Fuel Program Lost Opportunities; Pay-at-Pump Limits

Last week, in part one of our two-part series on fuel programs, we examined fuel card fraud and ways that you can help protect your company.

In this second part, we spoke to Amy Blaine, Donlen Director, Strategic Consulting and Sustainability, and Kathy Quinn, Donlen Manager of Fleet Fuel Programs, about the power of utilizing business intelligence reports to manage costs.

“Fuel prices can easily vary 10-15 cents per gallon within a few blocks,” said Kathy. “For many fleet managers, it’s shocking to see the potential savings if their drivers would go to a different station within the same area.”

donlen-comdata-fuel-savings-report-webShocking is right. For one large fleet, Kathy pulled a Lost Opportunity Report available from Comdata, Donlen’s fuel program partner and provider of our Donlen Fleet MasterCard® Card. The Lost Opportunity Report compares a fleet’s actual fuel locations versus lower cost fuel locations within the same zip code. For the months of January and February, the report uncovered potential savings of $60,000 and $50,000 respectively. Yes, that’s a per month potential saving.

“Is it likely that they could achieve that number? Perhaps not,” she went on to say. “We know it’s not always possible for a driver to seek out the least expensive fuel in the area. But if this fleet saved only 20 to 25 percent of that, it’s a huge savings over the course of a year.”

The numbers hold up for smaller fleets as well. “Depending on driver habits and the diligence of the program manager, this type of data can have an impact on any size fleet,” said Amy.

So I’ve pulled a report. Now what?

Communicating with branch managers and drivers is one of the most important things you can do. First, helping them to understand not only the potential long-term savings, but also their role in the success of your fuel program.

“It helps to have a policy around driver behavior and someone actively managing the program,” said Amy. “Fleet managers can track the average fuel prices in the area and direct drivers to purchase fuel at or below that price.

“We’ve seen some fleets offer reward programs for drivers that have the lowest monthly fuel costs,” she went on to say. “Reward programs don’t need to cost anything: it can be as simple as recognition on the company intranet or in the department newsletter. We’ve seen it work. Make it a contest, get it out there, and you get results.”

Bottom Line

Realizing your potential savings comes down to a few things:

  • Know where you have the greatest opportunities
  • Create a policy around driver behavior and designate someone to actively manage the program
  • Communicate regularly with drivers and branch managers (if applicable)
  • Reinforce good driver behavior

In a few weeks, we’ll continue our look at fuel program options, including Mobile Fueling and Disaster Recovery Vehicle Enrollment.

If you’re interested in a Lost Opportunity Report for your fleet, contact your Donlen Account Manager.

Kathy Quinn can be reached at 847-412-5273.
Contact Amy Blaine at 847-412-5384.

Pay-at-the-Pump Limits Introduced

Donlen is excited to announce pay-at-the-pump-limits for the Donlen Fleet MasterCard® card. This new feature will send transaction limit information to participating merchants so that the pump will automatically shut off when the approved dollar amount is reached. Benefits include:

  • Fewer declines at the pump
  • Less overpurchasing
  • No set up process required; it’s a system-wide enhancement
  • Currently available at 80% of all stations; soon to be 90%

If you’re interested in learning more or would like to review your current spending limits, contact your Donlen Account Manager.

FleetWeb® Tips

donlen-fleetweb-driver-data-changesQuickly change driver data for any of your vehicles in FleetWeb.

  1. Type “ddc” followed by your Donlen Vehicle Number (DVN) in the upper right search box. (For example “ddc 123456”). Hit Enter/Return.
  2. You will now be able to access your driver data.

Hertz Value Lease™ Deal of the Week


donlen-hertz-value-lease-jeep-patriot-sport-03132012 Jeep Patriot Sport*

  • Estimated Mileage: 21,623
  • Exterior Color: White
  • Hertz Value Lease Base Price: $16,842

*Vehicle was available at the time of posting to FridayFleet. The exact vehicle may not be available after this date. Photo of vehicle is for illustrative purposes only. Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease vehicles that may be right for your application.

Driver’s Corner

Make a big improvement on your vehicle’s MPG with these easy-to-follow tips:

  • Empty your trunk of unnecessary items
  • Keep your tires properly inflated
  • Don’t speed and don’t tailgate
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and stops
  • Don’t idle; turn off the engine if longer than a few minutes
  • Plan your route before you head out

And finally…

And finally, it’s no secret we love infographics around here, so when we found this Pinterest board of car infographics we were very happy (very!). Everything from the fastest electric cars, to James Bond cars, to how the auto industry is embracing social media can be found here. This is going to keep us busy for a while, so excuse us while we dive in. We’ll see you again next week.

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on March 15, 2013

About Donlen
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ), Donlen (www.donlen.com), with headquarters in Northbrook, IL, is the fleet industry’s most comprehensive and integrated provider of financing and asset management solutions. Since 1965, Donlen has offered its clients highly personalized and responsive customer service, and their workplace excellence has been recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “List of 20 Best Places to Work in Chicago” each year from 2009-2011, a Leader on “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) for seven of the last eight years, and a National Association for Business Resources “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Donlen’s innovation has been awarded with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Opportunity,” the “2012 InformationWeek 500” list for innovative technology; the Stevie® “2012 Gold Award for Business Intelligence Solution,” the Silver Award for “2012 Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year,” and the “2011 Corporate Environmental Responsibility Program of the Year.”