Article taken from Fuel Oil News

Robison Oil Co. uses it for a variety of dispatch, delivery, and service functions

The wireless Data Division of AT&T Wireless Services has a new customer, Robison Oil, a Westchester County, NY heating oil supplier. Robison Oil's fleet of almost 100 delivery and service vehicles is using AT&T's Wireless Packet Data Service, also known as wireless IP or GPRS, for a variety of dispatch, delivery, and service functions.

Robison Oil has adopted a wireless data solution using AT&T's wireless network to create greater efficiency and productivity and to hold down costs and improve quality of service to it's heating oil customers, thereby achieving an economic advantage over competitors. Each of the company's 46 oil delivery trucks are equipped with a dockable, rugged handheld computer that sends important information back to the company's central database in real time. It provides instantaneous dispatch instructions, automatically meters the oil that is delivered, keeps a running inventory, and communicates account specific instructions to the driver. With the help of an onboard printer, billing is calculated instantly, and a receipt and invoice are printed and delivered with an envelope before the driver leaves the customer's residence.

We have been very pleased with out initial trials, said Saul Singer, CEO of Robison Oil. The benefits to the customer will be tremendous. We'll reach  more customers each day, and they will know instantly what their heating oil bill is and how much fuel they used since their last fill-up. We reduce paperwork and save on postage and all the labor that is associated with billing functions.

Software developer AWE working in tandem with AT&T Wireless Services,developed a custom solution that relies on Intermce Mobile Computers, Epson printers and a custom application interfaced to Liquid Control Meter Corp.'s LectroCount. Using AT&T's wireless IP network, or GPRS, throughout the greater New York and New Jersey area. 

Using technology such as this keeps Robison Oil at the forefront of an industry whose service providers have to work harder than some other energy providers to stay competitive, but Robison OIl is no stranger to technology. 

Three years ago, Robison was the first heating oil company to work with another wireless data provider to implement a solution, also developed by AWE, for Robison's 48 service vehicles. Now that AT&T's network is available in Robison's territory, the company will move it's service truck dispatch system over to the AT&T network as well, citing it's coverage and speed as unsurpassed.

In the three years since Robison first deployed a wireless data solution, it has increased the number of service calls each truck makes and redused office staff by two people.

We've always been happy with our use of wireless technology, but now that we can migrate both systems to the AT&T network, we're especially pleased, added Singer. AT&T has always provided us a high level of satisfaction with all of it's products and services. We like the fact that we can handle all our communication needs with one vendor; there are definite economic and service advantages to one stop shopping.

Robison Oil provides service to more than 24,000 homes throughout Westchester and Putnam counties in New York, just outside of New York City.

AT&T Wireless Services, formerly McCaw Cellular Communications, serves more than six million cellular and 980,000 messaging customers, and is involved in air-toground communication services.