During IntelliShift’s ConnectedOps Virtual Event, enterprise solutions support engineer, Mike Arbia, discusses the challenges companies face in running an efficient fuel management operation, and best practices for identifying and overcoming issues that lead to excessive fuel consumption – and decrease profitability and ROI.
Below is the transcript of this session. You can also watch the session and view all sessions from ConnectedOps 2020.
Mike Arbia: Hello everybody, and thank you for signing up for the IntelliShift ConnectedOps virtual event. My name is Mike Arbia, and I am an Enterprise Solutions Engineer with IntelliShift. I have been with IntelliShift since July of 2019, and some of my responsibilities include dedicated support and training, as well as assisting with customer reports and solutions for our enterprise clients.
Today, we’re going to discuss best practices in fuel management. Some of the items we’re going to discuss are listed on the screen now. The first item is fuel management challenges. We will discuss how fuel management challenges can be targeted through our reporting system, as well as our dashboards. In addition to fuel management challenges, we will take a look at fuel consumption-based scorecards, the fuel consumption dashboard, fuel card activity, as well as an IntelliShift case study, driver incentives, and best practices. We will also leave some time at the end of this presentation for a little Q&A, so if anyone has any questions, feel free to submit them now, and we will get to them at the end of this presentation.
Based on experiences I’ve had with some of our clients, here are some of the fuel management challenges that have been faced. Excessive idling: excessive idling contributes to air pollution, increases maintenance costs, and wastes fuel. Speeding: speeding isn’t only unsafe, it also contributes to wasted fuel. Based on many conversations I have had with fleet managers, tracking fuel purchases is essential. The fuel managers that I work with love having the ability to know when and where fuel is purchased, and how much fuel was used between purchases. In addition to that, excessive fuel purchases are important. This gives fleet managers the ability to know if more fuel is being purchased than being used, or if more fuel is being purchased than a vehicle’s tank can hold. And, finally, vehicles not being at a fueling location. Our system is designed to provide you with data to let you know if a vehicle was at a fueling location when a fuel card was in use.
Let’s take a look at how our driver scorecard can help you target some of these items. Many of our clients use driver scorecards to evaluate driver behavior events related to safety. The scorecards can also be used to evaluate behavior based on increased fuel consumption. So, the three items within our scorecard that can help you target these items are: idling, speeding, and rapid acceleration. You can build the scorecard around these events and set up a score deduction based on these types of events. There are a few different ways you can view the scorecard data, and in the next slide, we will take a look at the Fleet IQ dashboard.
Our Fleet IQ dashboard will provide you with the ability to view the scorecard over a day, multiple days, multiple weeks, or multiple months, and the vehicle information and driver information will be included on this scorecard, as well as the average within the reporting period. This scorecard report will provide you the ability to see if there’s an upward or downward trend where fuel usage is considered.
Here is an example of a fuel-based scorecard report. This report can be set up to be delivered to your inbox daily, and it can also be run on demand. This report is a little bit different than the Fleet IQ dashboard, where it does not average out over a period of time, but it will include every single event over the reporting period.
Next, we’re going to take a look at the fleet fuel dashboard within our fuel manager module. So, clicking on fuel manager, you will be brought to the fuel dashboard, and once on the fuel dashboard, you will notice on the top of the screen that we are in the dashboard view. In addition to the dashboard, you will see there is an administrator view, and that will give you the ability to assign new fuel cards to the system, and the assignment tab will give you the ability to assign those fuel cards to your vehicles.
Looking at the first widget on the screen, it is labeled “vehicle miles per gallon.” The vehicle miles per gallon widget provides you with data for the given vehicle and the miles per gallon for that vehicle within the widget reporting period. This widget is designed to be set up to view the data today, yesterday, this week so far, the last seven days, and the last two weeks. Looking at the next scorecard, this one is labeled “vehicle gallons per hour,” and this scorecard is designed to provide you with fuel consumed over a given period of time, and this is calculated according to vehicles that are in motion and also are idling. This widget can also be sorted out to provide you with data from today, yesterday, the last week, and within the last two weeks.
Looking on the right hand side is the final scorecard on the top, and this is the excessive fuel purchases widget. This widget will provide you with the ability to see if a vehicle or if a fuel card was used to purchase more fuel than a vehicle can hold. On the lower left hand side of the screen, we will take a look at vehicle not at fueling location. This widget is designed to provide you with data surrounding vehicles that were not at a fueling location while the fuel card was in use. The data is calculated by generating data based on the location of the vehicle 45 minutes before and 45 minutes after the fuel was purchased. This can also be set up to be viewed for today, yesterday, this week, the last week, and the last two weeks. Looking to the right of that, there is the next widget, the weekly fuel usage. This widget will provide you with gallons of fuel purchased this week versus gallons of fuel purchased last week, and finally, the last widget will provide you with gallons of fuel purchased this month compared to the same time last month.
Moving on from the widget dashboard, let’s take a look at our fuel card activity dashboard. This dashboard can be sorted out using a similar process as on the widget page, and it will provide you with the fuel card number, the vehicle assignment, the date of the purchase, the location of the purchase, as well as cost per gallon, totally gallons purchased, and total cost of transaction. In addition to the fleet fuel card activity, there are some reports that can be viewed as well. Reports surrounding fuel usage are: excessive fuel report, vehicle not at fueling location, a miles per gallon report, fuel card activity report, a fuel analysis report, and then also the enhanced idle report. You can run a report that generates data for total idle time, and you can also set up alerts surrounding idle time based on a threshold of your choice.
Next, we’ll take a look at the fuel card activity report. This report provides you with the same data we were looking at on the last screen; however, this can be run for a specific day or even a specific week, and you can also retrieve historical data through this report. In addition to running it on demand, you can also run it as a scheduled report and have it delivered every week or every two weeks or even every day.
Let’s take a look at an IntelliShift case study. A New York-based non-profit with over 300 assets implemented IntelliShift to effectively and efficiently manage mobile operations with the goal to protect their assets, eliminate accidents, and decrease fuel consumption. Some of the challenges prior to incorporating IntelliShift were: inconsistencies with fuel purchases, lack of workforce accountability, fuel theft, and the lack of mileage-based proactive maintenance. Once IntelliShift was employed, this client was using alerts and reports to target suspicious fueling and to help address potential issues and reduce unnecessary costs.
Together, the miles per gallon purchased and gallons purchased reports provided a clear picture of what was being spent on each vehicle and allowed them to target these inconsistencies. Gary G. is a transportation manager within this non-profit, and Gary states that, “IntelliShift has helped us reduce fuel theft, as well as made us more efficient at spotting fuel card swapping between vehicles. IntelliShift’s fuel card integration helps our maintenance team keep track of accurate mileage in order to understand when routine maintenance is due.” It was also stated that a 10% reduction in fuel consumption was experienced, as well as a 33% lower accident rate, and since they started using scorecards, they saw a 15% reduction in red light violations, and a 20% reduction in speeding.
Based on other conversations I’ve had with our clients, many like to incorporate driver incentives. Driver incentives are a great way to help improve operator behavior, and some of these incentives include company recognition, celebrating milestones, efficiency bonuses, and even rewards such as additional time off. Based on these conversations, I’ve decided to put a list together of best practices that I feel work with our current customers. First, incorporating training and coaching into a weekly schedule. This is something that we are more than happy to help you out with, so if you feel that you can benefit from this type of help, please reach out to their CSM and we can schedule a training for you, and we can even record this training and send it out after for anybody that was not originally on that training.
In addition to that, building scorecards around fuel consumption-based behavior, this is a very easy way to target excessive fuel usage by seeing trends with different operators or maybe within different regions of our organization. Utilizing our fleet fuel consumption dashboard in addition to our reports is a great way to evaluate where fuel waste is taking place, and to help you to target those areas as needed. And, finally, offering rewards for most improved behavior.
So, that concludes my presentation. I would just like to thank everybody for being here, and we will leave some time now for a little Q&A.
Watch the video of this session, “Best Practices in Fuel and Asset Performance.”