Liquid Voice helps Fuel Card Group deploy innovative mileage reporting system

Liquid Voice has completed a successful project for the Fuel Card Group of DCC plc. The Fuel Card Group, with brands Fuel Card Services, Bunkercard, The Fuelcard People and Dieselink, is one of the UK’s largest independent fuel card agents. The project integrates Interactive Voice Response (IVR) into MileageCount, an innovative mileage reporting system. MileageCount, which can be accessed via drivers’ mobile phones, helps fleet managers to maintain accurate, timely records for both payroll reimbursement and HMRC reporting.

The Fuel Card Group reduces diesel and petrol costs and reduces administration, including tax reporting and payroll calculations, for more than 20,000 UK business customers. It has agreements with every major oil company brand including BP, Esso, Shell and Texaco, as well as partnerships with branded service stations including Morrisons, Tesco, The Co-operative and most independents.

The Fuel Card Group’s customers range from small businesses with less than five vehicles to some of the UK’s largest service organisations with multi-hundred vehicle fleets. Each month, it processes mileage data from countless drivers nationwide and is continually looking for ways to improve its systems to make life easier for both drivers and fleet managers.

“We regularly sample customers’ views and it was suggested to us that a secure yet simple to use system to allow drivers to enter mileage details via a normal phone would be a real time-saver,” explains James Lister, Head of IT at the Fuel Card Group. “We already have an online system but, for a busy driver out on the road, the most efficient way is to use a mobile telephone and the numbered keypad.”

The Fuel Card Group has a long history of developing its own bespoke systems but wanted expert help to integrate IVR into its new MileageCount mobile solution. “We had first worked with Liquid Voice in 2010 when they delivered a successful computer telephony integration project for our new CRM system,” says James Lister. “So, when we began explaining our vision for MileageCount, it was clear that they had the requisite product, technical skills and a clear understanding of our existing systems.”

Liquid Voice integrated its IVR system to communicate with the new mileage collection application, back-end databases and the existing Mitel-based PABX. The integration allows secure authentication and capture of driver, vehicle and mileage data to be directly entered into the service via a registered mobile phone.

“The system is now being rolled out to all our operational sites, tested and launching to our existing customers,” explains Lister. “Both the application and IVR system promise to combine reliability with ease of use and feedback from customers is expected to be very positive.”

MileageCount can help organisations to meet new tougher examinations of business and personal mileage allowance schemes in accordance with HMRC compliance guidelines. Last year, more than 2,400 firms were visited by HMRC in a pilot study that found inadequate reporting in 39% of the sample group. HMRC is believed to be targeting around 60,000 companies for potential irregularities around mileage reporting, in an effort to claw back an estimated £120 million in owed revenues.

“We have never used an overseas call centre or IVR system for communicating with our customers,” says Lister, “but this is all about data capture. Liquid Voice’s IVR system is significantly faster and more reliable than a call with a human operator and, through device validation, we can ensure security and ease of use through a familiar mobile phone.”

Chris Berry, Liquid Voice co-founder and Business Development Director, says, “Our collaboration with the Fuel Card Group is a great example of where IVR can help to speed up and improve data capture accuracy in what is a relatively mundane activity. This type of application shows how having an IVR vendor that also has a bespoke development capability can really make a difference in terms of delivering a highly integrated solution that can adapt as the service offering changes over time.”

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