Looking around the general market for fuel management solutions, one could be easily fooled into believing that there is a general shift away from traditional PC or server based systems to so-called ‘new generation’ systems offering web based – reporting facilities.
Indeed Merridale is at the forefront with the introduction of FuelWorks – a comprehensive web browser solution providing up- to- the minute status reports, situation alerts and scheduled e-distribution of management reports.
There is no comparison however, between the Merridale technology and some of the low budget web-based offerings now on the market. The low end are no more than fuelling point communication units with minimal functionality, simply recognising the user key or tag and sending a message down the line to instruct the master server to turn on the pump.
The resilience of these budget systems is questionable and Fleet operators planning to invest in a depot installation are advised to look carefully at the track record of the suppliers. Fuel is a valuable commodity and it is important therefore to specify a credible system capable of achieving maximum operational availability as well as good quality fuel management reports.
The choice is not limited solely to a web-based solutions. Merridale continues to support two market leading client based solutions – the entry level FuelSite for a single depot and FuelFX which provides all the key features required for stock management with flexible import and export routines needed to support BSOG submissions, fleet management records and operational reports.
Merridale has the scope to tailor the fuel management precisely to meet the customers’ operational requirement. Many coach operators and smaller fleets are run by owners who don’t want to rely on a third party to generate their reports. They would prefer to have full control in-house and will be quite happy to run a cable or network link or use a GPRS modem that will enable them to take ownership of a package – rather than pay a subscription.