During the last 19 years we’ve worked with almost 70 airlines, so we understand the challenges of aviation fuel management. In our experience, the biggest barrier to an efficient fuel management process is always this: the industry’s reliance on legacy IT systems or outdated manual processes.
We’ve seen some huge advances in technology in the last two decades, but the fuel management operation in airlines hasn’t kept pace. Is your fuel management software up to the job? Here are our top five reasons to consider an upgrade.
Accurate and up-to-date fuel data is the cornerstone of any fuel management operation, but we know how challenging this can be to obtain.
Are you struggling to collect, combine and process all your fuel data? Is it out of date before you have finished the job?
There are so many potential sources of fuel data — MROs, Procurement, Finance, the Flight Operations Control System, ACARS, jet fuel tickets — that it’s almost impossible to do this task manually. You need specialized, automated systems in place.
Even if you have such a system, it may not be powerful enough to handle this kind of ‘big data’ at any given time. Fuel movements happen so frequently, and fuel costs are affected by so many factors, that data can be out of date within minutes. This isn’t a problem for our latest solution, FuelPlus Cloud, which has been built for the big data era.
Fuel management systems hold a wealth of data and so they are a potential goldmine of business intelligence, but too often that data is hard to interrogate. Analytics can only be really powerful if it’s in the hands of the people making the business decisions, but this is rarely the case.
A lot of the time teams find analytics applications too complicated or they find it hard to get the information they need. Why? Because the interface isn’t intuitive or because the data may not be modelled correctly; data may be missing, or you may need to add live data from a spreadsheet. If your system isn’t giving you the business intelligence you need, you may find you need IT to change the underlying data relationships.
FuelPlus Cloud has been designed to address these issues. It includes an advanced analytics platform, which can be used by non-technical teams such as Finance and Compliance. This blends and analyzes large volumes of data and translates it into actionable business intelligence using easy-to-understand maps, charts, graphs and gauges.
It’s much easier to maintain a single, up-to-date source of fuel data if your fuel management software integrates with your other systems, such as ACARS or your flight scheduling system. However, if you use a legacy IT system for fuel management, every time you want to integrate it with another one of your systems, you will probably find it requires a significant amount of work for your IT team.
In contrast, FuelPlus Cloud pre-builds integration points so non-technical users can easily join large datasets from multiple sources, and create one centralized repository of all fuel data – no scripting is required, no expensive hardware, and little-to-no help from IT.
Are you trying to use a generic system for fuel management, such as an ERP or a commodity and risk management system? If so, you have probably found it requires a lot of customization to perform the fuel management activities that are very specific to the airline industry, such as managing complex pricing formulas, reporting on emissions, fuel planning or invoice verification.
This level of customization can be costly and adds a new risk. There is a high failure rate for implementations in our industry, because many vendors don’t specialize in aviation fuel management and so don’t fully understand the specific requirements of this sector.
Legacy systems are usually hosted on an internal network and the software may only be installed on a set number of computers. This means fuel data is more difficult to access if you’re working remotely, and your operation may be reliant on expensive hardware and internal IT resources.
The Cloud and the growth of Software as a Service (SaaS) has changed the face of the business software industry. Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Dropbox, GoToMeeting, Zendesk — none of these would exist if it wasn’t for the Cloud.
The advantages of cloud-based solutions are numerous and include:
FuePlus Cloud is, as the name suggests, hosted in the Cloud and uses the software as a service model to give you peace of mind and complete flexibility. It’s the only way to do fuel management in the 21st century.
If your fuel management system is showing its age or is not working for you, it could be time to upgrade. Watch our webinar: Taking fuel and cost management to the next level to find out more about FuelPlus Cloud and what it can do.