When fuel prices are manageable, fleet managers aren't as concerned about slippage.
Is this true for you? Is it easier to write off a few unexplained charges? Perhaps, you're able to turn a blind eye to a few missing receipts? Good.
At energie·fuel, experience tells us that the best time to create, test, and implement an efficient fuel policy, and set up new fuel management software, is when fuel costs are manageable.
By making the most of this time, those fleet managers, who are a bit more lenient, are able to identify the defects in their systems, and put controls in place. This also gives them more time to write policy, train, test new card controls, begin route & fuel planning, and get their team acclimated to a stricter environment. Because, when fuel prices increase, new and rigorous rules will be required. Then, it's up to you, the fleet manager, to fix all of the defects in the system – no matter how painful.
6 Ways To Prevent and Control Slippage
1. Examine the settings of your fuel cards
Set things like; time restrictions, authorized fuel types, and fill limits. This way, you won't have to worry about lost receipts. You'll have established controls for each card. These controls allow you to generate fuel summaries. By vehicle, you'll have odometer readings taken at each site and you'll know actual miles per gallon. This information will help you to, track monthly fuel consumption by vehicle, and then develop, effective cost benefit solutions.
2. Evaluate your fleet's fuel purchase history
By comparing historical data and current fuel expenses, you'll be able to identify trends and anomalies in the data. Once you've identified trends, where fueling is consistently higher, or unique instances where fueling spikes, you can research the source of those expenses, and determine ways to reduce.
For example, if you analyze your driver's fueling patterns, you'll be able to see if they are fueling along their routes, and at the authorized times.
3. Ensure your drivers are fueling at locations with the best prices
This is much easier to accomplish, when you have access to a large wholesale fuel network. In this case, you can generate routes that factor in the closest fueling locations. Having this ability, will reduce transport and delivery time expenses, for each trip. Then, you can track each purchase online, and easily spot excess fueling, or unexplained charges in real-time.
If you're just starting out and using discounted retail locations, you can still follow the same principle of mapping driver routes, identifying best fuel rates along the route, and estimating expenses, in advance. By sharing this information with the driver, it sets the expectation that fuel costs will estimated, tracked and accounted for, on each trip.
This type of tracking provides security for driver and the company. When a driver ID is recorded, the driver has proof of where and when, they fueled the vehicle. Even, if a receipt is misplaced, you'll still know which driver, used a specific card.
4. Stay on top of activating and canceling fuel cards
Regularly review your driver list, as you add new vehicles and drivers. This way, you can easily remove inactive drivers and cancel inactive cards in the system. This is especially important if you use floating PIN #s.
5. Educate drivers about driving practices that generate the best fuel economy
Take the time to explain your expectations to drivers. Training is one of the best tools, that you can give to your team.
When you communicate your expectations, and hold drivers accountable, using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that they can achieve, they are more likely to honor your established requirements, adhere to your company road and fuel rules, and take better care of everything - from your vehicles, to your customers.
Everyone wants the chance to be successful and proud of their accomplishments.
Show drivers, exactly which data is tracked and saved, each time they use their company fuel card. Explain, that you can capture up to 54 types of information automatically, and how this benefits everyone. A driver who consistently stays on schedule, follows routes, speed limits, fuel quantities, etc., has exceeded his KPIs, reduced risks, and saved the company money. Safe, conscientious, and professional driving, should always be rewarded.
At energie·fuel this is some of the data, that we teach our members to track:
- site #
- location: city, state, zip
- transaction #
- card #
- driver ID
- acct #
- time at station & time zone
- authorization #
- pump #
- odometer entry
- confirmation #
6. Implement a Driver Fuel Policy that each of your drivers must sign to use the fuel cards
Again, it's important to share information, set expectations, and hold drivers accountable. Because, working with your company, and being trusted to use company fuel cards, is a privilege. Write a clear and concise policy, train drivers, and require them to sign contracts, stating that they understand, and will hold themselves accountable to company policy, and their KPIs.
By addressing fuel cost now, fleet managers and their teams, are prepared – regardless of current fuel costs. More importantly, you're proactively managing safer, and more successful teams, while conserving fuel and saving money!
At energie·fuel, our zero fee fuel cards, fuel management solution, and 365/24/7 Member Support, are how we strive, to provide you - with all the information and support - that you need, to optimize your fuel consumption and increase savings. We hope these tips will help you to remain efficient, eliminate unnecessary risks and defects, and put controls in place – that will reduce fuel costs now, and in the future. If you can measure it, we can help you improve it!
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Be fearless, live & work with passion, and save fuel!