One of the latest firms to switch over to Merridale FuelWorks is Alltruck, the vehicle contract hire, maintenance, rental and fleet management group. Based in Leicester, it operates out of two depots in Nottingham and Loughborough. The latter, which opened in 2016, incorporates commercial vehicle body workshops and state-of-the-art MOT service facilities operated in partnership with Petronas Lubricants International.
Apart from stock control, the main purpose for having accurate fuel dispensing systems is to provide accurate accounts for rental customers. Normally, these vehicles are provided on a return full tank basis. In situations where a vehicle has been returned without refuelling, the customer will be charged for fuel used. This is calculated by refilling the tank.
“The Merridale system is now part of our operating process. Proximity fobs are used to access fuel and these are issued to key members of staff and rental drivers. The fob identifies the operator. He must then allocate the account, either as rental, body shop, contract hire or company car.”
The new facilities at Loughborough included a diesel storage tank package incorporating a pump dispenser and fuel management system, supplied by Merridale.
Merridale equipment was selected for the Loughborough depot because it was already being used at the Nottingham depot and staff were familiar with the functionality of the Merridale system. The additional fuelling point provided the opportunity to upgrade and implement FuelWorks, the Merridale web based fuel management system.
“This development makes procurement and cost accounting more efficient by bringing fuel administration for both depots onto a common web-based platform,’ explains, Matt Reynolds Rental Operations Manager, based at Loughborough.
“On a day to day basis, it is my team which use the system. My drivers use the pump to dispense diesel and I log into the Merridale system to check status and draw down the fuel usage reports. Since it is a web based service, the information can be viewed from Nottingham or any other location with access to log-in details and a web browser.
“The Merridale system is now part of our operating process. Proximity fobs are used to access fuel and these are issued to key members of staff and rental drivers. The fob identifies the operator. He must then allocate the account, either as rental, body shop, contract hire or company car. For vehicles, we also record license plate and mileage (odometer reading).
“All the details of these transactions are recorded automatically and uploaded to the Merridale service for analysis and the production of reports. Currently we are using around 10 thousand litres of fuel a month at Loughborough. The Merridale reports provide an absolute audit trail, enabling us to reconcile every litre of fuel drawn against fuel deliveries.
Matt Reynolds concludes by saying. “I have had experience of trying to do this administration in the old-fashioned way using manual records.”
“Of course we get by but people rarely understand the amount of time that was wasted in sorting out mistakes or corrupt data because of lost records. The only possible error with Merridale is if someone entered the wrong mileage – but this would show up as an anomaly and we can easily correct this by cross checking with the cctv recording which gives us the date and time when the vehicle was returned.
“Basically we have complete visibility of our current stock status, fuel usage and allocation against the company’s cost accounts. For me I have no hesitation in recommending Merridale. Like most business systems there were some minor set-up issues but these were dealt with very quickly and we were impressed with the user support service provided by Merridale.”