Ceredigion County Council has upgraded its depot fuelling facilities to implement the Merridale FuelWorks web-based fuel management service. Hardware elements include wireless communications and improved electronic contents monitoring for the council’s fuel storage tanks. The Council has fuelling points at two locations. In addition to the Council’s main service depot in Aberystwyth, a second depot, serving the southern half of the county is located at Penrhos, near Llandysul.
The upgrade enables fuel status and daily transactions to be tracked online. Merridale FuelWorks is a subscription service, so the transition process is simply by logging- in via any convenient Internet browser. Status is immediately available and reports can be generated as soon as the master database has been updated with reference details for all the relevant plant and vehicles.
Reports can be customised to meet different operational requirements such as, finance, cost accounting or fleet efficiency and carbon footprint analysis. In effect, the web service outsources the administration normally associated with purchasing software licenses. With a web-service, there are no updates and users are always on the latest version.
With the web-based service, we have concurrent access for multiple users, and I can check status of both depots, whenever or wherever I can access the Internet.
Ceredigion County Council, operates approximately 220 vehicles, between its two operating depots. The fleet ranges from utility vans and light trucks to more specialist plant such as road sweepers, refuse collection vehicles and road gritters.
“We needed to upgrade because our previous monitoring system was becoming unreliable,” explained Fleet Operations Manager, Ben Hopkins.
“After reviewing the upgrade options, we took the opportunity to switch over to the Merridale FuelWorks web-based service. Whilst the previous Merridale system provided the functionality we required, the Council had just a single user license. This set up was becoming increasingly inconvenient and at busy times people would have to wait for colleagues from other departments to complete their session.
“With the web-based service, we have concurrent access for multiple users, and I can check status of both depots, whenever or wherever I can access the Internet.”
The Council uses both road diesel and red diesel. The gritters and other specialist plant use red diesel. Adblue is also dispensed from both fuelling points. All three products are monitored by the Merridale service.
Ben Hopkins continued. “Currently usage is running at around 400,000 litres and 60,000 litres per annum for road diesel and red diesel respectively. The rate varies at different times of the year. The Merridale system enables us to track demand and if necessary, we can adjust the re-order level to ensure that there is always sufficient fuel available.”
“Whilst we are not using the system to track plant efficiency, it does provide useful information to support fleet maintenance. Our priority is operational resilience and the availability of the council services. The essential purpose is to allocate costs against different council departments. Clearly, we have a duty also to ensure that this valuable resource is properly managed. By measuring fuel usage we can also track our carbon footprint.”
Ben Hopkins continued. “The upgrade and transition went very smoothly. The Merridale service is very user friendly. Adding new vehicles to the database is straightforward and we can easily re-assign fuelling keys to different vehicles. We were also very impressed with the customer service provided by Merridale. Communications were good and the Merridale telephone support desk helped us with any queries.”