The Icing on the Cake

truenorth energy fuels up on site information via FuelQuest's ForeSite

Melissa Vonder Haar, Freelance Writer

TOLEDO, Ohio -- truenorth energy, a Shell marketer of more than 300 company-run and dealer operated stores across Illinois, Ohio and Michigan, is partnering with Houston-based fuel solutions provider FuelQuest.

Specifically, truenorth has embraced the ForeSite fuel management program, which, as FuelQuest describes on its website, "provides real-time, independent visibility into fuel management operations, allowing supervisors to monitor and ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of their replenishment plans."

ForeSite allows users to view a map of all their fuel sites, color-coding the sites based on fuel level.

"We've taken the station employee out of the gasoline delivery business," said truenorth president Mark Lyden of the ForeSite software. "They don't worry at all about when the fuel's coming."

Launched in June 2011, ForeSite is already making waves. "In more than 20 years of working in the software business, this is the best launch I've seen in terms of adoption," said David Zahn, FuelQuest's vice president of marketing, citing that several major chains, including 7-Eleven, have adopted the program.

"However you're managing your fuel, are you doing it the right way?" Zahn asks prospective users. "We cover the overlay. When you've got two, three, four sites, you can manage that fuel on your own. It's when you start to get to 10, 100, 1,000 sites … at some point, you get to where you can't manage it without some kind of service."

ForeSite, Zahn explained, strives to address the issues of too little or too much fuel--making it last-mile fuel management.

"The whole idea of last-mile fuel management is easy for the large chains to understand," Zahn said. "Not as much for the smaller companies. They need to see the importance of this; it's an education that needs to happen. They can have the same technology as the big guys down the street."

After being impressed with the FuelQuest video demo, truenorth launched the ForeSite software last November.

"We'd had another program we'd used for quite a few years," said Mickey Conway, truenorth's vice president of trucking. "ForeSite got us into the 21st century."

However, Conway was quick to point out that truenorth also implemented FuelQuest's Fuel Management System (FMS)--and would not be able to properly operate with just the ForeSite software alone.

"Basically, the FMS program is like a cake and ForeSite is like the icing," he said.

Click here to read the full report in the April issue of CSP magazine.