Managing Fuel Cost Data Managing Fuel Cost Data
There are just a few basic elements to good fuel management. Most of these are directly related to the fuel use itself - the volume purchased, the distance covered, and the cost. In a perfect system, all of these would be recorded, and everything you need to know about fuel control can then be calculated. The total cost to the business is an obvious advantage, while checking the fuel consumption by individual vehicle can identify areas of poor performance and possible mechanical problems with the vehicle.
Unfortunately in many cases fuel control is often seen as a "nuisance" or as "unnecessary". Part of the problem is that there are so many "little" transactions. For example, a typical fleet car will generate one or two forecourt bills every week, and for some reason many fleets feel that this is too big a job to bother about. But as fuel costs increase, the costs of monitoring fuel expenses becomes more cost-effective.
The key to managing fuel costs is in collecting the data. If you can capture all three data items at every fill, then by definition you will have a complete picture of the fuel performance of the individual vehicle. Using a fuel card is the easiest way to do this. It provides the quickest, cleanest - and usually the cheapest and most accurate - method to capture, manipulate and report on fuel performance. A good fuel card system is one which is widely accepted, needs both forecourt and driver to provide input of the relevant data for each fill, and then provides periodic reports on the performance of the fleet, by individual vehicle, cost centre or other grouped levels.