Fuel is among the most expensive spendings in fleet management. Trucking Research shows fuel costs are the third highest after labor and equipment investment in private fleets in 2021. They reach 45 cents per mile.
Numerous factors affect this expense. Fuel consumption is the most obvious one. Still, lack of fleet protection, unoptimized fleet size, careless driving behavior, and regulation non-compliance also come into play. Altogether, these problems call to introduce a full-scope technological solution for fuel management.
For this aim, you should ask a tech provider to create a fuel management system. This software is a stand-alone system that will cover various operational processes, including vehicle maintenance, cost calculation, and advanced reporting. Sounds good? Check this guide to get the specifics of fuel management systems and build a truly effective solution for your business problems.
What Is a Fuel Management System?
Fuel management system development combines various technologies that create a unified system of controlling fuel spendings. The hardware components include various telecommunication devices and sensors that collect real-time data and range it into several categories.
The software processes this information representing it in an easy-to-use interface. It lets managers see, analyze, and react accordingly. As a result, your company gets the instrument for managing fuel consumption without gathering data manually.
The main aim of introducing the system is to enhance fuel efficiency. This achievement comes as the set of numerous minor improvements, ranging from theft prevention to allocating special cards that control fuel purchases and consumption. All in all, the software gathers all the relevant data — including direct and indirect factors — to let you provide the necessary updates fast and through real-time notifications to your drivers.
Custom Fuel Management System vs. Off-the-Shelf
There are two main approaches to incorporating fuel management software in your company: installing a ready-made program or building a personalized system relevant to your business needs
An off-the-shelf solution is a fast and intuitive way of getting management software. On the market, there are companies like Samsara and Autosist who deliver ready-made programs you can instantly download and incorporate. They are cheap, intuitive, and contain basic features. The main drawback of this approach is that you’ll deal with the list of prescribed features: some of them may come irrelevant to your business needs, something essential can be missing.
That’s why spending more time and effort to create the program from scratch will bring you more business benefits in the long run. Once you decide to build a fleet fuel management system, you gain an opportunity to request extra features, include next-level integration, and get the maintenance service in your software. The program will include everything needed for your company: nothing missing, nothing excessive.
For example, with telematics technology adoption, you can develop a fuel management system with advanced access to essential data on your resources. You can zoom in to the country-view or driver-level regime and see all the key parameters for fleet management, including the location, speed, and vehicle condition. It is useful for international companies with large fleets and a need to quickly and accurately switch from a bird’s-eye view to individual observation.
Must-Have Features of a Fuel Management System
Both off-the-shelf and custom solutions for the fuel management system share these basic elements. You can use them as the checklist for your software.
Monitor and Report Fuel Costs
Fleet executives deal with diversified data channels. It increases the chance of human mistakes and takes tremendous time on tracking and arranging all the relevant data. Software should solve this problem.
The core feature of a fuel management solution is to store information about fuel consumption and visualize it in an intuitive interface. With this around-the-clock monitoring, you can react to the data accurately. For example, the technology should let you create reports on fuel spending and improve your budget allocation. If you apply Machine Learning, you can make more accurate predictions on the data recorded.
In the custom fuel management software, you can use telematics for taking care of your vehicles. The technology can track the status of your fleet and provide regular adjustments automatically. For instance, you can schedule repairments or oil purchases right in your software. What’s more, you can create a dashboard with several relevant categories to get greater control over vehicle inspections.
Then, you can send real-time alerts to your drivers. That’s how software introduces a proactive maintenance approach to your company. Use this feature to send recommendations to change the driving behavior: stop idling, limit the speed, or check the fuel card immediately. According to research, these small changes can save you up to $2,000 per year and let your vehicles serve longer
Global Positioning System (GPS) is a key element of effective fuel management. With this technology, you’ll get real-time information on location, direction, and speed for your fleet. Once incorporated into your software, this information provides insights into the vehicle types that demonstrate poor performance and require your attention. Instead of micromanaging and solving the problems with individual drivers, you’ll get Big Data to see the broader fleet picture.
Check our overview on a GPS vehicle tracking system to get more information on the capabilities of this technology.
Finding the best route is tough. You need to consider numerous factors, make predictions, and constantly analyze and adjust the choices made. And that’s the task fuel management software should solve automatically.
Ideally, the technology should pick high-performance transport plans and assist you in optimizing time and money spending. This way, it eliminates the probability of human mistakes. On the contrary, the software empowers your workers with accurate data for informed decision-making. In our blog, we’ve published a detailed overview of various route optimization services and the principles of their work — you can check it here.
Fuel Card Integration
In a digital card, you can see the source and location of each fuel purchase. It proves useful to automate the registration process and reduce the amount of paperwork in your company.
Once combined with GPS tracking, this feature helps drivers find the closest gas stations. As a fleet manager, you can prescribe the fuel limit, introduce geofencing, and see the transaction time. This feature gives you direct control over the fuel expenses in your company.
Real-Time Total Cost of Ownership
Vehicles in your fleet are different. For some of them, repairing comes more costly than its initial price. In a large fleet, it’s hard to track such vehicles and control the spendings on them. In this case, the fuel management system calculates a total cost of ownership and indicates the number and prices of the repairs already done. This way, you can stop unreasonable spending and invest in new vehicles timely.
Fuel Economy Calculator
In contrast to traditional calculation models, the fuel calculator for fleet management software applies real-time data and relies on different pricing factors. With this feature, you can plan the fuel spending more accurately, considering the trip conditions and average usage models. Moreover, the calculator considers the age and condition of each vehicle to make the calculations more accurate.
“It’s helpful to see where a driver is delayed, so we can send a different driver out for a new assignment. More knowledge creates efficiency, and with less guessing about timelines, we can get more done in a day.”
Terminal Dispatch Manager at Dohrn Transfer Company
A Step-by-Step Guide to Create Fleet Fuel Management Software
Once you decide to invest in a custom solution for fleet management, here is the guide to make it work properly.
Product Discovery and Design
The proper start is to create a specified plan for software development. At this stage, the development team should clarify your existing computing system and the business needs. Together, you should elaborate ideas into prototypes and mockups to ensure being on the same page throughout the entire development process.
Once you reach an agreement, the coding stage starts. First, the development team should make a raw design of your product and ensure it’s attractive and easy to use. Then, it’s time to adopt all the technological expertise and make this design work as a custom software solution. The goal is to include all the features and program elements requested.
System Deployment: Pilot Version and Testing
Before deployment, you should get a pilot software version for testing. This stage makes the program work without bugs and errors. For this, your tech partner should hire QA Engineers with an eye for detail to check the performance of your software.
Release and Ongoing Maintenance
When everything is done, the product release happens. After you get software, you and your team should stay in touch. You may need the developers’ help to fix future problems or add extra functions for your growing business needs.
This way, you’ll get an all-around service for your fuel management software.
The Cost of Fuel Management Software Development
The exact price you’ll pay on the custom system depends on the project complexity and your business needs. If you want to concentrate on fuel management only, it’ll take 400-600 hours of development work. So, you can calculate the price by multiplying this number on the rate announced.
The more technologies you include, the more expensive software will become. Among the possible enhancements in your custom solution, you can request:
Each technology will be worth the cost in the long run if it suits your business needs. With extra features like fuel efficiency metrics, tracking systems and calculation predictions, the development time will reach more than 1,000 hours.
Benefits of a Fuel Management System
Focusing on the cost-effectiveness of fuel spending, a custom solution for fuel management can provide numerous other advantages for your business operations. Here are they:
Successful Cases of Adopting a Fuel Management System
The benefits and functionality of fuel management software is suitable for business and governmental needs alike. In this section, we’ve picked the most illustrative evidence to this statement.
In 2020, the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) adopted a new scanning solution to its existing Electronic Fuel Management System (eFMS-2) for military and civilian staff.
eFMS-2 is used in at least 16 peacekeeping and political missions. Since around 80% of total fuel consumption in the UN is spent on these missions (around $500 million in fuel supply contracts), the organization decided to improve the cost-effectiveness and environmental impact with the technology. The new eFMS-2 devices, Famoco PX320 scanners, replaced the previous Motorola MT2090 ones. The innovation satisfies the demand for multilingual support, GPS tracking with high-resolution color photographs, and fuel cards.
Windsor Police Department
AutoSist ready-made solution suits the needs of the Windsor Police Department since 2017. The organization wanted to arrange its fleet data, reduce paperwork, and check mileage more effectively. The police department chose the program as the most affordable solution for its needs.
AutoSist introduced the dashboards for electronic inspections and reduced the workload of the Sergeant. Also, this person doesn’t need to walk on foot to check the mileage manually. The software solution brought sufficient improvements in the workflow and cost analysis.
Dohrn Transfer Company
The company from Illinois possesses a fleet of 470 tractors and 75 straight trucks, led by 645 drivers. The challenge was to optimize the operations and control the fuel expense. With the fuel management solution from Samsara, the company got several useful features at once:
All in all, Samsara became a business-critical solution to all the problems in Dohrn Transfer Company.
We, at AmconSoft, built a custom logistics platform for Inn.Logist, a multifunctional logistics service from Europe. In terms of fuel management, the corporate challenge was to include the information on fuel consumption in the unified technological solution.
For Inn.Logist, we’ve created an admin panel where managers can view drivers’ data on mileage, idle and working modea, fuel consumption and additional financial costs. The mobile platform includes GPS tracking, vehicle profiles with the assigned drivers, and real-time status update for each stage. All in all, the technology lets the company save expenses, get 40 new partners in Europe, and increase the revenue up to 25%.
Ask AmconSoft for Help
Feel free to request our custom software development, and we’ll make fleet management software for you! Our approach employs the best practices, working technologies and includes all the must-have features. We can adjust to all your business needs. From us, you can request a custom CMS or a complex AI-empowered solution that supports autonomous driving trucks!
Contact AmconSoft now, and get the all-encompassing technology that will suit your business needs and budget.
Through the 10 years in marketing, I’m establishing partnerships with the reps of various fields in business and managing the aspects of business administration to achieve more success with my company