When Chris Guy, owner of Guy Fuels in Winchester, Ontario, began his search for a fully integrated technology solution for improving his routing, dispatching and data management functions of his fuel oil company, he began his search at home in Canada and ended it south of the border at the Atlantic Regional Energy Expo tradeshow in Atlantic City.
Chris is an industry veteran and a current director of the Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Oil Heat Association (COHA). Chris spent a fair amount of time researching, interviewing and assessing various wireless and truck mounted computer solutions to improve the efficiency of his fuel delivery operations. All the solutions he researched offered some benefits and all looked to have a real and measurable return on their investments. Chris narrowed his search and honed in on one provider, Digital Dispatcher, based just outside Philadelphia, Pa. Chris had seen the ads of this solutions provider in Fuel Oil News, but the trip to the AREE show helped seal the deal.
Chris carefully weighed the benefits of many technology solution providers and began to narrow down his options. He He meticulously worked out each step of how the technology would integrate with his company’s operations. Chris needed to be sure that his choice would work with his existing company infrastructure without requiring major changes to his customer accounting software, truck meters, office computers or wireless cell phone provider.
Chris also insisted on seeing Digital Dispatcher in action at existing customer sites. Guy Fuels was to be Digital Dispatcher’s first Canadian installation, so there were no local options for this skeptic to scrutinize. Notwithstanding, Chris made the trip from Canada, along with Jason McNaughton, Guy Fuel’s operations manager, to visit multiple users of Digital Dispatcher in the U.S. Even after this final evaluation, Chris still did not commit to move forward until each specific interface step was proven to work ‘as advertised.”
Chris introduced all the relevant players that would be touched in any way by this potential investment. His customer accounting software company is Infosys, an industry leader in Canada and currently making inroads in the U.S. market. His fleet is equipped with MidCom electronic meter registers, a major provider of electronic meter registers in North America for decades. Voice and text communication with his field staff is through Telus, Canada’s equivalent to Nextel. Additionally, his servers and work station computers run Micosoft operating systems. Guy Fuels was well vested with these partners, and his new partner, Digital Dispatcher, had to work seamlessly with each one.
Although Digital Dispatcher had well established relationships and proven interfaces with a number of software vendors, prior to the Guy Fuels installation Digital Dispatcher had no interface to Infosys. Chris was assured that through mutual cooperation the interface would get done. Sure enough, Infosys delivered. The interface was tested and worked flawlessly. Every time a delivery ticket or work order was produced in Infosys, an electronic copy was handed to Digital Dispatcher. As Digital Dispatcher collected, stored and transmitted completed order information back to the host application, batch files were handed back to Infosys for review and automatic posting to the customer’s record. In Chris’ words, ‘