The humble fuel card has, for many Australian businesses, replaced company credit cards and cash in an effort to allow accounts departments generate a clearer picture of how much fuel is costing their respective businesses. Fuel cards simply add up all the fuel purchases made by a business and charge monthly through a standard invoice.
While most businesses are content with the standard benefits (discounts, reduced administrative cost, reduction in fraud along with increased transparency and efficiency) there are some who are getting more out of the cards. There has been a rise in businesses that are using fuel card report figures, in conjunction with other business figures, to peer even deeper into cost management and cost efficiency.
we take a look at five of the most popular ways to get even more from fuel cards and fuel card reports.
1. Changing driver habits
By reporting what days users fill up businesses can establish if bad habits need to be broken. Significant savings can be made by encouraging staff to fuel up on less expensive days during the week (with the exception of Friday). Good fuel card reports should allow you to pull this data and isolate those drivers who are not considering the savings that can be made.
2. Forecast fuel costs
By analysing fuel card report trends businesses can start to understand consumption and cost patterns. Smart companies will include this in account forecasting in order to create more accurate budgets and cash flows. Without understanding these trends companies can be caught in a cycle of under or over forecasting for specific times of year where fuel use may be significantly higher or lower than average.
3. Encourage fuel efficiency
With the help of odometer readings and manufacturers guidelines, fuel card reports can assist in understanding which drivers are wasting fuel with bad driving habits. Businesses can use the reports to scoreboard, compare and incentivise drivers to get more from their litres of fuel. To put this in perspective its worth remembering that a driver can save more than 20% of fuel by engaging in some very simple fuel efficiency tips.
4. Navigation testing
Fuel card reports can also help businesses understand the most fuel efficient ways to navigate between locations; this will however require other tools such as GPS and odometer readings. This knowledge is especially important when it comes to frequently travelled routes (like from your store to your warehouse for example).
5. Finding underperforming vehicles
By using odometer readings, driver feedback and fuel card reports companies can isolate vehicles which are unfit or inefficient for use in specific circumstances. This is especially important where specific cars are consistently consuming excessive fuel. Identifying these gas guzzlers can save business significant amounts into the future.