Managing fleets of any size requires fleet managers and company owners to control costs and optimize operations. Whether businesses rely on two, twenty or two hundred vehicles, fuel management is likely one of their biggest challenges, and gas and diesel are among the largest expense items. Managing fuel effectively is paramount, especially when fuel prices are somewhat unpredictable.

Reviewing data and reports is only effective if there is a focus on improvement. A fleet manager or business owner’s goal should be to use insights gained to continuously refine and improve fuel management strategies.

More and more fleet managers use fleet cards to help manage fleet-related expenses. These business gas cards, or fuel cards, generally offer fuel rebates or discounts. They also offer the convenience of consolidating fuel spend, parts, service and fleet maintenance costs under one payment form. These alternatives to cash or credit cards also offer a distinct advantage regarding fuel management — reporting.

Fleet card reports are a powerful tool for streamlining fuel management, offering detailed insights, and facilitating informed decision-making. When used appropriately, fleet card reports give you:

  • Greater visibility and control.
  • An avenue for streamlined expense management.
  • The information and tools to optimize routing and vehicle utilization.
  • Accurate, real-time info for data-driven decision-making.

Let’s examine fleet card reports, their offerings, and best practices and then explore how they enhance fuel management.

Understanding Fleet Card Reports

A fleet fuel card records all your transaction data in real time. This information is logged in a fleet card dashboard where fleet managers and business owners can view details like:

  • Transaction dates and times.
  • Transaction amounts.
  • Fuel economy.
  • Amount spent per transaction.
  • Volume per transaction.

Looking at your dashboard can reveal interesting details about your fleet, but the real power of fleet cards is in their reporting capabilities.

You can run a host of standard reports from your fleet card dashboard. These reports include:

  • Fuel summaries (consumption/economy).
  • Fuel spending summaries.
  • Vehicle utilization summaries.
  • Driver specific reports.
  • Vehicle specific reports.

Most fuel card dashboards include filtering capabilities and custom reporting features. This means you can get as granular as you want. This level of customization enables managers to gain insights into various aspects of fuel consumption, from individual vehicle usage to overall fleet performance.

Best Practices for Utilizing Fleet Card Reports

Certain best practices should be followed to maximize the potential of fleet card reports.

Regular Review and Analysis

Consistent monitoring is key to identifying shifts in fuel consumption patterns and ensuring strategies remain effective over time. With access to real-time data, your fuel reports are continually up-to-date, and you can review your fleet information as regularly as you wish.

Integration with other Data Sources

Combining fleet card data with information from GPS tracking or telematics systems provides a more comprehensive view of fleet operations. With vehicle diagnostics paired with fuel consumption data and driver performance metrics, fleet managers have a complete view of all factors that impact fleet operations.

Training and Communication

It is crucial to educate drivers and staff about the importance of fuel efficiency and how their actions impact cash flow. Fleet card reports are an effective avenue for communication with your drivers. With driver report cards, your employees always know how their choices and performance impact the company.

You can foster a culture of accountability and efficiency with clear and effective communication regarding improving fuel management and fleet operations.

Continuous Improvement

Reviewing data and reports is only effective if there is a focus on improvement. A fleet manager or business owner’s goal should be to use insights gained to continuously refine and improve fuel management strategies.

Putting Fleet Card Reports to Work

When you put your fleet card data to work for you and your fleet, the benefits are significant. Perhaps the most readily experienced advantage of fleet card reports is increased visibility and control.

Enhanced Visibility and Control

One of the primary advantages of utilizing fleet card reports is the enhanced visibility they provide into fuel usage patterns and the control to make changes.

Enhanced Visibility

Fleet card reports provide a granular view of fuel consumption across the fleet. By analyzing this information, fleet managers can identify trends, anomalies and potential areas for optimization.

Cost Control

By monitoring fuel expenses closely, managers can detect and address inefficiencies or discrepancies in fuel usage, leading to significant cost savings.

For instance, you can pinpoint unauthorized fuel purchases or excessive fuel consumption, enabling you to take corrective action promptly. Additionally, fleet card reports facilitate proactive maintenance by highlighting vehicles with irregular fuel consumption patterns, potentially indicating underlying mechanical issues.

This increased visibility into how your fleet is functioning has a direct impact on fuel expense management.

Streamlined Expense Management

Effective expense management is critical for maintaining the financial health of any fleet operation. Fleet cards are designed to automate fuel expense management. With all purchase data collected in real time, all the information typically gathered from receipts and reported in a fuel expense report is automatically logged in your fleet card dashboard.

This is a huge step in streamlining the management of fleet expenses. There is no need to collect receipts or submit fuel expense reports. Your accounting department doesn’t need to spend time reviewing those same expense reports.

Automating this aspect of fleet management is a big win for fleet managers. However, taking advantage of the reporting features of fleet cards can take things even further.

Fleet card reports provide accurate and centralized data regarding fuel and any other fleet-related expenses paid for with your fleet card. With these reports, you can quickly and easily categorize fuel expenses, track maintenance costs, allocate purchases to specific projects or departments and generate comprehensive reports for accounting purposes.

Improved Efficiency — Optimized Route Planning and Vehicle Utilization

Another area where fleet card reports prove invaluable is in optimizing route planning and vehicle utilization. Analyzing fuel consumption data across different routes and vehicles can identify opportunities to improve efficiency.

Trends of increased fuel consumption can reveal inefficient routes. This may be due to changes in traffic patterns, construction, new traffic lights, etc. Planning more efficient routes eliminates unnecessary mileage and reduces idle time, decreasing fuel consumption.

Fleet card reports also help managers identify underutilized or overutilized vehicles, allowing them to allocate resources more effectively. Ensuring each vehicle is utilized to its full potential can maximize productivity while minimizing fuel waste.

Data-driven Decision-making

Analyzing trends in fueling, performance, vehicle usage, etc., provides key data points that can help you make better business decisions. With a comprehensive understanding of your fleet operations, you can:

Identify Trends and Anomalies

Regularly reviewing fleet card reports can help managers spot trends, such as increased fuel consumption during certain times of the year or inefficiencies in specific vehicles or routes.

Benchmark and Set Goals

Data from these reports can serve as a benchmark for setting realistic fuel usage goals. Fleet managers can establish clear targets for fuel consumption and monitor progress over time.

Tailor Strategies for Different Vehicles

Different types of vehicles may have varying fuel efficiency levels. Fleet card reports allow managers to customize fuel-saving strategies based on the specific needs and performance of each vehicle.

Simplify Fleet Management

A strategic approach to reviewing and analyzing fleet card data can transform how your fleet operates.

Fleet card reports are an incredible resource for fuel management. Detailed insights into fuel costs, fuel economy and vehicle performance can lead to significant cost savings and efficiencies. A strategic approach to reviewing and analyzing fleet card data can transform how your fleet operates.

Are you looking for ways to simplify fleet management? We can help.