Fleet management consists of so many moving parts that it’s easy to miss cost-saving opportunities, especially smaller amounts. Employing data reporting, however, helps you turn small savings into big savings.
Whether you’re running a global business or a small start-up at home, the only way to save costs is to know where you’re overspending or losing money. And the only way to identify these is through accurate data reporting.
In the fleet industry, data reporting is the heartbeat of a successful operation. Nearly every aspect of fleet management comes with a series of financial options, from deciding between leasing or purchasing to fuel spending and insurance choices. When you factor in the constant fluctuations in fuel pricing, maintenance costs and even distances driven depending on your business, it’s clear why accurate data reporting is the only way to track spending and see where costs can be cut.
Saving cents means saving Rands
When you’re running a complicated operation such as a company fleet, it’s human nature to ‘brush off’ a few cents here and there in order to simply get things finalised or get vehicles back on the road. These small amounts add up, however, and many companies are losing thousands of rands and more each year due to these seemingly small opportunities to save money.
How data helps you save
Collecting relevant fleet data and turning this information into usable reports is the first step in turning small savings into sizable financial rewards. Depending on the size and purpose of your fleet, you can easily set up a fleet monitoring system that tracks and reports on the following:
Fleet tracking data
- Fuel spend - this can be broken down per vehicle, per driver, and per route, which allows you to identify high-cost concerns.
- Engine monitoring - this helps identify excessive idling and any engine irregularities that may cause excessive fuel consumption.
- Route monitoring - this data will help you optimise routes and schedules so that you save time and money.
Fleet admin data
- Maintenance schedules - skipping scheduled maintenance dates might save you some time and the trouble of rescheduling, but down the line, it will cost you more in repairs due to poor vehicle maintenance.
- Fuel cards/logs - How much are you paying in fees for fuel cards? A reputable fleet supplier will regularly review and ensure you’re getting the best rates.
- Vehicle insurance - The options are endless and you need accurate data on your own fleet, as well as all the potential insurance options in order to identify where you can save. A professional fleet partner will be able to assess what type of insurance you need and help you negotiate the best deal. Let’s say you have 25 vehicles on your fleet and you can save R50 per month on each vehicle: that’s R15 000 in savings per year. And the only way to achieve this is by having access to all the right data.
- Vehicle Finance - if you’re purchasing vehicles instead of leasing you obviously want the best deal possible. Fleet suppliers often have access to fleet discounts with various manufacturers. Even a small saving on each unit purchased adds up down the line.
- Vehicle lease options - Deciding whether purchasing or leasing vehicles is best for your business model can only be done by looking at the numbers: accurate reports that show where you will save or not. Again, this can only be done if you have access to the correct information.
The above list includes some of the main data points that you need to get a full picture of your fleet expenses in order to pinpoint where you could be saving money.
It’s crucial to remember that if any of this data is incorrect or outdated, you won’t get a report that shows a true picture of your fleet costs. This can result in cost-saving opportunities being missed, or even in incorrect decisions being made that end up costing a fortune in the long run.
At the end of the day, accurate data reporting is a fleet manager’s most valuable tool. With the right information in hand, you are able to make the right decisions from the type of vehicles to bring onboard to which fuel cards to use. You simply can’t run an efficient fleet without all of this information.