AFS Group June 09 www. bus- ex. com 85 the method of payment, and, where required, the quantities to be dispensed, data on mileage and so on. Once the fuel is dispensed, the relevant data is sent to the bank for payment and to AFS for fuel management analysis. So successful has this been in South Africa that AFS has introduced the system into Namibia for government vehicles and transportation companies. Meanwhile, progress is being made in delivering it to Botswana and Lesotho, and there is interest in Mozambique and Swaziland. AFS's original success, however, can be traced back to two crucial early developments. First, the company identified the fact that its customers needed more than just the technology. " We buy and install the latest fuel management technology, sourcing it from around the world. Each component then comes with its own software. But we realised that this left our clients high and dry, facing the task of analysing raw data," McKenzie says. " And the bulk of the people we deal with are not fuel management experts; their core businesses are mining, farming, transport and so on." To provide a solution to this problem, in 2000 the company began developing its own in- house software, AIMS ( AFS Information Management System), incorporating all the facets of fuel management. " The core of our business now is data management," McKenzie says. The raw data is gathered together on a series of central servers- and there are parallel data systems and offsite backups- where VFP is a leading supplier to the mining industry, specializing in fuelling, fi ltration and fl ow measurement systems. We're proud to be associated with AFS and look forward to continuing to support them with our Banlaw Diesel Fast Fuelling systems, TCS Flow Meters for fuels and oils and Velcon & FTA fi ne fi ltration systems to guarantee cleaner oils and fuels. VFP Fuelling & Filtration national government departments. Today, AFS has a commanding position in South Africa and is expanding across the continent and beyond, eyeing opportunities for growth in Australia and the Americas. In the mining sector, it is the only supplier of fuel management technology to the extensive coalfields of South Africa; it's the single source supplier to Anglo- Platinum in Africa, and it's awaiting final approval for single source supplier status for Anglo- American across the entire African continent. Expanding beyond the mining industry, the company manages the procurement of fuel for the Western Cape Government, for the Cape Town region and for a number of other municipalities. " We then also won what is probably the biggest automation contract in the Southern Hemisphere: to manage the locomotive fuel and all the fuel depots for the South African Railways," McKenzie says. The final piece of the jigsaw fell into place in 2006 with the successful commercialisation in Africa of the revolutionary eFuel technology that Froman had originally spotted in Israel. In partnership with Afric Oil, Caltex, Engen, Exel, Sasol, Total and Zenex, AFS has rolled the technology out across the forecourts of South Africa, and with this comprehensive national footprint, the eFuel service is being used by national transporters and haulers, government vehicles, local ambulances and many national institutions. The eFuel technology completely automates the dispensing and payment processes for petrol, diesel and engine oils, removing the need for cash, credit cards and human intervention- in a stroke eliminating the opportunity for fraud or tampering. Participating vehicles are fi tted with a small transmitting device that is located within the fuel fi ller pipe. When the pump nozzle is placed within the pipe, it detects the signals generated by the transmitter. These provide a range of information about the type of fuel required, " Our competitors in the mining sector are good at supplying the equipment but don't provide the education, knowledge and support. That's where we take it to the next level; we become the client's long- term partner"