When people think of fuel management systems (FMS), the first thing that usually comes to mind is some kind of terminal at the pump identifying users and vehicles via cards, key tags, and ID numbers punched on a keypad. In other words, they think of what is mostly the control aspect of a FMS. Although control is an important dimension of such a system, there needs to be more going on than that.
If you have had the misfortune of having to take the car to the garage due to a major breakdown at some point, you can attest to the fact that, over the long-term, repairs always cost considerably more than maintenance. In F. Aboulfath’s research paper titled: “Optimal Maintenance Schedules for a Fleet of Vehicles…”, published by the University of Toronto’s Department of Engineering, expands on the optimal challenges of fleet vehicle maintenance and proves the benefits of Preventive Maintenance as an essential solution to cutting costs and extending the life cycle of your fleet.
This fact is crucial when it comes to fleets of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of vehicles and pieces of equipment. Not only is equipment longevity at stake, but also company operations and productivity, the safety of employees, and the public safety in some cases. In 2016, Chalmers University of Technology published a research paper by Donmez & Zenmouri, definitively illustrating the higher cost of corrective maintenance can be exponentially increased when managing fleets.
When your company relies on the smooth, predictable, coordinated, and safe running of equipment, efficient maintenance management is more than best practice, it can mean the difference between profit and loss.
Let’s start by getting the obvious out of the way. After labor, fuel represents the highest cost of running a fleet. If you have your own fuel tanks and pumps, you need a fuel management system. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The level of sophistication and control required will vary from one place to the next, but the need to have a minimal level of distribution control is undeniable. Fuel is expensive, and constantly buying it without knowing who takes it, how much of it and where it goes is as unacceptable as having a bank account without the same level of control.
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