Research has shown that the huge increase in petrol and diesel supply chain prices is the biggest current challenge facing fleet managers. On top of this it is evident that not only are the prices increasing but that there is a large amount of wastage.
A recent study carried out by Trimble MRM has shown the British businesses are squandering millions of litres of petrol due to inefficient driving of company cars. The survey especially highlights inaccurate fuel gauges, poor driving techniques as well as bad record keeping as being the main culprits. Fleet managers and businesses can be unaware of the real consequences of their fuel usage due to these culprits.
With fuel prices continuing to rise there is an urgent need for a better understanding to be developed of where fuel is being used and when it is being wasted unnecessarily.
The piece of the jigsaw which will be central in helping fleet management and companies achieve fuel savings is real-time data from individual vehicles which can be linked to individual drivers. The correct type of driver feedback technology can potentially make the average commercial fleet vehicle up to 15% more efficient.
One example given by Mr. Andrew Yeoman, the MD of Trimble MRM, is a heavy goods vehicle which drives 60,000 miles per year at 8 miles to the gallon. In this instance a saving of £6,142 could be made.
The reality is that guesswork on mileage logs and fuelcards are open to problems, abuse and mistakes. However new fleet diagnostic solutions nowadays allow companies to receive valuable information on each vehicle. These reports show where the fuel is being wasted, reports on faults and performance. It contains information on individual driver performance which incorporates driving style, braking, acceleration and speed.
Even though fleet drivers may feel as if this moves towards a bit of a Big Brother is watching them style of fleet management, the reality is that whether they like it or not in these highly challenging times what is most important for business survival and success is overall productivity and costs.
Taking the previous example of the heavy goods vehicle if a fleet manager was to multiply this by hundreds or a thousand or so vehicles, the potential savings are enormous.
Therefore the idea is not to penalise drivers who drive as part of their jobs but instead to troubleshoot problems at the earliest possible stage. Some drivers may need re-training or to have the awareness to change their behaviour patterns. Your fleet has the opportunity to make significant long term savings.