A Universal Fleet Fuel card program should be designed to allow your business to stay competitive while helping to manage your company’s third largest expense (behind only employees and equipment). When it comes to fuel and service, it’s imperative that you have a tool to control your company’s expenditures while allowing your employees to remain as productive as possible.
Controlling expenses for fuel and service is critical. A Universal Fleet Fuel card program should allow you to set pre-determined controls as to how often an employee can fuel the company’s vehicle. While it does have set controls, it should be accepted at a minimum of 90% sites across the country for fuel, service, and repairs. This means that your employees never have to divert off of their route to find fuel. You remain in total control, assuring that your employees are conforming to your company’s policies, and staying productive while you stay in control.
The price of fuel you pay for fuel on a fleet card program should be based on the posted pump price without mark-ups or hidden fees.
A Fleet Card Program should give online access to all aspects of your account. You should be able to see transactions as they occur. You should be able to add and delete driver IDs; cancel lost or stolen cards; and request new cards. You should be able follow the fueling activities of your employees in real-time. You should be able to confirm that abuse isn’t taking place while having all the reports: vehicle, driver, and exception you need and available for review at any time. You shouldn’t have to shuffle and maintain paper records of your company’s fuel expenditures.
To summarize a fuel card program should provide:
• Total control to enforce your company’s fueling policy
• Fuel prices not marked-up and based on the posted pump price
• Controls over spending to help prevent abuse and fraud
• Your drivers the ability to fuel anywhere they travel keeping them productive
• A single fuel account saving hours of administrative time
• Online access to your account
Details of what a Universal Fuel Card Program should provide to you
Being able to set pre-determined controls by card and/or by driver allows you the comfort of knowing that your company’s fueling guidelines will not be abused. A fuel card program should require your employees be assigned a unique Driver ID (PIN) number. They will be asked for that ID number when they pay for fuel and some programs give you the option of asking the driver for the odometer reading at the time of fueling. If a card is lost or stolen, the transaction will be declined without a valid Driver ID number. You should also be able to set alerts so that if a transaction does take place outside your pre-determined criteria, such as time-of-day, day-of-week; or out-of-area fueling, you will be notified via text or email. This allows you to be pro-active in managing your fleet and heading off even greater abuse.
Your fuel cards should be accepted at over 90% fuel, service, and repair sites anywhere in the United States, so that your employees will not have to divert from their route to find fuel. This type of card allows your employees to be more productive at their assigned tasks. However, you should seek out a fuel card program that operates on its own network. Corporate credit cards, such as Visa© and Master Card© are not designed exclusively for fuel purchases. They don’t provide the level of reporting you should be seeking and they are open to potential abuse.
Your program should provide a secured website that allows you access to a full suite of vehicle, driver and exception reports. You should have real-time access to your account. You should be able to respond immediately if a control needs to be altered; changes in an employee’s status and if a corresponding card and/or a driver ID needs to be added or canceled. You will be able to react immediately if you have an internal request for information. Your fuel card program should capture Level III data on 99.9% of all transactions so you will be able to see the complete detail of every purchase made. Level III data captures: who fueled; where did they fuel; when did they fuel; how many gallons fueled; the current odometer at the time of fueling; and how much each transaction cost your company. You should know every detail of each transaction. If you choose, you should be able to eliminate the need for your employees to keep and turn in receipts. The website should also provide fuel price mapping which gives you the tool needed to search out the lowest price for fuel in any given geographic area anywhere in the United States.
By combining the above features and benefits to its maximum potential, your company should see significant savings. The price you pay with your fuel card program should be based on the retail price of fuel, matching the posted pump price, without mark-ups or hidden fees. You shouldn’t allow your employees to buy fuel at a site where the fuel price isn’t displayed. You shouldn’t have to wait for your invoice to arrive to find out how much you paid for each gallon of fuel purchased. The controls can save money by reducing or eliminating unauthorized use of the card either by your employees or if the card is lost or stolen. The convenience will save your company money because your employees will not be spending valuable time searching for a fueling site. They should, when convenient, also be able to shop for the lowest price fuel along their route of travel. The reports and alerts should allow you to manage your company’s fueling and assure company guidelines are adhered to. You will quickly learn if an employee: is fueling with a higher grade of fuel than is necessary; fueling an unauthorized vehicle; purchasing non-fuel items (if the card is unrestricted); using of a company vehicle without prior authorization. You will be able to address issues much faster, than if you wait for a bi-weekly or monthly statement. You will save hours of administrative time by having a single account to manage. And your card program should come without any set-up, card, and replacement card or transaction fees. You will save significant money if you take advantage of the tools that are available through a Universal Fleet Fuel Card Program.
Summary of the Ideal Fuel Card Program
• Acceptance at over 90% U.S. retail fuel, service, and repair locations
• Fuel Price you pay should match the price at the pump and the price should be prominently displayed
• Operates on its own Network
• Online tools to help you manage your fleet, save time, and cut expense
• Flexible account set-up: select either vehicle cards or driver cards
• No fees of any kind
• Convenient Account Payment Options
• Purchase Controls to limit fleet purchases
• Dedicated Account Management and Customer Service Representation
• Alerts: receive notice of purchases outside your pre-determined parameters:
• Multiple Transactions per Day ( if controls have not been put in place)
• Out-of-State Transactions
• Off-Hours Transactions
• Day of the Week
• Dollars per Day
• Dollars per Transaction
• Gallons per Transaction
• Fuel Type
• Fuel Price Mapping helps you pinpoint the lowest-priced fuel in your area
• Financial reporting – including monthly summaries, tax exemptions, and off-road fuel
• Local Customer Service and Account Management