19 April 2017
Manchester, UK. 19th April 2017: Fuel Transport Solutions (FTS) Ltd select EPOD system from Manchester-based TouchStar
Founded in 2014, Fuel Transport Solutions (FTS) Limited, based in Central Scotland, delivers fuel predominantly throughout Scotland and Northern England. On formation, the Company’s declared aim was to encompass every aspect of fuel haulage supply within a competitive market, whilst maintaining a customer-focused company ethos. The organisation quickly established a reputation for prompt deliveries and excellent customer care and attracted both contracted and spot hire haulage work becoming the haulier of choice for many fuel supply businesses throughout the country. Current clients include BP Oil UK, Esso, Tesco and Sainsburys amongst others.
The company is continually looking to hone the level and range of services that it can provide to its end-clients. Accordingly, FTS have invested in a fleet of 44 tonne vehicles to allow for deliveries of all sizes – from small delivery quantities in difficult to reach locations, to larger deliveries to forecourts and depots. Equally the company recognised that, in the modern age, enhancing customer service can often require significant investment in leading-edge information technology. FTS identified that improvements in its logistics systems could provide a double-edged benefit, securing both bottom-line gains for the business as well as significant customer service enhancements. The organisation required a system that could optimise the scheduling and tracking of vehicles, as well as automate the proof of delivery process. After a thorough examination of available systems, Jim Anderson (Managing Director) opted for the PODStar system from Manchester-based TouchStar Technologies.
The Cloud-based PODStar system offers a 'Planning and Optimisation' tool that automates existing manual processes. Using real time job information, clients are able to drag and drop jobs onto the relevant vehicles. Once a manifest has been created it is then automatically sent out to the drivers remotely in the field. To further enhance the efficiency, via a click of a button, jobs are automatically allocated vehicles in the most efficient order and display the route on a map saving FTS fuel and time on the road. Once downloaded the driver can receive their jobs and complete in real time. FTS drivers are equipped with TouchStar TS3100 in-cab computers with the unit device used for both proof of delivery / signature capture and tracking of the driver and vehicle location. The TS3100 provides full protection against dust, water and oil ingress and is fully compliant with the ATEX IECEx directive, allowing safe use in the potentially explosive fuel delivery environments encountered by FTS.
Back at the FTS headquarters, management can view a real-time update on a map showing the fleet position as well as additional data and the job status and driver performance. FTS customers can login to the cloud-based system and enter jobs, view jobs and even track their deliveries, all of which as Jim Anderson remarks "offers a significant advancement in the service that we provide to our valued clients".
With regard to their vehicle fleet, FTS take their responsibilities in the area of employee and public safety very seriously. In this respect, the PODStar system also offers multiple facilities to enhance safety. PODStar lets FTS store key reminders, like tax, MOT, and service dates against their vehicles and to be notified in advance of renewal dates whenever management log into the system, thus ensuring full legal compliance. Furthermore, drivers can remove the TS3100 unit and use it to take photographs of any damage or low tyre treads, record a driver’s digital signature and capture the date, time and GPS location at the time of the check to ensure the highest levels of accuracy and eliminating paperwork. The PODStar software enables the driver to produce an on-device report which is extremely useful in the event of being stopped by the police or other officials.
Jim Anderson concludes: "The thoroughness of our initial search for a competent supplier has paid dividends. In TouchStar we found an organisation whose professionalism extended beyond the excellence of the PODStar product itself, right through to the installation and support aspects of the project. Our delivery drivers appreciate the simplicity and user-friendliness of the system and it's helped us ensure that we're legally compliant. Our customers have expressed their appreciation of the client portal facility. Overall we're delighted with the system, as we continue to expand, and we look forward to a long-term relationship with TouchStar."