25 July 2022
D Bilsland – investing in mobile computing technology to optimise delivery and
boost customer service.
About James D Bilsland
James D Bilsland is a
family-driven fuel and lubricants distributor with a customer-focussed ethos at
the heart of its operation.
Bilsland was set up in 1964, operating just one lorry delivering tractor diesel
and vaporising oil to local farmers. It has grown to become one of the leading
operators in the oil and gas industry supplying fuels and lubricants to Scotland and the North of England.
company provide a one-stop-shop for fuel distribution, heating and tank
servicing across the domestic and agricultural sector. The range of fuel types
includes bottled gas, kerosene, gas oil, derv, LPG bulk gas, coal and wood
continues to grow from strength to strength through the acquisition of Andrew
Grays Fuels, and now has over 50 employed staff across the workforce and a
fleet of modern tankers serving a loyal client base.
The company maintains a
long-standing relationship with TouchStar. This established relationship,
together with the recommendation from Bilslands’ software provider, Fuelsoft,
led to an initial installation of TouchStar Windows-based ‘Hawk’ units which
have been operating successfully for many years.
TouchStar is known for its pragmatic
business solutions and mobile computing technology has eliminated handwritten
paperwork, made vital time efficiencies, automated key processes, and helped
make the entire delivery operation far smoother.
James D Bilsland senior management are keen
that the company maintains it’s investment in the latest technology and a
decision was taken to migrate the entire vehicle fleet from Windows to
Android-based devices. The advent of Android has dramatically
improved the functionality of mobile devices.
It is an open system and has now been adopted on a large scale. The system is continually evolving and, as a
widely used and accepted Operating System, Android also issues regular security
patch updates which are tested, implemented, and rolled out to the devices.
Touchstar has invested heavily in the development of a range of mobile and
in-cab devices that operate under the Android platform.
The business challenge
Touchstar Android mobile
computing devices will be installed across Bilsland depots as part of a roll out
commencing in August 2022.
By the end of 2022, the
company is aiming to have TouchStar technology within its entire fuel fleet.
The company is also intending to make
extensive use of the new Touchstar ‘Mapping Console’ module. The Mapping Console
matches the wealth of client and order information contained within the Touchstar
‘FuelStar’ front-end application with GPS technology to provide accurate
real-time data on the geographical positioning of vehicles and LOB (Load on
Board) status. A full historical audit trail of any time period is visible and
specific filters can be applied to assist with easy and logical interpretation
of the data e.g. identification
of vehicles closest to a particular Address/Postcode/Town/POI or the advanced
filtering of vehicles carrying specific products. The available information can be
utilised to optimise delivery processes. For example, ‘expected LOB’ data can
be used to re-purpose the LOB to different deliveries.
Personnel across the Bilsland organisation have already witnessed
a wealth of benefits following the installation of the TouchStar systems:
- Keeping operations COVID-19 safe - TouchStar
technology negates the need for fleet drivers to enter the office, enabling the
company to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing measures while operating
- Improved company-wide communication - The
interlinked computer system facilitates real-time two-way data between the
front-end mobile terminals and the back-end fleet management and accounts
packages. This streamlined communication provides a far more seamless operation
for both Bisland and its client base.
- Better visibility – Improved visibility and
tracking of order progress and status.
- Greater flexibility – The TouchStar
system provides real-time ‘left on board data’ which enables an urgent delivery
/ sudden orders to be prioritised and scheduled, aiding workflow, boosting customer
service and facilitating reactive flexibility.
- Reduced administrative resources – having
multiple systems which communicate with each other has vastly improved daily business
operations and reduced paperwork
- User-friendly systems – The large display
and user-friendly interface of the Touchstar mobile computers allows easy
operation by drivers of varying ages and safeguards the investment for the
Big benefits have also been realised around
proof of delivery and customer invoicing activities. The automated system now
involves a full audit trail, removes previously hand-written paperwork and
makes for significant time efficiencies to be made, massively boosting
The TouchStar technology has enabled James
D Bilsland to be able to focus on customer service and continue to provide the
seamless delivery of fuel within this service-based industry.