"TouchStar’s system does what is says on the tin… It does exactly what you want it to."
David Brown, Fleet Asset Manager, Calor.
The way forward
Calor, the UK’s leading supplier of LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) has rolled out 180 TouchStar in-vehicle mobile computing systems for its UK bulk LPG delivery operation.
David Brown, Fleet Asset Manager at Calor, said that the driving force behind the decision to implement a mobile computing solution was to improve efficiency in operations; specifically to eliminate paperwork, reduce billing cycles and to automate stock reconciliation. "Previously the process relied on manual delivery notes which were easily mislaid and effort was duplicated as information had to be manually re-entered into the back-office system. The whole process was too open to human error" said David.
The solution, comprising TouchPC™ Eagle and TouchPoD (TouchStar’s latest integrated printing system) allows the driver to print delivery notes on the spot, eliminating the need for a separate in-cab printer and the sometimes lengthy walks to and from the vehicle to produce a printout. A customer’s signature is simply captured on screen for proof of delivery purposes and the document is printed there and then.
TouchPC™ captures all the delivery information and transfers data to the back office via a Master Cradle or GSM cellular modem.
Effort is no longer duplicated with back office staff having to re-enter data and more time can be allocated to value adding tasks. If, subsequently, there are any discrepancies over what was delivered, an electronic version of the document can simply be raised on the system and automatically sent to the customer, rather than the manual retrieval and copying of original paperwork. David commented "At first drivers were apprehensive about the new system, but by the second day they were wondering what all the fuss was about. Nothing has changed in their daily routine, it has just automated the process and taken the paperwork out of the cab".
Drivers also like the fact that they are guided sequentially through a series of menus when making deliveries. "It serves as a great aid, particularly when there can be up to 15 deliveries in a shift. The software is driver friendly and easy to operate". David continues "All in all it has been a very quick adoption process".
When asked why Calor chose TouchStar above the competition, David enthused "Because of its expertise and knowledge of the fuel and gas business and its reputation for robust systems. TouchStar is recognised as the best in the industry".
David continued "The system needed to be able to withstand harsh conditions inside the cab – often hot and dusty with a lot of vibration, not to mention resilient to all weather conditions. The TouchStar solution fitted perfectly with our business model and has reduced the overall development time".