How do you make it convenient for employees in the field to make necessary purchases, yet retain the security and control you need to manage your budget? Most fleet organizations turn to general credit cards or more specialized fleet cards. When employees are out in the field the availability to pay for their expenses, including fuel and vehicle maintenance, fleet cards are a necessity. However, managing fuel and fleet cards can be an administrative headache due to increased paperwork and the risk of abuse. The AssetWorks fleet card, TRIPCard (Timely Reportable Integrated P-Card) offers solutions to the challenges that are common with other fuel cards.
A New Fleet Card
The State of Oklahoma’s Fleet Management Division was no stranger to the benefits and drawbacks of fuel cards. Their cards didn’t have many controls which made it possible for employees to purchase non-authorized items, such as groceries. Employees were required to submit paper reports that had to be manually reconciled with the monthly fuel card bill. This was labor intensive for both the employee cardholders and the administrative team responsible for reconciling the bills. Any discrepancies had to be investigated manually, and due to the delay in time between the purchase and the monthly bill, it was often hard for employees to provide information about the purchases in question. Then Fleet Manager, Terry Zuniga, was introduced to TRIPCard. TRIPCard purchase data is integrated directly into FleetFocus, where it’s used for billing and reporting.
“The key is the real-time access. We have the ability to have all of the
data coming in, pre-authorized. It makes everything much easier.”
— Terry Zuniga, Fleet Manager, State of Oklahoma
How TRIPCard Works
TRIPCard is a p-card backed by MasterCard and can be used by organizations to purchase fuel and other authorized items. Unlike any other fuel or fleet card on the market, it integrates directly into FleetFocus in near real-time, where it is readily available for all FleetFocus functions, such as reporting, dashboards and billing.
When employees make purchases using TRIPCard, pre-authorization data is sent immediately to the TRIPCard portal for review. Once the transaction has been processed (usually within 24 to 48 hours) the completed transaction data is received into the TRIPCard portal where the information is verified against the data in FleetFocus. Fleet managers can set authorization parameters for each user or vehicle, such as limiting a number of gallons to be dispensed or specifying gasoline versus diesel. Any purchases that fall outside the normal parameters flags the completed charge as a failed transaction so that managers can review it immediately. While the purchase still went through at the pump, this immediate information gives management the tools and time needed to address issues promptly.
The Right Fit for Oklahoma
Zuniga immediately saw that the real-time features of TRIPCard could make it easier to manage outside purchases for Oklahoma’s fleet. Currently 1,100 of the state’s large fleet are a part of the TRIPCard program.
This real-time access has made TRIPCard a success story for the state. The organization receives their fleet card data immediately, so billing isn’t an issue. Before TRIPCard, it would to take a least a week to reconcile a fuel card bill with all of the paper statements from field workers. Now it only takes one to two days and field workers can remember what they purchased, making it easier to resolve discrepancies.
“The key is the real-time access. We have the ability to have all of the data coming in, pre-authorized. It makes everything much easier,” Zuniga said.
Immediate access to questionable purchases also gives managers an avenue to improve vehicle maintenance. If field workers were to put diesel into a gas engine, the system would flag it. Their purchase would go through, but the system would alert Zuniga so that she could review it and speak with the driver and bring the vehicle in for inspection. Meter readings, which are the basis for preventive maintenance schedules, are also improved. TRIPCard users are required to input their mileage at the pump, which then updates FleetFocus. If the mileage entered by the driver is outside of the normal parameters, Zuniga would be alerted and could reach out to the driver for the
Saving time and money
TRIPCard’s technology provides the State of Oklahoma real-time data. Its immediate response system, integrated with FleetFocus, saves Zuniga’s organization time and money through decreased administrative costs, data accuracy and reduced waste and abuse. For a fleet department whose ultimate goal is serving the taxpayers of Oklahoma, timing is everything.