Additional Merridale customers secured in 2018 as a result of the company’s participation at the annual Commercial Vehicle show, include Cobley Transport, a privately-owned business based in Leicester.
“On visiting the CV Show last year, we were able to review existing web-based fuel management services and make up our minds on the basis of what you see is what you get,” explains workshop manager, Chris Beet.
“Indeed, this also helps makes the procurement decision far more straightforward and less risky because it simply comes down to a question of the functionality we required, the credibility of the vendor and value for money.
“After six months, the Merridale service has become integral to our day-to-day operational procedures providing all the basics we require, the security, authorisation and recording fuel transactions.”
“As a result, we chose the Merridale FuelWorks reporting system. The hardware element comprised vehicle data-tags for use with a fuelling point control unit, which was installed in July alongside the existing diesel pump dispenser,” he said.
Cobley Transport has launched a major investment project to expand parking capacity and improve the garage service and warehouse facilities at its headquarters in Broughton Astley.
Land adjacent to the main site has been acquired to provide additional space for parking and the relocation of its vehicle wash, fuel storage and the depot fuelling point.
For office administrator, Dawn Kernan, the upgrade provided the opportunity to review specific operational software, such as fuel management, and follow the trend towards buying this as an online subscription service.
“Whilst our previous fuel usage monitoring system has provided good service for some ten years or so, it had become a time expired element which was no longer compatible with our requirements for more flexible information technology, she says, adding.
“Online services are less needy in terms of administration. For instance, software updates are no longer our concern because responsibility for maintenance and functionality remains with the systems vendor. We are using the two-part authorisation option with a data-tag to authenticate the vehicle and drivers PIN on the keyboard to activate the pump. The company’s fleet vehicles and drivers’ database had been installed predelivery and the system went live on day one. All we had to do was swap over the vehicle data tags.
“It was a significant project for us since we were making the transition from an in-house computer desk to a web-based system which provides a fuel usage dashboard which can be accessed from any web browser device.
Dawn continues. “After six months, the Merridale service has become integral to our day-to-day operational procedures providing all the basics we require, the security, authorisation and recording fuel transactions. On the office side, we can import external fuelling transactions from fuel card accounts, enabling a complete analysis of fuel usage for cost accounting and management reports.
Commenting on the switch to Merridale, Chris Beet says. “Next to wages, fuel is our largest on-cost and it is important that usage is seen to be monitored precisely, not only for accounts purposes and good practice commercially but also for security.
The company operates a mixed fleet comprising 85 vehicles ranging from small vans, to larger capacity lorries and articulated trailer units. Fuel consumption for the fleet is currently running at around 30,000 litres a week, which adds up to an annual bill in excess of £1.5M.
“It is important then that we invest in the best possible operational systems to track our fuel usage. And by doing so we are also monitoring the carbon emissions of our fleet – and this matters to our customer service, as well as our company’s best practice management.
“As part of this challenge we are exploring the use of alternative fuels and have taken delivery of a new lorry designed to run on gas – a cleaner fuel which will meet future requirements for the protection of the environment.
“An important feature of the Merridale fuel management service is that it provides the tools we need to set up trials and gather good quality evidence on the efficiency performance of a gas-powered vehicle under our own specific operational conditions.”