Case Study | August 1, 2012

Automating The Fleet - Earhart Petroleum Improves Visibility Into Its Fleet Operations With Vehicle Mount Computers And Rugged Handhelds

Source: Intermec, Inc.

Since 1952, Earhart Petroleum has been ‘fueling’ Ohio – delivering fuel, propane products and services to residential customers and businesses throughout the Buckeye State. Over time, the company has grown to become one of Ohio’s most reliable and respected energy suppliers and has even expanded to provide wholesale fuels to Kentucky, Indiana, and southern Michigan as well. Its commitment to customer service and maintaining competitive prices has remained unmatched in the industry.

The Need for Automation

Earhart Petroleum had several goals they hoped to achieve as a result of the technology investment. They looked to improve delivery efficiency (as measured by gallons delivered per truck/per day) by 20 percent, minimize inventory shrinkage, reduce staff overtime and improve invoice turnaround time by three business days.

Under the old system, orders were printed at the company’s regional offices, where drivers would meet each morning to arrange their routes for the day – this system lacked basic route optimization and instead required drivers to create their own routes.

Additionally, same-day orders caused major issues – they were all manually communicated from the office to the drivers via phone, often resulting in key details being lost in the translation. This caused an increase in drivers making simple errors, such as missing a delivery window. Additionally, same-day orders were communicated without the office knowing what product was available on each truck, causing drivers to make smaller delivery quantities with what they had available, but at an increased cost.

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