Use Fleet Cards to Help Maximize Fleet Efficiency

Fleet management can be challenging. Business owners and fleet managers must control fleet costs, streamline operations, train drivers and more. When every decision can impact productivity, profitability and cash flow, you need to take advantage of opportunities to improve company efficiency. With fuel being a major factor in your budget, focusing on ways to maximize vehicle efficiency is critical.

Using a fleet card gives you a comprehensive solution for managing fuel expenses, tracking vehicle maintenance, monitoring driver behavior and improving overall fleet efficiency.

Fortunately, there are tools to help you get more from your fleet, one of which is a fleet card.

Fleet Cards: More than a Payment Method

Fleet cards go by many names: fleet fuel cards, business fuel cards, business gas cards and fuel cards, to name a few. Call them what you want — their function remains the same. Fleet cards offer advanced security compared to credit cards or cash. This makes them a great option for consolidating fleet expenses such as fuel, parts, service and maintenance, especially since most fleet cards offer fuel rebates or discounts.

And yet, fleet cards provide so much more than savings and convenience.

Using a fleet card gives you a comprehensive solution to help manage fuel expenses, track vehicle performance, monitor driver fueling behavior, keep assets secure and improve overall fleet efficiency.

Benefits of Fleet Cards

Fleet cards are equipped with features that can directly benefit fleet managers and business owners. When used properly, these features can help:

  • Centralize payments
  • Control spending
  • Enhance security
  • Improve reporting

Using Fleet Cards as a Centralized Payment Method

As previously mentioned, fleet cards can simplify the payment process by consolidating all fuel-related transactions into a single account. Instead of relying on cash or multiple credit cards, drivers can use fleet cards to pay for fuel, maintenance and other vehicle-related expenses. All your purchase details are tracked in real time. This means that while you’re bringing all your purchases under one payment method, you’re also getting all your expense data into one location.

Using fleet cards reduces administrative burden and facilitates faster and more accurate reconciliation and accounting, which can help enable greater financial efficiency.

Fleet Cards, Purchase Controls and Keeping Fuel Costs in Check

Once you have all your fleet expenses under one roof, it’s time to exercise the cost control aspects of your fleet fuel card. Any fleet card worth having is equipped with purchase controls.

Purchase Limits

These controls allow company owners and fleet managers to set purchase limits. The parameters of purchase controls are fully customizable and include:

  • Daily or weekly purchase limits: limit the number of purchases that can be made during a specific window of time (you can approve use for set hours of the day).
  • Daily or weekly volume limits: control the volume of fuel that can be purchased during a set time frame.
  • Dollar or volume limit per transaction: this feature lets you set parameters for individual transactions.

These, and several other settings, can be used individually or together. The ability to customize purchase limits is an effective way to control fuel costs and limit misuse.

For example, if a card is approved for purchases Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with a dollar limit of $120, an employee can’t use the card on weekends, during off hours or for an amount beyond $120.

Beyond purchase limits, fuel cards help keep fleet expenses under control with automated fuel expense tracking.

Automated Fuel Expense Tracking

Since the details of your purchases are tracked in real time, there is no need to submit or reconcile fuel expense reports. This is all done for you and occurs automatically when your purchase data is sent to your fleet card dashboard. This detailed transaction data can be used to monitor spending trends, identify cost-saving opportunities, and forecast future expenses.

The Enhanced Security of Business Fleet Cards

Unlike traditional payment methods, fleet cards offer advanced security features to protect against fraud and misuse. Depending on the card and brand, these features may include PIN codes, odometer readings, driver identification requirements or a combination of the three.

Unlike traditional payment methods, fleet cards offer advanced security features to protect against fraud and misuse.

These features help keep your assets secure by verifying the legitimacy of transactions and preventing misuse or fraud. Additionally, some fleet cards alert fleet managers of suspicious activity based on the purchase limits assigned to a card.

Powerful Reporting Tools

A fleet card is an excellent source of information. The real-time data collected is logged in your fleet card dashboard. Put the reporting and analytics features of your fleet card to good use. Managers can run standard reports or customize them to view specific metrics or time frames.

These reports provide insights into fuel consumption trends, shifts in fuel economy, maintenance costs, driver fueling behavior patterns and fleet utilization. Using this data to identify areas for improvement, you can optimize fleet operations.

Indirect Benefits of Fleet Cards

In addition to the benefits outlined above, fleet fuel cards offer several indirect benefits that help with fleet operations and can improve efficiencies.

Enforce Fuel Spending Policies

If you have a clearly established fuel spending policy, fleet cards are the perfect way to reinforce your spending guidelines. Using purchase controls, you can set cards to help drivers stay within your defined spending parameters.

Identify Driver Training Needs

Driver training is much more than an onboarding need. Your employees will require ongoing training and reminders to exercise good driving practices. Using transaction data and reporting tools, fleet managers can track fuel efficiency, spending habits, idle time and speeding incidents. By identifying areas for improvement and providing feedback to drivers, businesses can encourage safer and more fuel-efficient driving behaviors, which can ultimately lead to cost savings and risk reduction.

Fuel Cards are a Business Fleet Solution

Fleet cards are a comprehensive solution for managing your fleet and maximizing efficiency. When you consolidate spending, keep costs under control, tighten up security and improve data collection and reporting, fleet efficiency is soon to follow.

If you’re looking for a business fleet solution to help you better manage your fleet, a fuel card is the place to start, and we can help.