04 March 2022
Case Study: Transformational
Implementation of Fuelstar EPOD system
An interview with Gemma Hogg, General
Manager at WCF Fuels North West
“Can you please give us a little background on the
history and development of the WCF organization?”
We were originally
established as an agricultural co-operative in 1911. WCF is an employee-owned
business that operates in niche retail and specialist distribution through a
number of autonomous businesses. Each is run independently meaning we can react
to local market conditions and competitive forces. All our businesses are connected by a common
set of values and employee-owned status which delivers consistently excellent
customer service through our high levels of employee engagement.
West is one of four WCF Fuel Distributors and operates across the North of
England, Cumbria and the Borders, Northumberland, North Yorkshire,
Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. From
our main depot in Carnforth and other satellite depots, WCF Fuels North West
operate a number of tankers that supply a range of fuels to domestic, agricultural
and commercial businesses.
“How did the relationship with Touchstar come about?”
North West have a long-standing relationship with TouchStar. Beginning in 2015, we have collaborated to
streamline operations and continuously improve our high levels of customer
is known for practical and effective business solutions, using mobile computing
technology to eliminate paperwork and streamline the flow of information
between drivers and our back-office teams. When we were confronted with various
business challenges and looking for a suitable supplier they were a natural
“What was the specific nature of those business
business continued to grow and become more diversified, we were looking to
introduce a technology-based solution that would replace the ever-increasing amount
and effective operations are fundamental to delivering a first-class service, so
we needed to significantly reduce or completely eradicate paperwork which was
both time-consuming and prone to human error.
Any new technology introduced to our
operations needed to reorganise and improve our existing processes and enable
the drivers and back office to communicate more effectively.
“In what ways did Touchstar stand out as a suitable
other businesses within our industry, we were concerned about finding a technology
partner who knew and understood the challenges and issues we faced, including
how traditional satellite navigation systems didn’t consider larger vehicles or
tankers. As most are designed for personal
ownership, an off-the-shelf solution wasn’t going to work. However, thanks to TouchStar’s knowledge of our
industry, this wasn’t an issue.
seeing the benefits TouchStar could offer, we quickly decided to invest in this
technology. Touchstar is specifically
designed for the oil distribution industry we were confident it would
streamline and improve our end-to-end processes. Our drivers, who were initially sceptical
about introducing new technology, quickly adopted Touchstar and would now be
lost without it.
“Can you tell us a little more about the solution
itself and the benefits it yielded?”
the challenge of reducing paperwork and streamlining processes, TouchStar began
by using their comprehensive API integration and worked with the existing CODAS
back office system to integrate processes seamlessly. As a result, the trucks
and back-office systems seamlessly communicate with one other, providing a
greater level of automation and reducing paperwork.
benefit is the GPS technology which supports truck routing and scheduling teams,
as well as receiving data directly from the devices in real-time. All of this
provides a consistent and high level of customer service and reduces
unnecessary mileage for our drivers.
integration and the attachment of the signature to the invoice has proved
invaluable to us. The fact that we can obtain live data directly from the
devices was impressive and the range of different meter types TouchStar
accommodates fully met our brief.
implementing the system, we have seen a number of benefits including better
visibility on what, when and where fuel has been delivered. Our processes have
become more efficient and automated including back-office stock reconciliation,
driver paperwork and safety checks. We have been able to plan better and
improve our service to the customer with a greater degree of accuracy and
“How has the post-implementation phase gone?”
initial set-up and training, TouchStar has continued to work closely with us to
provide ongoing support to both office staff and drivers. Ongoing support to
this day remains exceptional, with advisors always on hand to help when we need
to the general support on offer, TouchStar has also been assisting with system
installation in new vehicles and upgrading from a Windows operating system to
Android. Although the transition from Windows to Android is ongoing, both sides
are working towards having the system running smoothly and fully integrated
“How would you summarise your experience with
has been fantastic from the outset and continue to offer great support as and
when we need it. The team at TouchStar really understand our industry and
create solutions around the specific challenges we encounter. We have
definitely made the right choice and would highly recommend them to others who
are considering Touchstar as a solution.