ATF - seamlessly upgrading to Fuelstar Android fuel delivery system
About ATF Fuel
Founded in 2014 as a bulk supplier of aviation fuel based in the Channel Islands, ATF Fuels has expanded its operation by both diversifying its services in Jersey and growing into the Guernsey market. ATF Fuel operates its own fleet of fuel delivery vehicles from its base at Jersey Airport and previously coordinated its drivers and deliveries through paper tickets.
ATF Fuels now provides both Jersey and Guernsey with commercial fuels for the agriculture, hospitality & care, plant hire & civil engineering, sole traders and transport industries, as well as marine and aviation fuel, and domestic fuel for heating homes. They also operate a network of forecourt garages in Jersey.
ATF Fuel began its relationship with TouchStar seven years ago in the winter of 2015/16 when they were looking for an improvement to their paper ticketing system. TouchStar focuses on providing practical and effective business solutions, in this case through its FuelStar technology to eliminate paperwork and streamline communications between drivers and administrative teams.
The business challenge
“Operating on two separate islands is an unusual business challenge but one that ATF face every day. With no office in Guernsey, our drivers would either have to receive updated instructions over the phone which always carried the risk of human error, wasting time and resources”, explains Neil Paterson, Operations Manager at ATF Fuels.
Paper tickets were always intended to only be a short-lived solution with one of ATF Fuels’ driving goals being a desire to be at the forefront of technology, and to use that technology to solve problems. Fairly early into its operation, ATF Fuels began looking for a technology provider to meet this need.
Initially starting with a small number of mobile computers on the ground fuel side of the business, ATF Fuels were able to trial the FuelStar software and validate its effectiveness for their operation. Now, every vehicle in their fleet uses TouchStar technology as an integral part of their delivery processes. Orders and schedules are automatically uploaded from the back office to the drivers’ tablets through TouchStar technology, and the admin staff at the office receive automatic updates as each driver progresses through their deliveries.
As well as seamless communication and complete transparency, this system allows ATF to be more agile in their customer servicing. If, for example, a customer needs an urgent delivery, office staff can see exactly how much fuel each vehicle has and reallocate resources as necessary to meet a critical request.
ATF Fuels currently use two versions of TouchStar software; they have implemented the new Android software throughout their aviation fuel fleet ahead of rolling it out to their other vehicles which still use the older Microsoft technology. While there was a straight plug-and-play approach to installing the Microsoft software, ATF Fuels required a level of customisation in the Android technology to allow their drivers to create jobs on the go, which was of course provided by Touchstar as part of the installation.
On the new Android software, Neil has said “the system does everything the team needs it to do – it’s a solid piece of kit and works well. Everyone seems happy with the latest update.” ATF Fuels opted for a solution from TouchStar because they knew they had “a tried and tested system that is well-used within the industry” as well as a reputation of plug and play, so they knew they could get their fleet online with FuelStar very quickly.
Neil added that “ATF Fuels chose TouchStar because they are well-established and we knew they are well-used by many companies throughout the industry”, and “we knew they had the integration skills to communicate with our back office systems”
Since implementing the system, Neil has seen improvements through:
- Easier communication between the drivers
and the back office.
- Automatic updates which allow back office
staff up-to-the-minute progress reports.
- More flexibility in delivery enabling
agile responses to urgent customer needs.
- Streamlined processes through the
technology have eliminated any need to handwrite paper tickets or phone drivers
to make changes.
- User-friendly hardware - large displays and clear functionality make the TouchStar system easy
Speaking about working with TouchStar, both before and after installation, Neil said: “The ongoing support from TouchStar has been fantastic – they’ve been able to rapidly fix any issues we’ve had. Even from our initial contact with the sales team, we’ve felt assured that the team at TouchStar know the product very well”
TouchStar is also providing a phased rollout of an upgraded system for ATF Fuels, migrating from Windows technology to Android. Initially installed for their aviation fleet, the whole of ATF Fuels’ delivery vehicles will be upgraded to the new system. Both sides are working towards having the system running smoothly and fully integrated very soon.
Neil sums up ATF Fuels’ use of TouchStar: “The thing we like about TouchStar is that it integrates with the back office and we can change the drivers’ routes throughout the day rather than the driver leaving in the morning with a block of tickets. It’s made us far more efficient – not having to phone up drivers and make changes, no hand-writing of paper tickets. The last 7 years have gone by very quickly, we’ve had this system from very early on in our development as a business. It’s implementation was seamless and we’ve been able to use it without it ever being an operational distraction. I’ve no reason to fault it. The support side has been really good and we’re more than happy with the system performance, which is very reliable.”