A good friend used to always say “Don’t make things so complicated. It’s not rocket surgery.”
When it comes to fuel cost management, that same thought holds true. I try to keep current by reading anything and everything I can on fuel management. While reading a fuel management article on an industry website recently, I noted it had some great ideas on how to lower fuel costs. However, every idea they presented involved huge capital cost and time consuming implementations. There were suggestions for buying lighter vehicles, Alt-Fuel vehicles, onboard recorders to measure driving habits and idle time reduction.
All of those ideas are valid but come with additional cost to your fleet budget. One of the only recommendations I saw that’s an easy implementation was tire inflation.
What I didn’t see in anything I read is the most cost-effective way to lower your fuel spend and bring bottom line savings to your origination. Buy your fuel cheaper. What would $.02, $.04, $.05 cents per gallon save on your monthly fuel usage? On a 100,000 gallon per month fleet, it’s $2,000 per month or $25,000 annually. Will the ROI on an Alt-Fuel vehicle or an EOBR show you that kind of savings? Reducing your fuel cost is the fastest and easiest way to impact your fuel budget.
When making decisions of this nature, you need the data to tell when you’re getting the right price. You can’t just tell your supplier I need a better price. They’re going to respond with “Oh you’re getting the best price.” Does this sound familiar? How do you verify that? You need the data to verify you you’re getting the best price possible.
Another way you can reduce fuel cost is to buy fuel where it’s cheaper. In many cases, you could buy fuel 20 miles down the road or across a state line and save on taxes. Again the need for data to help make that decision is paramount. There are controls you can put into place on your fuel cards to lock them down to a network. Leaving the fuel buying decision to a driver in this day and age is not a sound business idea.
Don’t step over dollars to pick up pennies. Request a free, no obligation analysis and review of your fuel program by calling me today.