Manage the burn
Don’t let fuel guzzle away the nances
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.
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.