Fuel fraud and theft – the two major causes of significant financial losses to the fleet industry – have been reduced by a computerised fuel management system from fleet management services provider Avis Fleet Services. Since its introduction in August last year the product has saved clients more than R40-million in fuel.
“Although many financial institutions offer fleet clients fuel monitoring reports, the weakness in the system is keeping track of fuel consumption when fleet operators have more than one source of fuel data, such as a home base facility, a split between two or more fleet card service providers or accounts with specific retailers.
“This major obstacle has now been solved with Avis Fleet Services’ Intelligent Fuel Management system,” says operation head Hein Crocker.
He explains that litres of fuel supplied to a fleet from more than one source distort fuel consumption figures if they are not consolidated in one single database.
“Therefore, a driver intent on fraud can partially fill a vehicle tank and complete the process at a retail outlet. Readings supplied are, as a result, irrelevant,” says Crocker.
The South African software was developed as a solution to solve this ongoing and prevalent form of fraud and theft.
Once supplied and input by fleet operating clients, the information regarding ‘fuel farm’ use is consolidated, examined and integrated into a single report, giving the fleet operator a true picture of actual fuel use.
With the price of petrol and diesel constantly rising and forming the most expensive cost element in running a fleet, the use of superior analytics to log and review data intelligently has become invaluable, says Crocker.
He adds that typical savings achieved, over four years, for a fleet of more than 1 000 vehicles, equalled R16-million. Further, a commercial fleet operator with 89 vehicles has saved almost R3-million over eight months.
“Making the difference in combating the six major causes of theft and fraud (siphoning fuel, inflated card transactions, cloned cards, side fuelling, multiple pump transactions and continuous pump activity) involved identifying where collusion was taking place and being able to access merchant records quickly,” explains Crocker, noting that, t
ypically, action within the Avis Fleet Services system takes place within 48 to 96 hours.
“Initiating investigations within the first two or three days of a transaction taking place is vital. Waiting for a monthly deviation report before looking into a suspect transaction often means that original information has been overwritten by systems operating at traditional forecourts,” he stresses.
All the Intelligent Fuel Man-agement reports quantify potential losses by percentage, litres and rand value. This feature enables fleet operators to manage quantifiable losses instead of fuel consumption figures, allowing fuel consumption to be justified.
Usually, he says, it takes nothing more than an analysis of three months fuel data for the Avis Fleet Services system to identify where losses are taking place, what the financial implications are and which individuals are scamming a company.