Crokers Fuel Management & Mobile Computing Software Case Study
Crokers Fuel and Oils Pty Ltd is one of the oldest fuel distributors in Australia, with operations dating back to 1923. The company delivers fuel and oil to Caltex and Ampol service stations, farms, industrial mining and fishing industries throughout Mackay and its hinterland.
Crokers has been a client for many years, employing our comprehensive solution for the fuel industry. Initially, their system included Financials, Supply Chain and e-commerce. The approaching GST and “year 2000” prompted them to renew their technology by upgrading the Ironbark system from UNIX to Windows. They then invested further by adding Mobile Computing when we made it available.
Crokers required a cost-effective method of managing their truck deliveries and producing professional invoices at point of delivery, while integrating seamlessly with their existing back office Ironbark system. They specifically did not want to lock into costly proprietary hardware, the predominant approach at the time.
Ironbark Mobile Computing is a full-colour, touch screen-based program that runs on most Windows-based PDAs (personal digital assistants). Not being restricted to a single type of device, this was (and remains) a flexible approach which preserved future options.
Ironbark is a completely portable system for onsite data input and access:
- View delivery schedules, trip allocations, stock control files, price levels/groups, debtor contact details and customer orders.
- Create invoices onsite, based on actual quantities delivered.
- Print invoices via a portable light weight thermal printer.
- Print load manifests after delivery, if required by government regulations.
- Optimise delivery schedules using the back office Ironbark system.
- Being integrated with the rest of the Ironbark system, all transactions are uploaded from the PDA to the server without any data re-entry, and the PDA is updated with changes in relevant head office data.
- Drivers at Crokers operate in a variety of ways, and to address their needs Ironbark provided alternatives in synchronising the PDAs:
- Direct connection through a network cable at the office, for return to base.
- Radio frequency connection through a wireless LAN (useful where drivers load stock very early in the morning when the office may not be open; wireless synchronisation can occur through the building walls.)
- Real-time transfer over the mobile GSM / GPRS network (important where drivers deliver to remote parts of Australia and may not return to base for several days).
Why Choose Ironbark?
Crokers Fuel & Oils have identified their reasons for choosing Ironbark Software as:
- Cost Effectiveness
- Intuitive Systems
- Ease of Use
- Effective Use of New Technologies
Already extracting substantial value from a comprehensive and integrated business solution from Ironbark, Crokers enhanced their investment further by investing in our latest innovative technology. They improved delivery and administration procedures while eliminating re-entry of data. The bottom line – tighter control and lower risk, with better customer service at lower cost.
“The ease of use demonstrated on the prototype, the opportunity to move to a single business systems supplier, the ability to tailor the package to our requirements, and the price…” says Hans Schwinn – Account and Systems Manager for Crokers Fuel & Oils.
What the Customer Says:
Previously operating a proprietary hardware solution, delivery drivers were familiar with the routine of producing invoices onsite. Hans Schwinn commented:
“With any change there is usually some sort of resistance. We have tried to address these issues by giving the drivers as much training as possible and then letting them play with the units to get comfortable with them.”