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Utilising data amidst transformation


Implementing technology in the energy sector WRITTEN BY




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Tim Eaton, Head of Logistics and Supply Chain, discusses the importance of procurement and the influence technology has had on operations


s a leading energy provider in the UK, Flogas boasts an extensive and diverse range of products and services such as

liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supply for homes, businesses and vehicles as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Considered a market leader in propane enrichment for biomethane, Flogas provides its 04

customers with solutions for an array of situations from heating and cooking to fueling manufacturing processes. For Tim Eaton, Head of Logistics and Supply Chain, what really differentiates Flogas from rivals is its ability to consistently add value to the services it offers. “We pride ourselves on not compromising when it comes to our service across the company,” says Eaton. “It’s important that you add value to our services; whether that be by how we interact with customers, how swiftly we respond to customer demand or how resilient that service level is. Everything that we focus on is making sure that our service level is reliable, resilient, and constantly responding to our customer base.” Since initially speaking to us a year ago, Flogas has begun to fully embrace digitisation in the LPG market. Eaton discusses the hurdles his firm has


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“I think it’s always important to be aware of what could potentially come around the corner” — Tim Eaton, Head of Logistics and Supply Chain, Flogas

overcome during the past 12 months. “A year ago, we were looking at a new end-to-end system that was going to replace a number of legacy systems to enable the business to offer a more retail service,” explains Eaton. “We’ve gone down a different route of trying to get the most out of every existing performance area that we can. We’ve begun to tighten up processes, retrain people and reposition them within different focus areas. We’ve looked at the individual systems, taken our own computing systems and looked at


everything that it can do for us. Our priority is doing more with the data we have and we’ve redesigned the backend database around what data comes into the business.” With technology having an ever-increasing impact on all companies’ digital transformation journeys, Eaton points to the importance of leveraging Flogas’ extensive data correctly. “We have a lot of data and possess vast amounts of information about our exact demand portfolio. We have access to lots of information that can really shape not just how we satisfy demand but also how we’re able to target new business. We’re at a point

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘FLOGAS LNG VIDEO’ 07 now that a customer order can be

exported those orders to a scheduling

raised automatically by us based

system. We printed those routes out

on their consumption profile to enable

manually for drivers to deliver and then

the customer to be kept within product.

we entered in what had and hadn’t

That process is now almost completely

delivered which allowed us to invoice

digital from the order generation

people through the ERP,” he explains.

through to invoice.”

“Now, we have an order capture that

Having joined Flogas in January

is largely automated which allows us

2016, Eaton has helped oversee and

to manage the orders on behalf of our

shape his company’s ongoing technol-

customers within our ERP. They go

ogy transformation. “When I first joined

straight into our scheduling package

the company, I inherited a number of

and then are exported onto an on-truck

discrete systems that all did their own

computing system. When we deliver

jobs. We had an ERP system in place

the gas, it’s sent straight through with

that captured orders and then we

an electronic proof of delivery with an w w w.f l o ga s . co. u k



invoice to our customer. If it isn’t

ing the supply chain to ensure his

delivered, it tells the customer that

company’s suppliers are managed

we’ve unfortunately been unable to

correctly. “Procurement has always

deliver that, and sends it straight back

been a vital part of the business,” he

into the pot for rescheduling. If you go

affirms. “We have operations spread

back three years, you could be looking

around the country that control the

at a relatively long period of time from

flow of over 300,000 tonnes of

scheduling the delivery to knowing

product every year. There is a long

whether it’s been delivered. Now, it’s

list of suppliers that make sure that

almost instantaneous.”

the supply chain continues to flow.

Operating with procurement firmly

We’re continuously monitoring

at the forefront of Flogas’ decision-

how we manage our suppliers and

making process, Eaton understands

we conduct a regular review of our

the importance of continually oversee-

top 20 led by our central procurement

team. What we don’t want is people

we get the benefit of their expertise in

that will sell us a product and walk

a number of marketplaces. We need

away. We want people that are going

someone that understands a partner-

to be offering ways to improve our

ship is a two-way street and really

business, and open for us asking them

listens to what we want.” With this in

to improve how they work with our

mind, Flogas has formed alliances with

business. That’s absolutely critical

Lytx and AIUT in a bid to drive mutual

to how we achieve success with any

success. “Lytx helps with data

of our strategic suppliers.”

management and provides a camera

Eaton affirms the importance of

solution to our vehicles. The solution

forming and maintaining a successful

manages the success of our delivery

partnership. “What I’m looking for in any

operation and is activated through

major partners that we have is some-

harsh braking or acceleration to trigger

one to invest in their product indepen-

a camera image of what the driver was

dently. From being partners with them,

doing, and what was going on in the


Tim Eaton, Head of Logistics and Supply Chain Tim Eaton is the Head of Logistics for one of Britain’s leading off-grid energy providers. Tim has worked in a number of senior transport and logistics roles across the Retail, Construction and Utilities industries in both operational and change management roles. He is skilled in Operations Management, People Leadership, Transportation Management, Continuous Improvement, and Contract Management. He is Strong operations professional with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) focused in Business Management from Bradford University School of Management.

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£ 300mn+ Approximate revenue


Year founded


Approximate number of employees 10


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“Procurement has always been a vital part of the business” — Tim Eaton, Head of Logistics and Supply Chain, Flogas

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13 road. This can help avoid accidents,”

an eagerness to consistently move

says Eaton. “We have also worked with

with the latest trends and avoid

our telematics system provider, AIUT,

standing still. “I think it’s always

for a number of years now. They’re very

important to be aware of what could

important because they provide us with

potentially come around the corner,”

all the Big Data, in terms of consumption data on how much customers are using and when. With AIUT’s help, we match that to what the customer uses the gas for and we’re leveraging that data to obtain a more accurate demand forecast.” By operating with a proactive approach that continues to adapt and change despite the attainment of success, Flogas has demonstrated w w w.f l o ga s . co. u k


“Ask yourself, what might disrupt the business? I believe that if you’re not looking to continuously improve what you do, somebody else will come in and do it 14 instead” — Tim Eaton, Head of Logistics and Supply Chain, Flogas says Eaton. “Ask yourself, what might disrupt the business? I believe that if you’re not looking to continuously improve what you do, someone else will come in and do it better.” However, Eaton affirms the biggest challenge is convincing employees to embrace change. “Everything can change tomorrow, but as long as we’ve always got the long-term future in mind, people will understand that change

is necessary. If we continue to do what we’re currently doing two years from now, we won’t be in the position we’re currently in.” With the future in mind, Eaton has clear ambitions for how his firm can remain sustainable and successful over the next few years. “We’ve invested around $4.4mn on new vehicles over the last three years to modernise our fleet which enables our footprint to become friendlier environmentally. We’ve also just invested in some natural gas-powered vehicles that will be running on bio energy,” says Eaton. “In two years’ time, we need to have completed the transformation and have a very robust analytic system that is evaluating data in terms of customer demand and is telling us what to do in advance.”

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Flogas Rayns Way Syston Leicester LE7 1PF United Kindgom T 0800 574 574

Profile for Business Chief Europe

Flogas August 2019  

Flogas August 2019  

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