There is no bigger annual expense for a fleet company than the fuel costs of deploying their vehicles. Regardless of whether you are running a small, medium or large vehicle fleet, the amount of petrol needed will always represent a significant portion of your operating budget. Effective fleet management will, therefore, always require strong fuel management systems to ensure company-wide success.
Unfortunately, you cannot control the fuel prices that affect your fuel spending, but you can control the fuel distribution and consumption of your fleet vehicles. Using modern vehicle telematics, fuel management software has transformed the way fleet managers buy and distribute petrol, while helping fleet drivers better manage their daily consumption.
Beyond the difficulties associated with poor fuel management practices and rising fuel costs, every fleet owner, manager and driver will understand the scourge of fuel theft in South Africa. This is another area where a small difference in management and security practices could go a long way. Fleet companies report losing at least 3% of their yearly fuel budget to fuel theft. Imagine what saving that money could afford you in other opportunities.
Manually recording expenses and managing distribution of your company’s fuel consumption can cause a lot of accounting errors and reduce opportunities to improve your fuel budgeting. This includes fuel theft which can go undetected, misrepresented or under-reported, which reflects poorly on your operating costs and fleet management efficiency. Fuel management systems can help owners and managers detect fuel theft, accurately report numbers and improve fuel consumption.
Here are a few tips to help your fleet company reduce fuel theft and other inefficiencies:
Ensure your parking lot, yard or garage is safe and secure
Fuel theft can occur at any time and for a multitude of reasons. Some have to do with poor management and unreliable drivers, but much of it has to do with where your vehicles are kept when out of use. Ensure your company’s parking lot, yard or garage is protected with fences, alarms, video monitoring and other security measures to guarantee your vehicles are safe and secure. This includes on the road, when drivers are overnighting and storing their own vehicles.
Make sure your drivers are informed and aware of the risks
Fleet companies must have a robust set of policies, guidelines and training in place to ensure their drivers know what is expected with regards to fuel purchasing, consumption and vehicle security. With clear and decisive fleet protocols, drivers have the opportunity to improve their individual fuel management, while fleet managers can improve the company’s overall fuel management.
Locking garages and fuel caps, covering PINs over keypads, accurately reporting fuel data and parking in safe areas are just the beginning of preventing fuel theft and misreported fuel data. Your drivers need to be safe on the roads, careful about refuelling and prioritise vehicle safety when on the job. Improved driver behaviour and fuel management will have a massive impact on your fleet management and success.
Monitor and track all fuel transactions
Without the benefits of an effective fuel management system; monitoring and tracking your company’s fuel consumption, distribution and transactions can become tedious and inefficient. Reviewing all of your fleet’s fuel transactions is an important part of preventing, identifying and measuring instances of fuel theft. Check for any fuel data or transactions that are out of the ordinary, such as inconsistent odometer readings, odd fuelling times and strange vehicle locations.
Integrate fuel management software into your overall fleet management system
Recording accurate and up-to-date fuel data, monitoring fuel consumption and managing fleet fuel distribution are critical parts of fuel security and your overall fleet management. Integrating comprehensive fuel management software into your larger fleet management system will provide managers, owners and drivers with remote access to all the fuel data they need. Prevent fuel theft, protect your resources and save money with real-time fuel data and digital fuel management tools.
If you are looking for the latest in fleet management solutions or are wanting to integrate a fuel management system into your larger fleet operations, speak to one of our expert consultants at Landmark Tracking.