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TouchStar Technologies eyes North American LPG market

October 30, 2023 By    

An established technology solutions provider in Europe has its sights set on the North American LP gas market.

TouchStar Technologies Ltd. plans to bring its experience, expertise and technology to customers in North America. The U.K.-based company has been supplying mobile computing solutions for oil and gas distribution for almost four decades. It supplies hardware, software, middleware integration services and full pre- and post-sales technical support to its clients.

“We are developing partnership opportunities as well as direct end-user engagements,” says Gordon Hyland, sales director of TouchStar Technologies – Fuel Logistics Division, in a company-generated information piece covering the future of fuel logistics, the role of digitization and TouchStar’s plans for the North American LP gas market. “We believe that our technology will enhance the offering of all LPG distributors, large or small.”

Specifically, TouchStar is introducing its FuelStar suite of products to North America. This includes in-cab hardware, front-end application and back-office software. The solution has full integration capabilities with third-party software (e.g., enterprise resource planning) and ancillary hardware (e.g., digital registers and in-vehicle Bluetooth devices).

TouchStar sees a natural progression into North America because many of its European customers already have offices here.

The digitization of field-based processes has come quicker in Europe, Hyland explains, as most large fleets have in-cab mobile computing systems. The company hopes more customers in North America will realize the same benefits.

“The European market has widely adopted a digital strategy that proves there are cost savings and efficiencies to be generated, through fewer miles driven, accurate identification of tank [and] storage location, efficient routing and scheduling, coupled with a real-time view of what happens in the field, back at the planning office, and invoice reconciliation and issue often happening same day,” he writes.

According to Hyland, digitization brings practical operational benefits, such as instantly sending a driver a digital manifest in the morning, updating it in real time if plans change and not having to worry about lost, incomplete or damaged payment-on-delivery (POD) slips. It also means that drivers can capture a client e-signature on the glass of a connected handheld, along with the geo-coordinates of the driver at the time of delivery, for complete POD. An invoice can be generated within minutes of POD for improved cash flow.

The company looks to become more visible to the U.S. market in 2024, with plans to attend next April’s Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina.

U.S. propane industry members might recall the company name “TouchStar.” That’s because TouchStar Technologies’ history shows a former connection to Tulsa, Oklahoma-based TouchStar Group LLC, which had been a wholly owned subsidiary of U.K.-based TouchStar Ltd. In 2005, Belgravium Technologies acquired the TouchStar Ltd. U.K. operation – but not the U.S.-based company – and, in 2016, changed its name to TouchStar Technologies. All group brands now fall under the umbrella brand of “TouchStar.”

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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