Road transport is a core activity for Philip Dennis Foodservice Ltd, (PDFL) a family business which operates from three regional depots, delivering frozen, ambient and chilled food products to customers in the South West, West Midlands and Oxfordshire.
“Next to wages, fuel is the largest operating cost and it goes without saying that this has to be managed efficiently,” explains Ilfracombe Depot Manager, Peter Day. “Like most businesses today, we are under constant pressure to deal with stricter fuel emissions legislation, reduced profit margins and the growing need to prove our environmental credentials to our customers.”
The Merridale fuel management service complements our vehicle tracking system to provide total visibility of our day to day fleet operations. In all fairness, I do not know how we coped without it.”
To meet these challenges, depot fuelling facilities at Ilfracombe and Whitney, Oxfordshire, have been upgraded to implement Merridale FuelWorks, a web-based fuel management reporting service. The upgrade replaced a previous aftermarket product, which was below standard for the company’s future requirements.
Peter Day continues, “We were having problems with reconciling our fuel stocks against usage accurately and our accountants had very little confidence in the reports. The pumps at both sites were also beyond their useful service lives, so we decided that it was time to install a more effective solution.”
“The Merridale fuel management service complements our vehicle tracking system to provide total visibility of our day to day fleet operations. In all fairness, I do not know how we coped without it.”
“I believe there is a lot more potential for analysing vehicle performance to help us make better informed decisions in the future. For example we have embarked on an operational trial for using hybrid technology – that is by tapping stored energy from vehicle braking and using this to boost acceleration. Two vehicles have been equipped with this technology and we now have the methodology and tools required to undertake a thorough assessment over different routes.”
“We want to wring out every possible benefit from these tools. For a business ordering high volumes of fuel, and we are currently using over one million litres a year, any saving is going to make a big difference,” he said.