22 June 2017

It’s often said that money makes the world go around, but the logistics sector is an equally suitable candidate. At any given moment, there are millions of products and huge volumes of materials, such as fuel, making their way from one place to the next. Making sure it all goes smoothly is no easy task.

As consumers and businesses evolve, so too must the logistics industry that supports them; the sector may have existed for centuries, but it has always transformed to keep up with its users’ needs and expectations.

Looking back

Like most industries, logistics has a historic reliance on pens and paperwork. Drivers, fleet managers and all others across the supply chain have long kept printed or even handwritten records of their work, which are then logged back at base at the soonest opportunity. It worked, but it wasn’t particularly efficient.

Records kept this way are prone to misinterpretation and inaccuracy, or even complete loss. More than mere inconveniences, these issues can lead to lost revenue and even legal troubles – especially when it comes to the importing and exporting of particularly valuable materials, such as fuel.

Thankfully, these problems are being eradicated by a new wave of technology.

The digital revolution

Today’s supply chains are long and complex, but they must still operate quickly and efficiently. There’s a wide range of technology solutions helping to ensure this is possible, and they’re used at various stage of the product journey.

At delivery level, EPOD (electronic proof-of-delivery) systems make it possible for staff to record and generate accurate data around each job. Real-time records can prove invaluable; once uploaded to the database, the information is available to the teams back at base, who can use it as necessary.

It’s not just the products being tracked either – advanced tracking and telematics technologies are providing businesses with real-time visibility of their vehicles’ movements. Today, managers can see how their fleets are performing, and use GPS data to optimise their logistics strategies. 

An industry example

Technologies and solutions like EPOD systems are improving logistics processes for businesses of all kinds, but they can be particularly impactful for those operating in the fuel sector. This is true for a number of reasons.

Fuel is a highly valuable yet delicate product. With tankers nowadays carrying as much as 38,000 litres of diesel, LPG or petroleum, the consequences of accidental contamination can be devastating.

Firstly, rectifying such an issue can be costly for your business, but also, the integrity of a product will inevitably affect its value and may jeopardise the deal altogether.

When it comes to importing and exporting fuel, customs officials – like your customers - will require robust proof of the product’s integrity. Failure to provide this could result in heavy fines and even personal conviction.

These are issues that products like TouchStar’s FuelEPOD system can help avoid. It collates all relevant stock movement information in an end-of-shift report available to delivery teams and management back at base. When compared with the pen-and-paper alternative, it saves time and increases accuracy, to the benefit of everyone involved.

The future of logistics

These technologies are already having a big impact on the logistics sector, but there’s more to come.

As we move forward, technologies like EPOD systems, telematics and business intelligence software will become even more crucial to the supply chain, and will themselves evolve to be even more powerful. As that happens, the industry’s efficiency will only improve.

If you think that the Fuel EPOD system could benefit your business then get in touch with us today.

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