It takes a cool head to manage a fleet of vehicles, especially when it comes to reducing the risks and costs involved. With more than 700 000 fleet cards in circulation in South Africa, the local fleet management industry is turning to technology to help them better control risk for their customers.
Dr David Molapo, head of Standard Bank South Africa’s fleet management offering, explains that the application of technology is increasingly placing control of vital elements of a fleet’s operations in the hands of their customers' fleet managers and controllers.
“The evolution of technology in the industry means that fleet managers can access customised, in-depth information on a regular, and in certain instances, real-time basis, via online platforms. These include daily, weekly, and monthly reports on fuel cost data, and the ability to use predictive modelling for the outcome of variances to their own fleet and operational data.
“This allows for an accurate comparison of a fleet’s performance against set parameters, or even against national averages for fuel consumption and efficiencies.
“These reporting tools can also allow a manager to see if business rules are being transgressed by drivers. Standard Bank South Africa has seen significant success with its transaction authorisation tool, which declines transactions at point of sale if they are outside pre-set parameters.
“Our statistics show that only a small percentage of these declined transactions are due to actual fraud. The remainder is due to the improper use of fleet cards, which would have in most cases gone unnoticed by fleet managers, and resulted in leakages of revenue.
“With the increased focus globally on carbon emissions – and the increasing need to factor carbon taxes into costs – solutions are already being developed by the industry to address this new reporting need.
“Standard Bank is able to provide a unique carbon footprint analysis for a fleet. Not only will it assist with corporate reporting requirements as they evolve, it also helps to identify vehicles or divisions within a company that cause increased carbon emissions. Appropriate solutions can then be developed.”
“The test of a fleet that is well managed is that it assists in delivering compelling results. This is only possible when appropriate management tools are used.”