Not so long ago, a fuel management system was considered something of an avant garde business technology. It may even have seemed a little strange. Who needed all that? But now it’s become clear that a fuel management system is a business necessity if you are a fleet owner or an operator with multiple single fuel dispensing locations. Learn why tracking fuel costs is a top priority.
If you’re feeling at a bit of a disadvantage compared to your competitors, it could be that they’re using an FMS and you aren’t. It’s time to step up, to get this valuable tool for yourself and put it into action. But how are you going to choose what to purchase? Where do you start?
First, do a little self-evaluation.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Have you ever had inventory loss issues or believe you do?
- How much control do we currently have over our fuel dispensers? Do we know – for sure – where our fuel is going and how we’re using it?
- How is our record keeping? Are we able to collect all the information we need? Is it accurate? (And if you’re invoicing third parties, are you billing the right amount?)
- Do we have all the information we need to reliably maintain service schedules for our fleet? Do we have any way of detecting if a problem is developing with one of our vehicles?
- Do we have all the information we need to make strategically sound and timely decisions – both for daily operations and for longer-term forecasting and planning?
- Are we making efficient, cost-effective use of our fleet and our drivers’ time? What about our administrative staff? Are our people still wading through a sea of paperwork
The answers will tell you where you’re most vulnerable. It may be depressing to see your deficiencies bulleted out in this way, but help is available. A fuel management system can fill those gaps and also boost your strengths with further streamlining and productivity enhancements.
Now it’s time to investigate your options.
With all that in mind, you’re ready to ask some questions about the fuel management system itself. These questions are just as important as your internally-directed ones, because there’s more than one alternative available. Naturally, you want to make the smartest choice. So you’ll want to consider factors such as:
- Exactly what features does the basic package include?
- What kind of reports can I produce, and in what formats?
- How does the software interface with my other business management applications?
- What kind of support can we expect?
- Are there optional modules that can enhance the system’s usefulness? For instance FuelMaster offers AIM2 – a vehicle-mounted automotive information module that uses RFID technology to make your fueling process entirely hands-free. That means your drivers or fueling crew literally cannot dispense fuel incorrectly. And the AIM add-on collects even more detailed data about each vehicle’s performance.
- What percentage of loss can I eliminate? Possibly 25-30%
Give yourself a head start.
Why start from scratch to identify your options and attempt to discern which product makes the most sense for you? An environmental consulting professional can help you zero in on the right choice, faster and with better results. They know all about fuel storage and handling, including the detailed regulatory and reporting requirements. And they understand your business.
They know all the right questions to ask, to help evaluate your situation and find the best-fitting solution, system integration, and tying multi site locations together into a central database.
Being in business was never easy, but it’s become significantly tougher. How are you supposed to remain competitive if you can’t manage all your assets to best advantage? Adopting an automated fuel management system can help you make a great leap forward. You’ll have more information at your fingertips – exactly the information you need. You’ll have it in real time. It will be entirely accurate.
Start with the right questions, and you’ll wind up with the fuel management system that’s well-matched to your operation. You can be more confident and more productive. You will save money by limiting fuel theft and conducting preventive maintenance on vehicles rather than see roadside breakdowns. All of this leads to a more profitable, efficient business.