The Importance of Accurate Fuel Reporting as Prices Rise

Michael CarrJuly 15, 2022

Fuel is one of the biggest capital spends for any fleet, so detailed reporting on fuel spend and consumption is always important. As fuel prices rise globally, however, ensuring that these reports are accurate has become critical to a successful fleet budget.

We all know that fuel prices have been much higher than usual lately, with the national average hitting over $5 earlier this summer and some states seeing prices over $6 per gallon. Though prices have been slowly falling since this peak, gas prices are still about $1.50 higher than this same time last year.

Because of this, it is more important than ever for fleet managers to stay on top of fuel spend in order to reduce waste and keep fuel spend to a minimum. Unfortunately, manual reporting is always subject to human error and oversight. Additionally, managers have expressed concern over the rise of internal fuel theft whenever prices get this high.

The problem

For many fleets, data management is handled manually and inefficiently. Without an automated way to crosscheck fuel transactions with vehicle mileage, managers have only a one-dimensional view of their data. This runs the risk of missing transactions that do not match up and misunderstanding where fuel spend is actually going.

For example, it would be easy to miss several fuel transactions on telematics linked to a vehicle that hasn’t accumulated any mileage. Alternatively, a manager could overlook a gasoline transaction on FMIS linked to a truck that we know takes diesel.

The problem here is that with fuel transactions being tracked in one system, it is almost impossible to cross-check them with what is being tracked in another system. Managers can try to do so manually but this can be extremely time-intensive and unproductive.

So, how can managers get a clear picture of where their fuel spend is going?

The solution                     

The solution may seem simple, yet not every manager is doing it. Business intelligence lets you bring these different data sources into the same environment to be cross-checked in a way that is automated, accurate and easily distributable. Essentially, BI lets managers shine a light on this previously one-dimensional data to really see the full picture.

Using telematics, fuel cards and FMIS as sources, data is cleaned, standardized and brought into the business intelligence platform for analysis in one place. Using a system of checks and balances, BI gives managers the ability to quickly see when a transaction is flagged as being potentially fraudulent and look into why.

Managers can also keep an eye on fuel spend per unit, changes in trends over time and compare their fuel consumption to other similar fleets in the industry. This is a critical tool for monitoring costs and making confident, data-backed decisions.

Bottom line

Ultimately, it’s nearly impossible for fleet managers to prevent fuel fraud and accurately monitor fuel spend without the right tools. The best BI tool will give managers reliable insight into what is going on in their fleet, whether it pertains to fuel fraud or any other topical concerns.

Though fuel prices might be a major concern today, the fleet industry inevitably changes as time passes. BI lets you seamlessly shift your focus, integrate new data streams and track different metrics as your fleet changes too, making it the ultimate future-proof fleet tool.

If you’re interested in seeing how our BI platform can help you monitor fuel spend and drive fleet success, schedule a demo with us today.

Michael Carr

Michael Carr is an account manager at Utilimarc, previously attending Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. If you can't find him on a golf course, watching documentaries or a Formula One race, you can count on him being in the northern Midwest with a dog or two by his side. See more from Michael

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