With energy analysts anticipating this summer’s gasoline and diesel prices to surpass last season’s record highs by at least 20 cents on average, software experts and vendors are putting fuel at the top of their agenda.
Case in point, the Technology & Maintenance Council has indicated it will start addressing fuel software at upcoming meetings.
“The software is out there and it’s getting more play,” Christopher Driscoll, TMC information technology editor, told FleetOwner. “It’d be nice for the users to have some recommendations on how the software ought to be. It’s an area that we’re going to be looking at probably at our next meeting.”
“I noticed in the last couple of TMC meetings that carriers have been about this subject and I’m sure the software vendors have noticed the same thing,” he added
And although fuel data gathering software has been available for years, Driscoll said a need remains in the industry to develop a best practices guide on how to leverage that data.
“At the last meeting we had a session that was aimed partially at showing carriers how they could better use their data to get better fuel usage,” he explained. “There’s definitely a lot of room for most carriers to better use that data. It takes some effort on the part of the carrier to set up a system that allows them to analyze the data and make the best use of it.”
David McKinney, director of professional services for Integrated Decision Support Corp. (IDSC), a provider of fuel management solutions for all size fleets, described fuel management software as a “mature” product.
“Frankly the fuel system is straightforward and the concepts are quite familiar to [our end users],” he said, explaining that IDSC offers solutions that are client-based and web-based as well as in-cab systems. “What the drivers see is something they’re trying to keep track of themselves. When they look at a trip plan it’s a route they’d follow.
“Particularly to new drivers they become accustomed to the trip-planning aspect of it<” McKinney said. “It becomes a part of culture and experience the benefits for the long term.”
For more information on IDSC solutions, go to www.idscnet.com