TouchPC Transforms BP’s UK LPG Distribution Process

When you are one of the UK’s leading supplier of LPG, supplying the nation’s factories, farms, homes and businesses, you don’t have the luxury of road-testing a few logistical solutions and choosing the one you like best – you need to install one based on solid intelligence and built by a company with a proven record of delivering reliable, profitable solutions to the industry.After years operating various paperbased systems, BP UK had to make a decision on how to optimise their operation’s efficiency and bring it up to date, while at the same time being able to augment the system with future technological or commercial developments. An electronic solution seemed to be the only way to go, but it had to be based on durable, rugged hardware that would withstand a life on the road and exposure to the British climate.

There was really only one option: TouchStar.The fuel delivery industry holds TouchStar in high esteem, as we have delivered solutions to many of its players for over two decades. Our experience allowed us to implement a mobile, paper-free system into BP’s infrastructure. In essence, each of BP’s UK-based LPG vehicles was equipped with a TouchPC Eagle, a Master Cradle, a printer, an EMH-500 gas meter and a cellular modem. The depot is kept informed of every truck’s movements, load and delivery.The driver receives his shift’s delivery schedule and after being guided through the pre-shift safety checks on the TouchPC, sets off for the first location.

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On arrival, the TouchPC takes the driver through the fuelling process, taking precise measurements from the truck’s onboard meter, and ends by receiving a signature from the customer, which is captured digitally by signing the screen or by signing the printout. This acts, both as proof of delivery and as a transmittable database entry for BP’s accounts department. At any point, the driver can send delivery data to the depot, whose staff will in turn be able to determine how much fuel is left on-board and work out the best time for a return to base. Speaking of the system, BP’s Project Manager, Ian Turner, reported, “drivers and schedulers are delighted with the system as it allows them to get on with the important parts of their jobs rather than being overburdened with paperwork and administration.”The only paper needed is the receipt and that is kept by the customer.

Without the form-filling and returns to the depot to drop off a shift’s paperwork, the whole process has shed enormous amounts of wasted time. Meanwhile route planning and trip optimization have driven the efficiency of delivery operations over the horizon. According to Ian Turner, “The system has enabled us to increase drop sizes by over a third, with a corresponding reduction in the number of deliveries necessary.” It is figures such as these that help BP improve profitability and retain customer satisfaction by keeping their process competitive. “We are happy with the new system and tested solution that delivers exactly what was promised,” concluded Ian Turner – proof, if it were needed, that trusting TouchStar ‘s technological know-how and our commitment to reliability is a sound investment.