TouchStar, UPS Logistics Form Alliance

TouchStar and UPS Logistics Technologies have signed an alliance to take advantage of the demand for automated mobility platforms with real time route optimization and communication protocols for field and sales workforces.

TouchStar, 5147 S. Garnett Road, and UPS Logistics bring the best solutions and practices to the table, said Peter Gibbs, TouchStar CEO.

“Our foundation is field force automation and integration to facilitate business process change while eliminating paper-based systems. Incorporating the tactical routing, fleet management and delivery optimization tools of UPS Logistics gives our customers the ultimate competitive edge,” he said.

TouchStar, originally a part of Mapco and then Williams Cos., has more than two decades of experience in the design, development and implementation of mobile computer solutions. TouchStar is a leader in field solutions for the energy distribution, mine site fuel management, van and route trade, sales, merchandizing and service sectors.

“In many ways that was bad for business, being owned by them,” said Brian Bernard, vice president of Solutions for TouchStar.

TouchStar split from Williams when the pipeline company sold assets to concentrate on its core business. Once independent, staying focused became its goal.

“It was not until we got out from that environment where we had deep pockets of cash — got out on our own and had to learn to become and stay profitable,” said Keith Curlee, TouchStar vice president and CFO. “It was not until we decided to be good in the propane industry that we made progress.”

“We realized, everyone with a mobile workforce could have hand helds. We cannot cater to all of them, but we will find the ones we excel in and that we bring ROI and focus on that industry,” Curlee said.

TouchStar’s expertise lies in the development of robust ‘industrial strength’ field solutions that utilize durable hardware devices — designed to cope with the stresses of use in field environments — coupled with adaptive, industry proven software applications.

“We took that and ran with it,” said Curlee. “We leveraged that business into the fuel distribution market, then we landed hauling.” TouchStar was able to branch out by developing a sophisticated technology package that allows companies using hand-held devices to track the entire thing that people charge time to,” Bernard said.

“Now, with multiple pieces of customer base, we are entering other service industries,” Curlee said.

Next, TouchStar officials realized they needed to go after business in the tier two and three cities, Bernard said.

“We narrowed our focus to pursue the elephants within those markets,” he said. ?

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