No doubt, the primary goal of digital fuel management is to digitize an airline’s operational fuel processes. Nonetheless, operating a digital fuel management solution improves, enables, and streamline a whole bunch of downstream processes. Moreover, it is a direct driver of an airline’s efficiency.
Fuel Management Drives Airline Efficiency? Ok, Let’s Start With A Backstory
A little backstory: I recently joined a meeting regarding digital fuel management with a potential client from Asia. And we really needed a huge room because so many departments wanted to join:
- Fuel Department
- Operations Department
- Environmental Department
- Contracts & Procurement Department
- IT Department
- Data Analytics Department
Now, a question that might run through your head is, “what the heck have those departments to do with fuel management?” The trick is that most of them are not needed to implement or operate digital fuel processes. In that case, we are OK with the Operations, IT, and procurement department.
However, as mentioned initially, a digital fuel management builds the foundation to improve downstream processes and drive the airline’s efficiency. That’s why so many colleagues from different airline departments joined and wanted to know more about digital fuel management approaches.
Digital Fuel Management To Drive An Airline’s Process Efficiency — Here Are The Details!
So, let’s get into detail and have a closer look at the processes or activities that benefit from digital fuel management.
Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS)
I want to be frank: There’s no airline in the world that truly, truly loves the European Emission Trading Scheme. At least I have never met one. And I can tell you I’ve met representatives from many airlines. However, EU-ETS is a requirement, and airlines have to deal with it. Therefore, the goal for every airline should be to make this task as efficient as possible. In this context, digital fuel management reflects an essential pillar to drive the efficiency of the entire EU-ETS process.
Why’s that? You may read the answer several times in this document: Because of its digital nature.
To quickly recap: Digital fuel management eliminates manual processes and paperwork and establishes an all-digital airline fueling process. Accordingly, that means that a considerable part of the data required for ETS reporting is available digitally. There’s no longer the need to collect fuel figures manually. Subsequently, the entire EU-ETS process is boosted to a new efficiency level.
On top of that, and due to eliminating the manual process, the process quality is improved additionally. This helps to avoid potential fines by the competent authority and streamlines the regular verification process.
I’m not too fond of this sentence because it is definitely used to often. However, it is so true: Data is the new gold! Unfortunately, at many airlines, the fueling process still is a blind spot when it comes to data.
Therefore, digitizing an airline’s fuel management processes also means generating an entirely new source for super-relevant data: Fuel figures, fueling times, process milestones, etc.
The possibilities for your data analytics are immense. Here are a few examples:
- What’s the exact reason for fuel-related delays?
- What’s the impact of the fuel process on the entire turn-around process?
- Is there a critical path during the fuel process that impacts the entire turn around?
- Are there variations according to different aircraft types or airports?
- And so much more…
Want some market details? Start here: Digital Airplane Fueling — A Market & Product Assessment
Invoicing & Clearing
This aspect goes hand-in-hand with EU-ETS. Many airlines that rely on a manual fuel process report issues with wrong invoices. On top of that, there’s always the potential of incorrect payments and, ultimately, loss of money.
Digital fuel management, first and foremost, gives you complete control of your costs. Since every piece of data is available digitally, you can eliminate invoice mistakes and the risk of paying to much.
Moreover, digital fuel management drives the complete invoicing and clearing process’s efficiency due to its digital nature. There’s no longer a need for manual input of, copying paper, or manual cross-checking. Welcome to the new world 🙂
Fuel Provider Management
Here’s another relevant process. Actually, this is based on the aspects mentioned above of data availability. Indeed, every airline assesses its fuel provider regularly and re-news or re-negotiate contracts. With a proper data foundation, this process is both more efficient and fact-based.
- Did the provider meet the SLAs?
- What’s the on-time performance of a provider?
- How often were wrong invoices sent in?
There are many extremely relevant questions to discuss and to bring to the table. Therefore, a comprehensive set of data helps enormously to underpin a standpoint.