In the era of Information Technology and digital transformation, data analytics serves as a cornerstone for numerous industries, with fuel management being no exception. Using data analytics in fuel management enhances operational effectiveness and fosters cost optimization, leading to improved sustainability. In this blog, we’ll explore the challenges many organizations face with their fuel management and the important role fleet analytics plays.
Fuel management is rife with challenges. Companies need to ensure there is adequate fuel supply for their vehicles while avoiding overspending on fuel. However, forecasting fuel demand can be incredibly difficult given the many unpredictable variables that impact consumption.
For instance, route changes due to new customer locations or traffic diversions can radically alter the miles driven and fuel needed. Traffic conditions also fluctuate, leading vehicles to consume more fuel in stop-and-go congestion or road construction delays. Additionally, vehicle maintenance issues like engine problems, dirty air filters, faulty oxygen sensors, and diminished tire pressure can decrease fuel economy substantially without proper upkeep.
Moreover, driving behaviors vary widely between drivers in aspects like acceleration, idling time, and speed, which influence fuel efficiency. However, monitoring such behavioral metrics alongside fuel usage levels across an entire fleet is extremely time-consuming without proper telematics tools. Drivers may fill up at various fuel stations across disparate geographies, with no centralized system to compile fueling data.
As a result of these challenges, fleet managers often end up with incomplete and inaccurate fuel data. They need more visibility into overall fuel spend and have minimal insights into consumption patterns, waste issues, and optimization opportunities. With such limited data, planning future fuel budgets and procurement becomes a shot in the dark. Overspending on fuel is almost inevitable without analytics providing clarity into fuel management. Managers desperately need ways to cut through the unpredictability of fuel demand and achieve control over rising fuel costs.
Data analytics can transform fuel management through enhanced data collection, consolidation, and analysis. Telematics systems and fleet fuel cards generate vast amounts of data on factors influencing fuel consumption, such as vehicle speeds, idling times, speeds, routes, load weights, maintenance issues, and more. Data analytics software can then consolidate and analyze this data to uncover trends and insights.
Analytical insights allow managers to better predict fuel needs, set fuel efficiency benchmarks, identify wasteful behaviors, and optimize routing and scheduling for improved fuel economy. The key abilities unlocked through data analytics include:
Data analytics can centralize fuel data across the fleet to give complete visibility rather than partial snapshots. Dashboards can show real-time and historical fuel transactions, consumption by vehicle or driver, spending by fuel type, comparisons across time periods, and more. Managers understand exactly how much fuel vehicles use, where it’s purchased, costs over time, and other trends.
Data reveals fuel usage patterns, enabling managers to purchase fuel optimally. Analyzing past consumption by location shows where to get the best prices and which vehicles to fuel at each depot. Data also enhances demand forecasting so bulk fuel can be bought at the lowest prices without the risk of shortage.
Unexpected fuel transactions or usage spikes likely signify issues like leaks, theft, or fraudulent transactions. Data analytics employs logic checks and rule setting to flag outliers and anomalies for rapid investigation before losses spiral out of control.
Analytics connects fuel data with telemetry to uncover causes of poor fuel economy like engine troubles or improper tire pressure. Managers can then optimize maintenance schedules and prevent bigger repairs down the line. Further, data informs replacement cycles and future fleet procurement based on actual vehicle performance.
Detailed data facilitates comparisons within and across fleets. Managers can evaluate individual and team performance against key fuel efficiency metrics to set goals, reward top performers, and retrain low performers.
Tracking fuel consumption manually increases the likelihood of human error. With our fuel management system, you get real-time data about usage. Learn more about our innovative platform.
Transportation companies with large fleets of long-haul trucks are prime candidates for fuel management analytics. With trucks consuming upwards of 7 miles per gallon, fuel prices enormously impact slim profit margins. Analytics provides granular data on factors affecting MPG, such as speeding, idle times, and engine performance. Companies leverage these insights to optimize driver behavior, plan efficient routes, and perform proper truck loading and maintenance.
Food, beverages, and frozen goods distributors rely on refrigerated heavy trucks and vans to deliver goods. Tracking refrigeration auxiliary power unit (APU) usage through analytics prevents such wastage. Analytics further identifies efficient routes and driving practices to conserve fuel. It also determines optimal vehicle loading and preventative maintenance to enhance MPG.
Fuel powers all sorts of heavy construction equipment. Telematics and analytics are game-changers for monitoring equipment fuel Usage. Data sheds light on unnecessary idling, enabling companies to enforce no-idling policies. Metrics pinpoint under-utilized equipment to optimize equipment deployment. Data even correlates equipment fuel usage with project phases to make capital purchase decisions. With slim margins prevalent in construction, optimizing fuel consumption is pivotal.
From HVAC to plumbing, field service fleets represent a major cost center, with techs driving daily to customer sites. Analytics guides efficient routing and scheduling based on real-time traffic data. Insights into vehicle usage and maintenance needs also help optimize fuel economy. Ultimately, companies can service more calls per day while reducing fuel waste.
Buses for city public transit systems have notoriously poor fuel economy. Analytics helps transit authorities plan bus routes with minimal deadheading to conserve fuel. Data identifies usage patterns for right-size bus deployments. Engine performance analytics further prevents fuel-wasting issues. With thousands of buses consuming diesel, the fuel and cost savings are astronomical.
Managing fuel costs is a top priority for many businesses. LInk2Pump helps our clients track consumption with our cloud-based pedestal and mobile fuel pump controllers that provide up-to-the-minute information about usage.
Our innovative fuel management system allows our clients to easily monitor their employee’s usage and make data-based decisions about their consumption. Contact us today to learn more about our fuel pump controllers.
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