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How Epump saves more money for fuel station owners, consumers

How Epump saves more money for fuel station owners, consumers

The ongoing fuel scarcity in Nigeria has made many people aware of the cost of a litre of fuel and how it adds up to the total household expenses. Owners of fuel stations who now need to make extra efforts and additional logistics available to ensure their tankers secure fuel from the depots and bring it safely to the stations, it is more important now to pay closer attention to what the attendants dispense and the money that goes into the company’s purse.

However, effective monitoring of the stations can be difficult when it is done manually or with a technology not tailored for that purpose says Ayodeji Ogundiran, CEO/Co-Founder, Fuelmerics Limited.

FuelMetrics recently launched a smart solution aimed at tackling the losses owners of fuel stations and individuals face. The solution known as Epump Go is end-to-end automation and payment infrastructure for the downstream oil and gas sector in Africa.

“The initial problem we tried to solve was for the station owners themselves. These guys have invested millions in setting up a business and the essence of setting up a business is to make a profit,” Ogundiran said in an interview. “But if you look around, it is not uncommon for you to find a station freshly built, looking all furnished, and three years down the line, you go back to that station and it is becoming a shadow of itself. If you are not careful, two more years, it either closes down or changes ownership.”

Pump manipulation and extortion by fuel station attendants have long been seen as one of the many challenges the country faces in the supply of fuel to the market. While petroleum marketers blame fuel subsidy as majorly responsible for the low margin they continue to grapple with, the collusion between fuel attendants and their managers to steal money from the business also constitutes part of the revenue leakages.

Read also: Expect more fuel queues, rise in subsidy and more misery for ordinary Nigerians

The Epump Go solution enables these marketers to monitor what is going on in their stations, but they have to have access to quality internet to the best from the solution. Once the internet aspect is taken care of, Ogundiran says it does not matter where the marketers are physically, they are able to know what is going on in their stations, how much the attendants have sold, where the money is being kept, how much is in the company’s bank account, how much of it is cash, how much is retainership sales, etc. This then allows them to make strategic decisions such as how to optimise the business, when is the best time to open and or close the station, among others.

The way it works is to have the Epump Go solution installed on every pump and optionally in tanks. The devices then generate data from all business operations and report that data via web or mobile in real-time. Station owners can access the data through the use of the forecourt controller. The data include the volume of products sold, product level in tanks, sales by cash, PoS, credit or bank deposits, and expenses. A dashboard that is available on the web, Android, and iOS app helps the owner to monitor the data generated by the Epump.

Epump supports a wide variety of ATEX certified automatic tank gauges to accurately measure stock levels, separate product volume from water volume using magnetostrictive level probes, and compensate volumes based on temperature. Epump Go is currently in about a thousand fuel stations across the country.

On the individual and corporate organisations side, the Epump Go helps to mitigate money losses and ensure that people are getting exactly what they paid for. FuelMetrics created vouchers and fuel cards that are verified and are different from other cards in the market. The Epump Go cards or vouchers have the ability to instruct a fuel pump to dispense a certain amount of PMS if the pump has been manipulated such that it is unable to dispense the exact amount of product, the owner of the card will get back the exact balance that was not dispensed.

These smart vouchers and cards are particularly important for companies with many fleets of vehicles.

“Fuel impacts everybody, whether you are a fueling station or you are the consumer and E-pump is one solution that provides solutions to both parties. We solve for the stations while we also solve for the customers,” Ogundiran said.