Industry Innovation: June 23, 2017
How Technology Drives Fuel Forward
By: motto

Technology and logistics are intricately intertwined. But it’s Fuel’s unique approach that puts it ahead of the pack. It’s a simple truth of the modern business world – particularly in logistics – that you can’t be an industry leader without industry-leading technology. It’s how you stay in the game.

But Fuel isn’t interested in just staying in the game; Fuel wants to change the game. “Just buying the best technology doesn’t make you different from the competition or serve your customers better,” says Fuel founder and CEO Rob Piccioni. “You have to start with a larger purpose and hire people who will constantly look for ways to use the technology to drive the business toward that goal.”

At Fuel, for the past 10 years, that has been the responsibility of ERP Specialist Michael Gillen. From GPS track-and-trace technology to electronic invoicing and custom-built collaboration software, Gillen is responsible for ensuring all that tech is running well and, more importantly, the company is using technology to reach its larger goals.

Putting the puzzle together with technology  

At the core of Fuel’s mission to set new benchmarks for North American shipping and logistics is the desire to create a more efficient carrier network: reducing the number of empty miles by having every truck picking up loads as near as possible to where the last load was delivered. “We never tell the customer ‘no, it can’t be done.’ We always find a way to get it done, and technology is what allows us to do that,” he says.

With millions of trucks crisscrossing the continent 24/7, and client requests pouring in non-stop, things get complicated. It’s like a puzzle where the pieces are constantly moving around. Fuel uses its software to help fit those moving pieces of the puzzle together quickly and efficiently to best benefit both clients and carriers. As Gillen explains, knowing when and where carriers have regular work allows Fuel’s systems to identify which client loads need to be in that same location, at the same time, to optimize efficiency.

It builds upon itself to improve the performance of the Fuel team and deliver better experiences to Fuel customers. By utilizing advanced technology solutions to efficiently manage Fuel’s network, the company continues to build strong, reliable and effective relationships between clients and carriers.

Pushing technology to work smarter

Gillen realized Fuel’s approach to tech was different soon after arriving at the company. “Our philosophy is that we never accept what technology gives us. We are always pushing to see how much more we can get out of it.”

Gillen’s core team of six works fulltime on the 10 to 15 different applications, and one person is dedicated to ongoing training across the company. “You don’t just learn a piece of software once,” he says. “We are always trying to help the team use it better, reminding them of functions they may have forgotten about or introducing them to new features we have added.”

Sometimes though, it’s not a training solution. Sometimes, it’s simply a question of improving functionality and using better tools or applications. Either way, Fuel is committed to working with its team to understand their challenges and respond by ameliorating, adding or subtracting software, applications or tedious steps—depending on their needs. That obsession with efficiency, that determination to use the technological tools to their absolute maximum functionality is how you change the game.