Fuel policy or fuel card? Which one to pick for your business
With so many potential implications surrounding fuel cards and policy, it becomes a challenge to identify if one or the other is more important when picking for your business. However, more effective may be the marriage of both a fuel policy alongside a fuel card to help meet the specific needs of an organisation in the ever-changing world of fleet management.
Having a fuel card designed with specific budgetary requirements helps to ensure your organisation receives in-depth transaction data, flexibility in card management, and tight controls. As a manager, you can set specific controls on amounts spent at a transaction level, including weekly or daily limits, as well as fuel quantity purchased within a specific timeframe. The capabilities are designed to create accountability within transaction parameters, whereas a fuel policy is designed to create accountability from an outside-in perspective.
By combining available tracking technology for fleet vehicles that depicts accurate reporting of distance travelled, average speed, driving habits and fuel economy, along with fuel cards designed with transaction parameters, a fuel policy can be developed to create the optimal fuel-logistics structure for a given fleet. Vehicle tracking, combined with fuel card reporting, help to develop an illustration of how drivers are either helping or hindering in creating cost-savings measures, further providing the opportunity for open recognition or coaching.
Fuel policies should be clearly communicated to each driver in the fleet, helping the drivers to know that each fuel purchase is being monitored, alongside driving habits, and will allow for corrective action for any exception. In addition to clear communication with staff, enforcing specific limits such as number of transactions allowed per day, or type of fuel, will be critical in helping to develop a fuel management system. Controlling the locations available for fuel purchases within a fuel policy can also allow for the business fleet to have minimal waste and further abuse behind the policy.
If there are multiple fleet managers working through a fuel management system, combining technology and policy together, consistency will be possible across the board. Fuel managers must be able to continue to identify problem areas that arise and work through them, and allowing for the ability for enhanced cost savings related to fuel and other costs incurred. A solid foundation for fuel management and cost management from the fleet should always start with a policy and develop outward with available products, services and relatable technology. Follow through in fuel management, if only focused on fuel cards or policy as stand-alone options, would not be possible; however, when both are combined, consistency and follow through are at the forefront.