In a survey of transportation industry professionals, Software Advice identified top fuel management concerns and explored how fleet management software can improve fuel efficiency and streamline operations.
- More than half of respondents (53 percent, combined) say that fuel costs exceed projections “somewhat” or “very frequently.”
- A majority (54 percent, combined) say they are either “somewhat” or “very concerned” about fuel theft occurring in their fleet.
- Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents say that improved data collection and analytics is a top benefit of fleet management software.
- Another 27 percent say that improved budgeting is a major advantage of using a fleet management solution.
- Seventeen percent of respondents say enhanced employee monitoring capabilities is a worthwhile benefit of fleet management software.
Difficulty projecting fuel costs
Fuel costs can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. Aside from the most obvious - gas prices - these reasons can include:
- Accounting errors
- Inefficient route planning
- Road work, traffic
- Poor driver behavior
- Theft or fraud
Because of these factors, about 53 percent of fleets see fuel costs exceed projections.
Fleet managers without a proper fleet management system often spend valuable time logging a large volume of data - fuel transactions, receipts, mileages, quantities, etc. - in order to formulate projections. Using fleet management software, however, many of these tasks are automated.
This gives fleet managers the ability to see all data in one place, reduce errors and efficiently forecast accurate projections. A fleet management system may also offer fuel card automation to save even more time.
The threat of fuel theft
Even with policies and procedures enforced to prevent fuel theft, the issue is something all fleet managers must monitor. About 54 percent of fleet managers say they are either “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” about fuel theft occurring in their fleet.
Whether drivers are inflating fuel costs and not providing receipts or developing schemes much more complex, the threat is hard for fleet managers to combat. “The drivers may not be totally compliant to our requests. They may not always save the receipts or the associated documentation. It is sometimes hard to track the cost accurately,” said a survey respondent.
Fleet management software takes vehicle data like make/model, truck load, trip distance and more into account to help fleet managers estimate how much fuel should actually be consumed in a given situation and identify inconsistencies.
When used in conjunction with a GPS device, fleet managers can even identify poor driver behavior and see fuel location exception reports to pinpoint discrepancies between fuel-up location and actual vehicle location.
Data collection and budgeting improvement
Fleet management software can help take the guesswork out of the equation. When asked about benefits they have seen from using fleet management software for fuel management, those surveyed saw the most improvement in the areas of data collection, budgeting and fuel-cost estimating.