Supreme Fuels provide fuel services in some of the world’s most difficult environments. To enhance the systems and processes available to teams managing remote depots, Supreme Fuels reviewed the potential for mobile technology to enable a range of applications in the field and improve customer service.
They were looking to refine operations and utilise the many advances in mobile communications to automate data collection during the fuel sale process, increase the accuracy of data collected, verify customer identities, and speed up the issuing of invoices.
Supreme Fuels required technology to oversee the remote operations of its fuel depots. Many sites operate in some of the world’s most remote and inhospitable environments with slow and sporadic network availability and a solution was required that would allow for interruptions in connectivity.
Supreme Fuels opted to work alongside TrackIT, a specialist in automatic data collection, tracking and visibility. They developed and deployed a mobile computing system comprising Motorola rugged handheld computers equipped with TSL’s Multi-ISO HF RFID Reader. The applications run from a central server that enable the transmission of records and information between each device, the central application server, and Supreme Fuels’ ERP system. The solution delivered the following key benefits:
Point of Sale (PoS): Using a snap-on card reader, staff swipe customers’ fuel cards and ask them to validate identity
Using a PIN: The data is checked and a receipt printed using a Zebra printer. An Invoice is automatically created within the ERP system to be sent to the customer’s company. Teams can also manage the same transactions by scanning the bar code on customers’ cards using the handheld computer
Fuel returns: Using customer’s Supreme Fuels cards, teams can check customer identity and process fuel returns via TrackIT’s central server into Supreme Fuel’s ERP system; the system automatically creates a Credit Note where required
Fuel receipts: Any incoming fuel to the fuel station is also transacted using the handheld which updates the tank levels and gives complete visibility for the stock available in each location and each tank
Real-time data transfer: Where Wi-Fi or GPRS coverage is available at depots, all data transactions are conducted in real-time.
Bulk-synchronization: Where an immediate connection is not available, transactions are stored locally on the device. The data is pushed to TrackIT’s application server when coverage is established wirelessly, or using docking cradles in the office linked to a wired internet connection.
System updates: The central server updates the handheld device on an ongoing basis (e.g. new customer details)
The scope for fraud is reduced as customers’ identities are quickly and accurately identified and validated. The amount of paperwork has been cut and customers are invoiced much faster and with greater accuracy to improve customer service. Remote teams can be updated on new accounts, and any changes to customer status. Overall, the system is supporting the efficient running of fuel services in often very demanding and challenging environments, underlining how far mobile communications have evolved in recent years.
“These deployments require in-depth knowledge of mobile devices, the development of applications, and the integration of the technology into back office systems. It can be complex work and we were confident that TrackIT’s expertise across the key components of this deployment would deliver a successful project. We are very pleased with the performance of the technology.”