Eliminating the Expenses Associated with Extended Downtime

Automated solutions can reduce the burden on operators.

June 20, 2024

This article is brought to you by Franklin Electric.

The labor market is, and will continue to be, a challenge for c-store operators, said speakers at the 2024 NACS State of the Industry Summit. NACS State of the Industry Report® of 2023 Data showed industry direct store operating expenses increased 3.3% year over year to $150.1 billion in 2023.

Two expense lines are notable: Wages and benefits, up 38.8% since 2019, and repairs and maintenance, up 23.0%, during the same timeframe according to NACS SOI Data.

“Most medium to large c-stores average three to four service trips for equipment outages a year,” said John Sevilla, global product manager at Franklin Electric. “Given this shift, Franklin Electric has focused on reducing costs and facilitating uptime in the development of new fuel system equipment in conjunction with major marketers.”

“Instead of having a petroleum technician deployed to the site when an issue arises, the Power Integrity Remote Control Solution (RCS) is designed to give c-store operators remote oversight of their fuel operations,” Sevilla said.

The RCS is installed in the backroom and integrates with the automatic tank gauge (ATG). “This solution allows fuel retailer operations teams to detect critical asset outages, including fuel pumps, dispensers, price signs and more, and remotely power cycle them (just like rebooting your phone or laptop to bring them back online) ensuring seamless operation and minimizing downtime,” Sevilla explained.

“A unique aspect to the RCS is that it has the ability to restart the systems in a specific cadence,” said Sevilla. “When you’re rebooting equipment, sequencing is often required to complete a proper communication handshake between systems like dispensers, distribution boxes and price signs which require careful communication between several individual site devices. The order of operations is important when restoring power. RCS can automate that process.”

The RCS is designed to not only offer oversight, but to give operators the ability to act on the information it provides—it’s not only an alarm. “The system can remotely reset and bring back downed fuel dispensers, site controllers, submersible pumps, price signage and more,” said Sevilla.

“We want to help operators avoid the costs of service trips and lost fuel sales with the RCS,” said Sevilla.

This is part two of a two-part series. Read part one here and learn more about the RCS.