing your inventory decisions on historical data or other contributing factors (such as special events in your area) can go a long way in helping produce accurate forecasts that prevent inventory excesses or shortages. Taking advantage of machine learning and algorithms based on industry best practices to predict volume and margin values can be a game-changer in the wholesale fuel industry, giving pricing managers more time to focus on their strategies to deliver incremental value rather than on the arduous pricing process itself. 2. Streamline Invoicing with BOL Automation It’s true that automating the fuel supply chain has been a lengthy, uphill climb. It wasn’t long ago that providing an accurate bill of lading (BOL) and invoice took days or weeks, especially for fuel suppliers who delivered them via snail mail. The industry has come a long way since then, but even in the age of automation, it’s not unusual to find suppliers still producing manual, paper reports when it comes to delivering BOLs and processing invoices. Here’s why that matters: the BOL is one of the most important documents in a fuel supplier’s day. Among other things, it contains critical information about what, how much, and to whom product was delivered. It essentially serves as the foundation for the invoice that follows. If you repeatedly get crucial details wrong as a result of manual processes, not only do you delay invoice payment, but you also risk…

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