Fuel and fuel operations represent one of the largest budget lines for any fleet organization, regardless of size. Fuel really adds up, which is why an effective fuel management system is so crucial to your fleet’s success.
While you unfortunately cannot control fuel prices, there is one area where you can make a difference: fuel theft.
For the average fleet organization, fuel theft represents about 3% of the fuel budget. Just think of all the things you could do with that extra 3% in savings!
Now, just because fuel theft is a real threat to your fuel budget, doesn’t mean your drivers or other employees are ski mask-wearing criminals. Chances are, if you or your employees are manually recording fuel expenses, you’ll find some inefficiencies. Without a proper fuel management system in place, you can expect a certain amount of misallocation, or even the occasional budgetary mystery that you just can’t solve.
Check out these tips for preventing fuel theft and other losses:
Keep your yard secure
Fuel theft isn’t always because of your drivers. Outside thieves may break into your yard to siphon fuel from your vehicles or install skimmers into pumps to steal payment information, like PIN numbers.
Keep your yard secure with fences or walls and camera monitoring systems. Make sure to include signs advertising these security precautions to deter thieves before they even attempt fuel theft.
Educate your drivers
Your organization should have policies in place that explain what exactly is expected from drivers in regards to fueling and purchasing fuel. This policy should also explain the consequences of misuse or wrongful purchasing.
You should also run through more basic fuel safety practices, like locking fuel caps, closely monitoring vehicles while fueling, covering keypad when entering PIN and only parking in safe zones.
Review all transactions
Without a proper fuel management system, this part can get tedious; however, if you feel that fuel theft is an issue for your organization, reviewing all fuel transactions is a necessity. Check for anything out of the ordinary, like unknown locations, inconsistent odometer readings and irregular fueling times, on a regular basis.
Invest in a fuel management software system
When it comes down to it, the only way to accurately and efficiently track fuel operations is to invest in a comprehensive fuel management software system. These systems can track fuel data in real-time, so you don’t have to pour over spreadsheets and tank levels.
Invest in Integrated P-cards
Even with a comprehensive fuel management system, some details can slip through the cracks, especially when you have to wait a month or so for fuel card statements to arrive. P-cards, like the AssetWorks TRIPCard, allow your drivers to make purchases at outside fuel sites within your organization’s rules and restrictions.
TRIPCard is fully integrated in FleetFocus fleet management system, so you can view card activity in near real-time. With TRIPCard, you have real-time access to pre-authorization data, meaning you see the authorizations or declines as they happen. The completed, Level-3 data comes through within 24-48 hours. This data integrates directly into FleetFocus within hours of the transaction processing, which provides improved accountability and enhanced authorization controls, all while being as flexible and portable as a credit card!