• Fleet managers have an exorbitant amount of responsibility stemming from organizing a team of fleet operators to ensuring budgets and projections are realistic and attainable. Like any career path, mistakes and learning experiences foreseeably come and go. However, there are a few that can spell disaster for a company if consistently overlooked. With overt pressure from both the drivers they manage and the executives whom expect results, it is crucial for fleet controllers to be aware of the common mistakes that thwart fleets around the country.

    Acknowledge the risk of these seven mistakes so that you can take your clout as a fleet manager to the next level.

    Poor Fuel management

    With fuel expenses as the largest portion of a fleet's budget, fuel management is a fragile aspect of a fleet manager's duties. When proficiently executed, a controller can save the business thousands of dollars annually. However, when best practices are neglected, fuel management becomes detrimental to the entire business. Key fuel management mistakes arise from failure to utilize a fleet card program, a lack of future planning to hedge the risk of fuel cost spikes, ignoring need for plan in the event of shortage, and not holding individual employees accountable for fuel expenses.

    Lackluster communication

    As is the case with all verticals of management, communication has the power to build a cohesive team of employees. However, when needs are not met, or expectations of tasks are not explicit, divisions will quickly appear between the hierarchical levels of the business. For fleet managers, it is crucial to clearly state expectations of the drivers – especially in terms of fuel management – as well as regularly inquire about the general desires and mood of the fleet teams.

    Improper vehicle utilization

    When building a fleet or replacing fleet vehicles, a fleet manager should be able to produce a list of needs and expectations for vehicle design. Factors that can have a long term impact if not properly recognized include operating conditions, vehicle purpose, and fleet size. Fleet vehicles are not one-size-fit-all and should not be treated as such, for oversight in vehicle selection and life span can incur thousands of dollars of unnecessary expenditures.

    Weak record keeping

    The responsibility for developing or delegating the development of accounting and reporting procedures lies in the lap of fleet managers. This information is necessary for reporting of inventory, cost of fleet operations and supplemental operating data necessary for proper management and control of fleet assets – both tangible and intangible. A competent and efficient means of handling this side of the business is implementing the use of properly programmed fleet management software to maintain these crucial fleet records

    Ignorance of dynamic practices

    While habits are important to develop for success in both management and life, becoming too steadfast and methodical can lead to declining results. We live in a society where technology and best practices are constantly upgrading to facilitate more efficient implementations of strategies. Ignoring this innovation with the mindset "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" can cause fleets to fall behind the competition and spend more than necessary.

    Inability to maintain vehicles

    Falling in line with the ignorance of innovation above is the inability of fleet managers to maintain fleet vehicles. Far too often it is seen that managers will not perform regular maintenance of vehicles so as to save a few dollars in the short term. While a few hundred dollars might be saved in one month by avoiding trivial maintenance practices, a failing system might go unnoticed which could lead to requiring vehicle replacement. Spending to maintain in the short run will save an exponential amount over the life of the vehicle

    Failure to fully oversee operations

    In order to progress as a fleet manager it is important to improve internal processes. By only focusing on direct responsibilities, and ignoring smaller segments of the business can cause fleet controllers to fall behind the average progression of the whole industry. One area in particular that gets overlooked is reception of regular reports about routes, schedule times, and service records.

  • Fleet Managers are tasked with a myriad of responsibilities relating to the company's fleet. Whether it is a taxi fleet of 125 vehicles or a small town 9 vehicle, utility fleet, the daily duties of fleet managers remain the same. Effective fleet management assists in the reduction of fleet related expenses and improvement of overall efficiency for the company. Expense reduction can be realized through proficient fuel management with fleet fuel cards or by keeping the fleet vehicles properly maintained so as to limit breakdowns and increase resale value. While this seems straightforward, it is merely one aspect of the position and there are numerous mistakes that fleet controllers consistently make. Fortunately, there are bevies of fleet management systems or software that streamline the tedious tasks of their daily efforts.

    Fleet Management Systems Give Control and Reduce Operating Costs

    While using one of Fleet Cards Canada's fleet fuel cards gives managers a transparent insight into fuel expenses, there is a lot of unknown that can occur between pumps. Fleet management systems provide fastidious controllers invaluable insight to how their drivers and vehicles are operating. GPS tracking components allow a full overview of fleet vehicle location; allowing the most efficient route to be dispatched to the best available vehicle. While other systems link with a vehicle's onboard computer to relay crucial efficiency and operational insight. Thus, when in coordination, these two systems allow a detailed profile to be compiled for each fleet driver. Having access to a driver's operational behavior and route selection causes the drivers to be fully accountable for their actions. For example, a driver cannot claim that poor fuel efficiency is due to vehicle malfunction when their driver profile details a frequent lack of consistent speed.

    In addition to the stated benefits of GPS and mechanical tracking, fleet managers are given further control through systems that allow a geofence to be implemented as well as remotely disabling stolen vehicles.

    In a dated report from 2007, the Aberdeen Group released survey results that revealed businesses utilizing fleet management systems had a nearly 30% (27.9%) increase in driver compliance, a 14.8% decrease in travel time and a 12.2% increase in service profitability. Through the simple implementation of fleet management solutions, there was a $1,100 average annual savings per vehicle.

    It is clear that a properly executed integration of fleet management solutions have a profound effect on not only the profit margin of the company but also the behavior of the employees entrusted with the fleet vehicles. Fleet Cards Canada supplements this system that provides customization and unprecedented control of fleet spending alongside a simple billing structure and access to 24/7 administrative support.

  • As a fleet manager it is your responsibility to ensure that the budget assigned to your fleet is properly allocated. With fuel expenses being far and away the greatest expense for a fleet year over year, it is crucial to ensure that you are not overspending at the pump. With a reimbursement program or gas credit card, not only are you missing out on the lowest fuel prices, but you are creating unnecessary paperwork to add to the already numerous responsibilities of a fleet controller.

    Fleet Fuel Cards vs. Gas Cards

    A gas card allows a corporation or individual to garner rewards points or cash back percentages based entirely on fuel purchases. Whereas, a fleet card gives businesses the ability to purchase not only fuel, but also certain maintenance services from within a network of authorized fuel and maintenance merchants. In addition to this, you are saving your fleet thousands of dollars annually through available rebates – which can be as high as $0.10 per gallon – and highly detailed reporting; an aspect which significantly reduces unauthorized and fraudulent charges at merchant locations.

    Fleet Card Level 3 Reporting will show exactly when and where your fleet dollars are being spent

    A key advantage that FleetCardsCanada's Fleet Fuel Cards have over other business expense programs is the in-depth insight fleet managers have into the utilization of company fleet cards. While level 2 reporting from most corporate cards provides purchase details unavailable in Level 1 reports – fuel grade, number of gallons, cost per gallon and line-item detail of non-fuel purchases – it pales in comparison to the transactional transparency of level 3 reporting.

    With numerous fleet vehicles and drivers to maintain and coordinate, in addition to the other day-to-day duties you have as a fleet manager, the level 3 reporting available from Fleet Cards Canada is pertinent to protecting your company's bottom line. This third level of reporting provides full visibility of how fleet dollars are being expensed. To supplement the information available in the preceding reports, level 3 transaction data reports the vehicle and driver ID numbers, odometer readings, and line-item detail of all purchases. This glaring transactional tracking benefits you with the control necessary to proficiently manage the fleet budget – an opportunity unavailable with gas cards or corporate cards.

    Fleet Fuel Cards from Fleet Cards Canada give you the control you need

    Whether your fleet reimburses its drivers for fuel expenses, or they are trusted with a corporate card for fuel purchases, it's near impossible to verify that only authorized transactions are being conducted. We all want to be trusting of one another, but being able to

    In order to take full control of your fleet expenses and remove the guesswork, it is imperative to apply for a fleet card. The controls and features of fleet cards reduce unauthorized/ fraudulent spending, limit product types that can be purchased by specific cardholders, as well as set time periods for which the cards are active.

    Fleet Card Benefits and Control Features

    • Manage your company’s fuel and maintenance expenses with timely detailed reporting
    • Save money by reducing fraudulent fuel charges
    • Save time by reducing paperwork
    • Driver prompts help prevent fraud and let you track your purchases by driver and vehicle
    • Account management restricts purchases and blocks cards
    • Update PIN numbers
    • View real-time transactions
    • Change purchasing restrictions
    • Easily locate fueling locations
    • Reduced card fees
    • Dedicated customer service teams

    These impressive benefits and vast range of control over a fleet's budget is only available to fleet card holders. While corporate gas cards might be enticing for the consolidation factor, the risk of unauthorized expenditures and lack of savings through rebates lead them to weigh heavily on a company's profit margin.