In order for a small business to thrive, they must remain adaptable and have plenty of available cash on hand to do so. This is especially true for small businesses with fleets. Fleet fuel cards are a great way for small businesses to have flexibility with their cash flow while keeping their fleets nimble and operational. But cash–flow freedom is not the only benefit that a fuel card should provide. In this blog, we will discuss four key benefits that your fuel card network should provide to allow your small business and fleet to thrive and operate as smoothly as possible.
1. Availability of Fuel
Keeping the wheels turning for any small business fleet is a top priority. That’s why it’s critical that your drivers have access to fuel – no matter where they are. If a driver needs to leave an optimized route to find in-network fuel, it costs your small business precious time and money. If a driver is idling while trying to locate a participating service station, it costs time and money. And possibly the worst-case scenario: if your driver can find no in-network fueling stations within reach and has no personal or petty cash, it will likely require a rescue operation. This could involve the cost of a tow truck or the cost of pulling another employee or manager away from their area costing – you guessed it – even more time and money. So, make sure your fuel card allows drivers to fuel anywhere. WEX FlexCards are accepted at every major fueling station in the United States and at over 45,000 service stations. Keep the wheels turning and your drivers producing safely with the key benefit of fuel availability.
2. Fuel Security
Fuel card fraud has been on the rise in recent years and can cause a significant loss of revenue for small businesses. Fuel card fraud can originate internally or externally. One example of internal fuel card fraud may involve a fleet driver fueling a personal vehicle or even an external tank. This is commonly referred to as fuel slippage and/or fuel theft. External fraud may involve individuals or even members of organized crime who use skimmers, phishing schemes, and hackers to steal fuel. No matter the source, fuel theft can be devastating to a small business’s bottom line. In one study, as many as 65% of companies reported experiencing fraudulent attacks from external sources. The key benefit of fuel security cannot be understated. So, make sure your fleet fuel card requires a driver ID and odometer reading at the pump. Additional key security benefits allow fleet managers to set limits around purchase amounts, number of purchases, time of the day, days of the week, and more. These benefits provide fleet managers with a little more peace of mind knowing that there are security measures in place and that the data will be available for reconciliation.
3. Analytics to Help Save Time and Money
By analyzing fueling trends and fleet performance trends, small business fleet managers can gain invaluable insight into their fleet operations. For example, two work trucks purchased at the same time that are the same make and model and that are being used in a similar fashion should perform similarly. However, if one of the vehicles is using a significantly larger amount of fuel, it can alert the fleet manager that either the vehicle requires service or that a driver requires additional training. Analyzing mileage and price data may also provide insight into route optimization or where to buy the least expensive fuel. Make sure your fleet fuel card provider is providing top-notch analytics, as those analytics will give you the insights you need to save.
4. Fuel Card Service and Support
Small businesses may not have the same resources that larger businesses have, but that should not preclude them from receiving an excellent level service and benefit from their fleet fuel card provider. So, make sure your fuel card gives you the kind of service and support you deserve. Fuel availability, savings, security, and analytics are all key to operating a successful small business and fleet. And your fuel card should help support these efforts in any way possible.