Digitalizing your airline’s fuel management might be something you’ve been working on for the last twenty years to save costs and improve your performance. Plus, implementing apps is nothing new to you too. So why am I talking about “Fuel Management Plus Mobile Apps” in 2020? Why do I believe that it is time to rethink this topic once more? Because we missed something out! So, let’s take a closer look!

Fuel Plus Mobile Apps

Defining Fuel Management — Read This First!

We know that the term “Fuel Management” can have a thousand different meanings. That’s why we want to quickly explain how we define Fuel Management in the context of this blog post.

A Fuel Management System describes a system that enables airlines to rely on a digital fueling process. Plus, that means that the entire fueling process chain at an airport is covered by such a system. That includes each process from the initial fuel order until the final provision of a receipt.

Fuel Management Plus Mobile Apps — The Mess We Are In Today!

Over the last decades, airlines invested huge sums into the fuel management process’s digitalization with the age-old goal of saving fuel and, therefore, saving cash. And no doubt, there are massive improvements.

However, airlines still face one major problem. They have to coordinate and communicate with a wide variety of fueling contractors across their network. Plus, many of them relying on different IT systems and procedural guidelines. This makes streamlining processes immensely challenging. As a result, it becomes difficult to achieve the cost-savings and improved process efficiency such a network-wide process offers.

The Change We Need

With the technical opportunities the year 2020 offers, I believe that this last barrier can finally be overcome and help airlines worldwide simplify their fuel management processes. Plus, the idea behind it is pretty simple, but it is bold. A digital communication hub that acts as an intermediary between airlines and fueling companies at every single airport around the globe. This way, airlines, and fuel providers would only need to connect to one system enabling them to align all their fuel-related communication processes to that one system.

Centralization Is Key

Such a digital communication hub finally offers the opportunity to route all your communication with the fueling companies across one central system. No need to start yet another implementation projects to connect your fuel provider’s newest IT system at one of your destinations. Simply connect your IT environment to the hub, and everything is taken care of – from the fuel order up to the receipt. Plus, every interaction will be digital and centralized. 

As soon as an airport is connected, every airline and fuel provider can use it, creating a network effect that will help establish the standard by making the implementation more attractive to airlines and fuel companies.

Simplify By Standardizing

To make the hub’s implementation and expand its network as swift and easy as possible, it should rely on standardized communication protocols used within the aviation industry. The widely known IATA AIDX standard supports the full range of fuel-related messages exchanged by airlines and fuel companies.

As the adoption rate of this standard is already very high across the industry, expanding its usage to the field of aircraft fueling should not pose a problem for either side. Using this standard will definitely help to accelerate its adoption and the expansion of the worldwide user network.

The UBER Way Of Aircraft Fueling

As I said initially, we don’t need to reinvent digital aircraft fueling we just need to rethink it. Nowadays, platforms make our life so much more comfortable in many different ways. Think about Uber and how it changed the way individual transport works. This was achieved by bridging the gap between two parties and making their interaction more convenient.

A digital eFueling hub would do precisely the same. It is the last puzzle piece to complete the digitalization of the aircraft fueling process. Having only one platform to use to connect to your fuel providers across your network will enable an entirely new level of streamlined processes around aircraft fueling and save fuel costs directly and in other closely connected areas.

Together with its swift implementation enabled by the fact that it is based on established aviation standards, make it highly attractive to airlines and fueling companies alike. Therefore, closing the addressed gap within the digital fueling process has never been easier nor cheaper than today. Combine that with the advantages of the network effect, eFueling might be something of interest to your airline already.

And Here We Go: Fuel Management Plus Apps!

In today’s world, we use mobile apps for nearly everything. We order food, check our bank accounts, or order a ride. In short, we use our smartphones to communicate with others. The way we communicate definitely changed over the last decades. In fact, advancements in mobile technology heavily influenced that change.

Today, calling or texting someone is just a few swipes and touches away. This tremendous technological advancement enables us to rethink communication in many different areas and promotes this change even further. It should encourage us to look for new fields of application every day. 

That Way Acceptable In The 80s

The fuel management process is one of those areas that needs to rethink their approach to communication fundamentally. For every flight, the pilot and the IPA need to communicate several times, but they are still doing it like its 1980s. Once the fuel order is typed into the system, there is not much flexibility to adjust it to the actual situation. One reason for that is the very scattered IT landscape, which does not allow for standardization. However, a digital communication hub would solve that problem and pave the way towards a more flexible communication between all parties. 

Catch-Up! Enable Real-Time Communication Today!

With the introduction of a mobile app that works as an add-on to the hub, a new communicative flexibility level could be achieved. Last-minute changes or individual status updates could be communicated to the fueler directly. Accordingly, this helps to adjust to possible delays or special requirements. Just think about additional fuel trucks to speed up the process. It could also work the other way around and allow the fueler to inform the pilot about delays and operational details. 

This instant communication method enables both parties to make ad hoc changes to the situation that cannot be planned. However those small, integrated into the aircraft fueling process, communication channels can yield even higher returns. 

Fuel Management Plus Mobile Apps — The Simple On-App-Fits-All Approach

However, to capitalize on these improvements and savings, implementing such a new communication app has to be as swift and cheap as possible. The good thing is that almost all pilots nowadays are equipped with a mobile device to manage their flights. Therefore, a potential app simply needs to be compatible with the operating system of these devices.

Developing a native fuel app or integrating the functionality on one of your existing apps might be an option. Plus, those approaches are expensive and time-intensive. I recommend the approach to a progressive web app. Those apps function as a shortcut to a web application but look like an app on your home screen. Those apps are much easier to develop and maintain. Additionally, they have the advantage that they immediately work on every web-enabled device. On top of that, external pilots that are flying for your airline can use the app too. 

The Little Things That Make The Difference!

We all know what difference it makes if we can clearly communicate with your counterpart in a crucial situation. Those little adjustments are often proven golden in the long run. I am absolutely convinced that this also applies to the dynamic of the aircraft fueling process. Moreover, it holds the opportunity to generate massive improvement and cost savings. So, there we have it! Just another way how you can use the principles of eFueling to better your processes and save money. You see, they are stacking up right now! 

What Do You Think About Fuel Management Plus Mobile Apps?

Always happy to get your feedback and start a discussion. Just hit me up on Twitter or get in touch on LinkedIn.

Want To Know More About Fuel Management? Here’s Where To Start!

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Benjamin is an information-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the way companies use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned companies all over the globe.