A common myth in the aviation industry is that specialized fuel and cost management solutions are unaffordable for small and medium sized airlines (SMAs). With the launch of FuelPlus Cloud and our new software as a service model, there is now a simple and affordable package on offer to airlines of all sizes. This includes:
Many SMAs are already benefitting from the FuelPlus platform and their success stories speak for themselves. We are helping these airlines to grow and thrive in a competitive industry by increasing their productivity, reducing their operating costs and freeing-up resources. But exactly how are we doing this?
Gaining an accurate picture of your direct operating costs at any one time is the first essential step towards financial sustainability. This is difficult to do if you haven’t got a suitable fuel and cost management system. Relying on spreadsheets, emails or other manual solutions to collect, corroborate and validate all your fuel and cost data takes up time and resources and can lead to inaccuracies or missing information.
FuelPlus Cloud overcomes this problem by consolidating all your flight-related costs into one solution — fuel, airport and navigation charges. You will have a single source of data, which is made available to everyone who needs it in your airline through a web interface.
It uses pre-built integration points and industry data standards, to automatically capture the latest data from all parts of your airline and beyond, including fuel tickets, data related to airport and navigation charges (landing, take-off, parking, permit, overflight etc), exchange rates and market prices, invoices and more. It also records all the fuel consumption quantities you need (e.g. APU consumption, block consumption, total consumption) to get a complete view of the actual fuel burn across your flights and can export this data for use in your fuel efficiency calculations.
But how do you turn this data into meaningful insights? This is a huge challenge for software developers in the ‘big data’ era. In FuelPlus Cloud, we’ve added an advanced analytics platform which makes it easy to see at-a-glance how you are performing. It blends and analyzes all your data and translates it into easy-to-understand maps, charts, graphs and gauges which show potential vulnerabilities or opportunities. For example, dashboards help you answer questions like:
See Analytics In Action
Once you have a complete picture of your direct operating costs and information about your airline’s performance, you can start to make positive changes. We know how tight the margins are for small and medium sized airlines. If you want to grow your operation, it’s important to be as efficient and productive as possible, and at the moment, for many airlines this is an issue.
According to IATA’s Senior Vice President of Financial and Distribution Services, Aleks Popovich, Finance teams in airlines are spending 60% of their time on processing transactions, which means that they are only spending 40% on actually helping to manage the business. Imagine if you could turn that around so that a significant majority of your Finance team’s time was spent on activities that add real value.
FuelPlus Cloud excels in this area, replacing resource-intensive manual forms of data capture, consolidation and validation, with automated imports, calculations and checks. For example, it can automate the following tasks:
These features and others help you reduce errors, make better purchasing decisions, cut manual administration, and improve data accuracy. For these reasons and more, FuelPlus Cloud has been shown to significantly reduce fuel and direct operating costs — on average by 2-3% — as well as increasing your productivity in many areas. In short, it helps you run a leaner airline and enables you to grow operations profitably.
When you use a digital environment to manage your fuel and other flight-related costs, every calculation and decision is logged and available for scrutiny. For example, FuelPlus Cloud uses audit trails, permissions management, approval workflows, secure communication and other features to ensure you are compliant with regulations and legislation. Its capabilities include:
Small and medium sized airlines work in a fast-paced environment where decisions need to be taken quickly. Fuel and cost management platforms can help with this, providing tools that help you assess the impact of those decisions before you take them.
For example, in FuelPlus Cloud, you can quickly analyze what impact a change (to a route or aircraft for example) might have on the overall forecast and budget. During negotiations with fuel suppliers, you could see how a small change in price, exchange rate or payment term would affect the overall price for fuel.
You can also quickly perform ‘what-if’ analyses on a range of datasets, including volume requirements, budgets, flight allocation and tender negotiations. Tools like this are invaluable to SMAs, helping you make more informed, strategic decisions faster and giving you the edge.
One barrier to SMAs implementing effective fuel and cost management processes, is a lack of in-house expertise. Software alone can’t fill that gap, particularly if you are trying to use a generic system that hasn’t been designed for the specific requirements of the aviation industry.
However, if you buy specialized software that’s been built for airlines, you also buy expertise in aviation fuel and cost management plus the industry best practices and methods that are embedded into the solution. We have been working with leading carriers to transform their fuel management processes since 2000, so we’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t and refined our platform and processes accordingly.
We also understand that you will probably need help to get the most from our software, so we provide ongoing support after go-live through our proactive customer success teams. They offer training, regular health checks, and advice on how to maximise features.
If you invest in a technology solution and the ways of working that accompany it, you need that solution to have longevity. You don’t want to have to change it in a few years’ time. We’ve developed a medium and long-term roadmap for FuelPlus Cloud, to ensure it remains a leading-edge system, which makes use of new technologies as they mature, such as Blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
We want to use these new tools to think more creatively about fuel and cost management and open up better ways of doing things. Refining existing processes can only take you so far. At some point you need to think differently and ‘disrupt’ the status quo to improve things. We’re ready to do this on your behalf, by working with both industry experts and other technology companies.
Learn more about effective fuel and cost management and how it could benefit your airline. Watch our webinar: Taking fuel and cost management to the next level.
 Source: Airlines International Daily, Issue 1, pages 2-3