IT for Fuel Delivery

02/12/2015 13:01

With mobile communications and laptop application, fuel oil dealers can automate much of their delivery and management processes to enhance efficiency and productivity. Implementing such technologies also accelerates the invoicing procedure, which is often a boon towards the bottom line.

Digital Dispatcher

Digital Dispatcher is marketed as an inexpensive choice, the company’s literature says, because there's “no massive hardware investment. Most consumers currently possess the cell phones, computer systems and other hardware tools necessary to implement the program.”

“We usually use the mobile phone network plus the cellular phone itself because the field mobile device, which you may pick up at the regional Verizon, Sprint or AT&T store,” said Tom Duffey of Digital Dispatcher, based in Jenkintown, Pa. “That’s our point of differentiation. Smart phones and rugged tablets are very affordable. You may get a rugged tablet for under $200.” In comparison, ruggedized handheld computer systems and ruggedized laptops expense thousands of dollars, Duffey pointed out.

Learn more here on propane delivery software.

Digital Dispatcher includes a full back office suite, which interfaces with customer accounting computer software. This includes a fuel delivery field management option for home heating oil deliveries, which features a comprehensive interface to existing customer accounting software packages.

For example, Duffey said, work orders are picked up by the Digital Dispatcher system, working in conjunction with the accounting computer software. The Digital Dispatcher plan features tools to help execute those work orders, including route optimization, which is growing increasingly useful, Duffey said. “There are a great deal of companies that are doing more same day, will-call deliveries in addition to the pre-defined routes,” he said, and Digital Dispatch is especially suited for that scenario. What would ordinarily involve “a cumbersome, labor-intensive voice communication between the dispatcher and a driver inside the field may be managed with a couple of clicks of a mouse,” Duffey said.

The technique also makes use of a Bluetooth connection within the field to interface with electronic registers on the oil trucks, and printers to print reports and delivery tickets.