Over the past decade, growing number of small trucking companies are embracing both superior communication system and meeting delivery schedules as the most important elements that define success in freight transportation industry. However, the key to sustainability in business is not just about hiring reliable, safe drivers and delivering freight on time without any damage or loss of value. Monitoring and managing your costs is critical to profitability and survival in this competitive business world.
Since fuel continues to be the largest operating expense associated with running a fleet, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse. Especially because fuel prices have been so volatile in the last five years. To keep abreast of gas price changes can indeed be difficult, however it can help you implement a better management plan and save you a lot of money throughout the year. Otherwise, fluctuations in the industry could wreak havoc on your business.
Managing and minimizing non-controllable costs is the first step in making your business more profitable. Hence, it’s vital to track fuel consumption. Integrating fleet fuel program into your fleet management plan can help obtain important data required for effectively monitoring, managing and reducing fuel expense.
Let’s put it bluntly: The key to success in managing your fuel consumption and the frequency of fueling is having accurate and timely data. After all, you can’t manage what you don’t know.
Fleet gas cards can provide you with information needed to raise awareness regarding your fleet’s fuel efficiency. It’s easy to get started – there’s no sign-up fee nor minimum fueling required. Rebates are volume-based, plus you’ll never pay a full price at the pump again. In other words, fleet fuel program truly puts you in control.
Detailed monthly report on fueling locations and the type of fuel purchased (by vehicle), allows you to monitor the effectiveness of your fleet, and separate your drivers’ business and private mileage which can help prevent unauthorized purchases.
Fuel cards also help avoid undue paperwork – fleet managers no longer need to go through piles of driver logs and receipts. A single consolidated invoice with itemized transactions (the date and time of the purchase, fueling location, the type of fuel and the total value of each transaction) reduces not only administrative time but cost as well. Plus, you can view reports and manage your account 24/7.
But fuel program does not provide significant benefits to your business only – the program offers your drivers the ultimate in convenience as they’ll never again be too far to fill up. Because gas cards are accepted at the growing wide network of gas stations across the country, your drivers will spend less time searching for fueling stations.
Also, since gas cards work like credit cards, your drivers will save time on payments and avoid the walk and paperwork associated with pre-paying with cash at the counter inside the store. They’ll be able to complete transactions out at the pump by simply sliding the card and entering X-digit PIN. Not having to carry large amounts of cash provides an added layer of security as fuel cards allow your drivers to get gas money upfront (and you to pay off the purchases on a regular basis every month).
Since the cost of gas is the number one budget line item that greatly impacts upon the bottom line of your fleet operation, fleet gas card program can be a valuable tool not only for monitoring, evaluating and managing your fleet’s fuel consumption, but also for eliminating drivers’ misuse of the cards. Simply put, it’s a financial perk for every small business.