Whenever a firm lists its requirements for any system, be it for the management of fuel, maintenance, or real-time tracking of assets in the field, that list typically revolves around two basic ideas: record keeping and control. We want to make sure certain things get done at certain times, some things only happen under specific conditions, and reports exist to account for whatever has already occurred. Spec requirements often specify the exact reports the fleet managers look for and how operations are to be conducted, but they rarely detail how exceptions are to be handled.
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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