Aviation fuel-management software provider FuelerLinx has unveiled a new fueling pricing aid. The San Francisco-based company, which developed software that automatically finds the latest fuel prices for its customers, is demonstrating its FBOLinx Web site (www.fbolinx.com) here at the NBAA convention (Booth No. 5748). FBOLinx promises not only to streamline fuel price updating chores for FBOs, but provide valuable information for FuelerLinx subscribers as well, the company said.
“The biggest question that people always want to ask is, ‘What is the ramp fee relative to the price per gallon?’” said Kevin Moller, FuelerLinx founder and president. “If I know that I have to spend $500 for a ramp fee, I’m willing to spend maybe five cents more per gallon if I can go someplace where I don’t have to pay it.”
Fuel Price Updates
While helping its flight department customers navigate through the ramp fee avoidance policies was clearly a priority for FuelerLinx, finding a way to contact thousands of FBOs and update those policies efficiently took some creativity. In the end, the company found a way to get the FBOs to come to FuelerLinx.
The newly launched site offers individual FBOs as well as chains the ability to simplify their weekly chore of updating fuel prices to all of the contract fuel programs in which they participate. When they first enroll, FBOs enter their weekly pricing matrix, including pricing breaks in five different volume categories. Then they select their contract fuel purchasing programs and enter the pricing adjustment for each–fixed price, a percentage off, a fixed amount per gallon or an into-plane fee. The FBO is also asked to enter its ramp fee waiver information. Once that data is entered, FBOLinx sends the data to all the contract fuel companies the FBO does business with, eliminating the need for them to contact each one.
The Web site also communicates with the FuelerLinx subscription fuel management program software, which draws out the ramp fee policies and relays the information to subscribers to help them determine their best deal.
The company has also made some recent upgrades to the FuelerLinx program, which helps flight departments buy fuel more efficiently and more cost effectively. The subscription-based system allows operators to enter all their contract fuel programs and automatically presents the prices available based on negotiated deals and volume discounts. The system is now integrated with the CTA-FOS and BART scheduling software packages.
“The major difference between what you saw last year and today is we have pretty much automatic pull of the fuel prices into our system,” said Suzanne Moller, FuelerLinx vice president of business development and marketing. “Instead of manually loading all the files, you enter your name and password and the system automatically double-checks those prices every three hours for all the major fuel vendors.”
If subscribers have a relationship with a fuel provider, they can enter their password and the location desired and the system will update that customer’s negotiated pricing in real time. Once the vendor is selected, the system e-mails the fuel provider and dispatcher with the pricing for the requested amount and a confirmation of the location and date.
Once a flight is dispatched, the software archives the price lists from the fuel provider. To provide further insurance of correct billing, the system automatically tracks fuel purchases and notes which purchases have not been reconciled through a simple bar chart.
Another feature is the addition of proximity and sectional charts, furnished through an agreement with Runway Finder. In addition to providing weather updates, the site also provides hotel locations and information about other airport-area amenities useful for pilots.