Man­age the burn

Don’t let fuel guz­zle away the nances

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

Don’t let fuel guz­zle away the nances

For many busi­nesses, fuel is fre­quently re­garded as the largest sin­gle cost in run­ning a fleet. For large fleet op­er­a­tors es­pe­cially, sud­den spikes in fuel costs can sig­nif­i­cantly dent prof­itabil­ity.

How­ever, even small im­prove­ments in fuel us­age can gen­er­ate a size­able profit boost. What are those im­prove­ments and what can fleet man­agers do to op­ti­mise fuel man­age­ment? One way is to up­grade your fleet and pur­chase or lease more fuel-ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cles. But the cost of do­ing so can be fi­nan­cially pro­hib­i­tive.

An al­ter­na­tive, par­tic­u­larly for large fleets, is fuel hedg­ing that helps pro­tect com­pa­nies from fuel price volatil­ity. Es­sen­tially, busi­nesses buy oil com­mod­ity op­tions to lock into fixed price in ad­vance. While most ex­pect fuel prices to rise over the long-term, there re­mains less cer­tainty in the short to medium-term, which we can see through the re­cent fluc­tu­a­tions in Aus­tralian fuel prices cur­rently.

There is an­other way that is quick and ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing fuel costs. That is the use of telem­at­ics so­lu­tions, which can help iden­tify the root cause of the high fuel costs or un­cover po­ten­tial sav­ings.

UN­DER­STAND­ING CON­SUMP­TION

One of the big­gest costs to busi­ness is the mis­use of com­pany ve­hi­cles or fuel cards. One of our cus­tomers, LeFand Ser­vices, was finding work­ers were us­ing com­pany cards to buy fuel that was too ex­pen­sive to per­son­ally af­ford. Ad­di­tion­ally, poor driv­ing stan­dards, such as speed­ing, harsh brak­ing or cor­ner­ing, was burn­ing through fuel.

LeFand Ser­vices im­ple­mented TomTom Telem­at­ics fleet man­age­ment so­lu­tion, WEBFLEET, LINK 510 and its driver ter­mi­nals. This en­abled the com­pany to bet­ter un­der­stand how much petrol each driver was us­ing and whether it was be­ing used for com­pany or per­sonal use. By im­prov­ing its un­der­stand­ing of how driv­ers were us­ing their ve­hi­cles and fuel cards, LeFand Ser­vices was able to re­duce its fuel costs by 50 per cent. LeFand ser­vices isn’t the only busi­ness wrestling with these costs ei­ther. Ac­cord­ing to our re­search, a third of peo­ple that have driven a com­pany car in the last year have logged per­sonal trips un­der work. This is a huge cost for any busi­ness, which telem­at­ics can help re­duce.

IM­PROV­ING DRIVER BE­HAV­IOUR

Sim­ply im­prov­ing driver be­hav­iour can re­sult in fuel sav­ings of up to 10 per cent, even go­ing so high as 20 per cent for ag­gres­sive driv­ers.1

It’s no se­cret em­ploy­ees drive fleet ve­hi­cles in a very dif­fer­ent man­ner to how they would drive their per­sonal cars. It’s not their ve­hi­cle and they don’t have to foot the bill for petrol and main­te­nance.

But chang­ing an em­ployee’s driv­ing be­hav­iour is no easy task. Suc­cess in do­ing so and de­liv­er­ing im­prove­ments in per­for­mance stan­dards can help un­lock the door to more ef­fec­tive cost and road risk man­age­ment. Telem­at­ics tech­nol­ogy can em­power driv­ers, pro­vid­ing them with the tools that ‘trig­ger’ and of­fer the ‘abil­ity’ to help im­prove their driv­ing be­hav­iour and per­for­mance be­hind the wheel.

For ex­am­ple, TomTom Telem­at­ics Op­tiDrive 360 cou­pled with WEBFLEET en­ables busi­nesses to re­ceive real-time feed­back, col­late dif­fer­ent data points and an­a­lyse driv­ing styles to see ex­actly how their driv­ers are per­form­ing.

These telem­at­ics so­lu­tions al­low fleet man­agers to eas­ily mon­i­tor per­for­mance or zoom in on par­tic­u­lar per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors for your fleet or in­di­vid­ual driver. From speed­ing, driv­ing events, fuel con­sump­tion to idling, green speed, gear shift­ing and harsh cor­ner­ing, telem­at­ics so­lu­tions can pro­vide a vast ar­ray of data for fleet man­agers to mon­i­tor. Busi­nesses can then use these in­sights to re­ward good be­hav­iour and pro­mote a bet­ter, safer and more eco­nom­i­cal driv­ing style.

Greater vis­i­bil­ity and con­trol over your mo­bile as­sets can help to slash fuel costs. It al­lows for greater op­ti­mi­sa­tion, ef­fi­cien­cies and driver per­for­mance. So don’t let fuel guz­zle away the fi­nances and let tech­nol­ogy op­ti­mise your fleet to­day.

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