Glen Sokolis, Sokolis Group
Fuel prices have been increasing rapidly over the last several months. Just one event or change can cause prices to spike or plummet. Volatility will continue in the fuel market as much as it does in the stock market, which can keep whoever is managing your fleet’s fuel program up at night.
Unfortunately, fuel price volatility is not the only problem for companies with fleets. Driver retention and driver shortage issues continue to plague the industry and are anticipated to continue getting worse. Fleet’s may be dealing with aging vehicles that require more attention and maintenance compared to fleets that have had vehicles replaced within the standard timeframe. On top of that fleet’s are also dealing with the Elog mandate.
Fleet Managers/Logistic professionals might feel like they are on their own when it comes to solving the various problems they face on a daily basis. However, when it comes to fuel management, outsourcing is a solution that merits attention because of its potential to drive significant value to a company’s bottom line.
When compared with other expenditures, fuel costs are second only to payroll for most transport companies. Therefore, it is vital that these firms manage fuel costs proactively, as it is the only way to manage them effectively. Because the savings potential is so large, but the time required can be significant, many fleets recognize the value of outsourcing.
Simply put, the knowledge, experience and technology employed by outsourced fuel management experts can yield more savings than most fleet managers could ever achieve on their own. Outsourced fuel management experts are also able to leverage their industry network to negotiate advantageous supply contracts while also helping to minimize the impact of price volatility. In addition to better, and less volatile pricing, outsourced fuel management provides invoice price verification and reconciliation at the individual transaction level.
Outsourcing fuel management also helps fleet managers get their arms around the other problems they regularly face. With an outside team of experts handling fuel management, more time and energy (and some of the money saved) can be spent on increasing driver retention. The happier the drivers are, the greater the retention, which in turn improves overall operations.
Some of the savings made possible by fuel management outsourcing can also be used to reinvest in the fleet itself or used for infrastructure investment in other areas. When invested back in the fleet, it can also yield benefits such as reduced maintenance costs for the fleet’s vehicles. Newer and upgraded vehicles will also help improve driver retention and overall operations. This makes fuel management a win-win situation for Fleet Managers and their companies.
Glen Sokolis is the Founder and President of Sokolis Group, a nationwide fuel management and fuel consulting company. He has more than 25 years of experience with fleet fuel and founded Sokolis Group in 2003. Sokolis Group’s mission is to reduce and control their clients’ fuel spend through tightly managed, customized programs. Sokolis can be reached at GSokolis@SokolisGroup.com or 267-482-6160.