A sampling of companies providing services to the mobile fueling industry
By Debra Reschke
For fleet managers of mobile fueling companies looking to run their business as tightly as possible, communication is a lifeline. Keeping tabs on mobile fueling trucks is now becoming easier with new technology that helps monitor the inventory as well as driver practices.
Two-way communication can be a tremendous help in dispatching, such as letting the driver out in the field know if a customer has been skipped. It is that type of visibility that is important, according to Domenic Simonetti, vice president of FleetMatics, based in Wellesley, Mass., which provides GPS vehicle tracking solutions to petroleum dealers.
“We provide real-time monitoring of the mobilization of their fleet,” he said. As soon as the driver starts delivering the fuel, FleetMatics’ equipment can monitor exactly how long the pumping takes. “The delivery is time stamped.”
Because of the fuel prices, customers and fleet managers are increasingly realizing they need to be as efficient as possible, and thus, are turning to dispatching services, according to Damon Boyer with Automated Wireless Environments, Inc.
“The fleet managers’ requirements for mobile fueling have become more demanding. They need detailed fueling information immediately,” he said.
“Margins are real tight,” Simonetti said. “Where can you affect your balance sheet?” And the answer for many mobile fueling companies is to cut fuel costs, which can be their biggest day-to-day expense. New monitoring equipment can show if drivers are excessively idling. Some fleet managers want their drivers to shutdown five minutes upon arriving at a delivery, and an item report can help determine the when, where and total engine-on time of a driver. This can cut down a company’s fuel consumption.
“Once you can measure, then you can manage,” Simonetti said. With some of the new tools evaluating which driver is the biggest offender of speeding, excessive idling and driving the most, driver dispatch and communication services can play a big role in fleet management.
Additionally, the quicker accurate data gets into the hands of fleet managers the easier it becomes to avoid wasting time and fuel. Surrounding the manual based processes involved in fleet fueling, customer service problems can abound.
“Drivers are under a tremendous strain to collect data manually on paper while fueling and finding customer locations on maps,” said Boyer. “Fleet managers as always are under pressure to control operational costs.” The Automated Wireless application provides drivers a handheld, weatherproof computer, eliminating this paperwork. With tools like these, drivers can receive the customer’s information on demand as well as be able to communicate via text anytime.
It is apparent that the driver communications companies are in need. According to Simonetti, business is up for Fleetmatics 60 percent from last year, with them installing their product in around 3,000 vehicles a month.
Company: ADD Systems (Advanced Digital Data, Inc.)
Address: 6 Laurel Drive
Fax: 973-252-3803 (fax)
Contact Person: Bruce C. Bott, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Marketing Area: U.S. and Canada
Types of Service(s) Offered: Hardware and software solutions
Comments: ADD Energy E3 has been developed using the revolutionary Microsoft .Net technology. .NET is the Microsoft Web services strategy to connect information, people, systems, and devices through software integrated across the Microsoft platform. ADD Energy E3 provides PUSH technology, an optional integrated Credit Card validation module, a tighter integration of Microsoft’s Dynamics GP and an elegant customer locate and display module that provides a 360 degree view of your customer.
Company: Automated Wireless Environments, Inc
Address: 125 Route 181
City: Lake Hopatcong
Phone: 973-663-6990 x 212
Contact: Damon Boyer
Marketing Area: North America
Types of Service: Automated Wireless Environments Inc. develops, markets and supports enterprise-wide management software solutions and wireless automation software.
Comments: With over 30 years of technical experience in management software and 15 years in wireless automation AWE provides proven solutions to the petroleum industry currently being utilized by thousands of users across the United States and Canada. The efficiency and control built into Automated Wireless Environments software enables better results with less effort, solving customers' management challenges and ultimately saving customers time and money.
Company: Cargas Systems
Address: 201 Granite Run Drive
Contact Person: Julie Fuller
Marketing Area: North East Region
Types of Service(s) Offered: Cargas Systems is an employee-owned business software and consulting firm specializing in proven solutions for the energy industry.
Comments: Developed by Cargas Systems, Cargas Energy is a comprehensive software solution for distributors of heating oil, propane and motor fuels. In addition, Cargas Energy addresses the needs of companies that manage and perform service operations for the repair and installation of HVAC and plumbing equipment. Cargas Energy is an adaptable browser-based application that can be accessed through the Web for office users and through mobile devices for delivery and field service personnel. Built with seamless integration to Microsoft Dynamics GP, Cargas Energy provides the tools needed to manage the industry’s operations around scheduling, distribution, service, inventory and finance.
Address: 47 West Main Street
Phone: (800) 601-4274
Contact Person: Fred R. Nichols
Marketing Area: U.S., Canada and Mexico
Types of Service(s) Offered: Enterprise Software Applications
Comments: A fully integrated system for the petroleum hauler ranging from inventory management, order entry, dispatching, billing, EDI, document management, to accounting and fleet maintenance. The dispatching applications displays “boards” by day easily permitting a dispatcher to view what has to be covered and what resources to use. An optimization module generates recommended assignments for dispatcher approval resulting in more efficient use of equipment including less fuel consumption. The “onboard” communication devices integration can be as simple as messaging or a driver taking over the assigned orders and responding with times, quantities, signatures, etc. In addition, with GPS capability dispatcher obtains current ETA’s and can manage the exceptions.
Company: Digital Dispatcher
Address: 300 Meetinghouse Rd Suite 2000
Contact Person: Tom Duffey
Marketing Area: North America
Types of Service(s) Offered: Fuel Delivery and Service Logistics Software
Company: FAS Systems, Inc.
Address: 129 Hicks Industrial Blvd
City: Union Springs
Contact Person: Doug Crawford
Marketing Area: North America
Types of Service(s) Offered: Fleet Tracking
Comments: FAS Systems provides near real-time tracking for business in the USA, Canada and Mexico. The FAStrac system provides 70 second updates to allow dispatchers to maximize your mobile asset production.
Address: 49 Walnut Park Bldg #2
Marketing Area: FleetMatics provides fleet management solutions throughout the U.S., U.K., and Ireland. Offices are located in Boston, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Glasgow and Dublin.
Types of Service(s) Offered: GPS Vehicle Tracking
Comments: FleetMatics is a global industry leader providing GPS vehicle tracking solutions to petroleum dealers across the globe. Continuously revolutionizing the market, FleetMatics’ fleet management system provides its customers with the best tools to increase their productivity and decrease their operating costs. FleetMatics is an Internet-based system through which users can access their critical fleet information at any given time. Fleet managers are able to view their vehicles’ locations in real-time and improve dispatching efficiencies through the Live Fleet Track feature. FleetMatics’ reporting suite enables fleet owners to easily monitor petroleum deliveries, maintain accurate timesheets, and provide proof of delivery with over 20 Key Management Reports available. The new FleetMatics Dashboard feature provides an instant summary of fleet activity, allowing fleet managers to quickly detect and eliminate unwanted driver behavior and reduce fuel costs. The FleetMatics vehicle tracking system gives its customers the competitive edge to manage their assets at the click of a button. For more information or to book a free demo, please go to www.fleetmatics.com
Company: F-RAMS, Inc.
Address: 4749 Williams Dr. Suite 310
Phone: (512) 868-8101
Fax: (512) 868-9115
Contact Person: Erin McIntosh
Marketing Area: U.S.
Comments: The F-RAMS® Fleet Fueling System is the perfect match of technology and simplicity for on-site fueling of vehicle fleets, construction equipment and similar one-site/multiple delivery applications. F-RAMS® Fleet Fueling uses the CE 2100 Handheld, F-Rams Fleetwand and industry standard "memory touch buttons" to record and store data related to each vehicle as it is fueled. At the end of the site delivery, F-RAMS® provides an automated ticket listing the amount of fuel delivered to each vehicle and a summary of the site delivery. Simple, efficient, time-saving - the total solution for fleet refueling.
Company: Info-Sys Software Inc.
Address: 200 Birge Park Road
Contact Person: David Shiffer
Marketing Area: U.S. and Canada
Types of Service(s) Offered: We are an industry leader in back office residential home heat (accounts receivable, credit and collection, degree day and delivery scheduling, burner service and equipment maintenance, finance and rental), propane, wholesale, commercial and financial management. Info-Sys provides a variety of interfaces, including cardlock, terminal automation, credit card processing and EFT. Other modules include liquid inventory and costing, parts replenishment, financial solutions, electronic dispatching and “wireless” communications to drivers and servicemen. Info-Sys is a SQL-based application, using .Net technology.
Comments: Info-Sys is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec.
Address: Six Concourse Parkway Suite 1930
Phone: 678 392 3100
Fax: 678 392 3101
Contact Person: Andy Berry
Marketing Area: Software Solutions
Types of Service(s) Offered: Demand forecasting and order generation, optimized route planning and dispatch, network design, loading optimization and workforce scheduling.
Comments: ORTEC is one of the largest providers of advanced planning and optimization software solutions and consulting services. Our solutions result in optimized fleet routing and dispatch, vehicle loading, workforce scheduling, delivery forecasting and network planning. ORTEC provides best-of-breed, custom made and SAP® certified solutions, supported by strategic partnerships. ORTEC’s offerings for the petroleum, gas, chemicals and lubricants industries provide proven industry solution suites for bulk manufacturing and distribution companies. These solution suites are specialized for downstream distribution optimization, enabling our customers to reduce transportation costs through increases in resource efficiencies, increases in load sizes and the reduction in total miles driven while meeting and exceeding customer service expectations.
Address: 5147 S. Garnett Road
Contact Person: Michel Murphy
Marketing Area: Petroleum, refined fuels, distillates, petrochemicals, crude oil, specialty and medical gases.
Types of Service(s) Offered: Comprehensive software and hardware mobile computing and fleet management solutions for petroleum midstream and downstream distribution.
Comments: TouchStar offers simplified, cost effective route planning solutions by integrating TS Schedule™ and TS FleetMarshal™, our fleet scheduling and monitoring applications. Incorporating most of the benefits and functionality of full scale route optimization packages, TS Schedule™ and TS FleetMarshal™ provide dispatchers an easy to use system for optimally dispatching drivers based on load, geography, customer need and priority. Dispatchers are armed with estimated delivery times, travel time between stops and end of day projections while deliveries are optimally distributed across the fleet. TS Fleet Marshal’s real time visibility and route review capacity extends control of planned routes and ensures drivers and assets are deployed effectively while emergency fills can be allocated immediately in real-time via either module. TS Schedule and TS FleetMarshal reassign the power of the fleet to dispatchers and fleet administrators while increasing service delivery and customer satisfaction.