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Evaluating your Fuel Card Options


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The cost benefits of a fuel card are clear, often providing fleets with access to credit for a daily operating expense, cost savings at the pump, reimbursement or reward programs for qualified transactions, as well as insightful data to manage down fleet costs. But the benefits provided by various fuel card companies are not interchangeable among fleets. This paper will review the questions you need to ask prior to deciding upon a fuel card company.

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Evaluating your Fuel Card Options

  1. 1. Evaluating your Fuel Card Options
  2. 2. Control Operating Costs with Fuel Cards. <ul><li>Cost benefits are clear: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• access to credit for daily operating expense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• cost savings at the pump </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• reimbursement or reward programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• transaction data and management insight </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The benefits provided by various fuel card companies, however, are not interchangeable. This presentation will review the questions you need to ask prior to deciding upon a fuel card company. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Giving Credit Where Credit is Due, or Needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Have a firm concept of your company’s credit needs prior to approaching a fuel card provider. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• How often are your trucks fueling? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• How tight is cash flow on a daily vs. weekly basis, etc.? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• What type of credit terms do you need? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This will help you to assess and negotiate best terms among fuel card providers. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Giving Credit Where Credit is Due, or Needed. <ul><li>With your Current Fuel Card Company </li></ul><ul><li>• Are drivers carrying multiple cards to ensure credit line coverage? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Causes confusion among drivers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Missed opportunity for rebates/rewards/incentives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>De-consolidated fuel transaction data. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>• Are you making multiple payments to cover a single billing cycle? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Incurring high bank fees, increase operating costs, decrease fuel savings. </li></ul></ul>With Prospective Fuel Card Companies • What types of credit are offered? • What is the average line of credit for a fleet your size? • Is there a cap on the line of credit they will offer to a fleet your size? • What documentation is required in order for them to issue a line of credit? • What are the requirements to obtain additional credit in the future? • How will your company’s usage be monitored for future growth?
  5. 5. <ul><li>Anywhere you want to go, or Nowhere you Need to Go? </li></ul><ul><li>Assess the usefulness of the stops included in the fuel card network rather than just the number of stops: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Are stops located on major highways or local roadways? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• What types of stops are included (truck stop vs. convenience store)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• What types of amenities are provided for your drivers (parking, showers, lounge, etc.)? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HINT: If a fuel card is not accepted at a stop or chain at which your drivers regularly stop, ask. This will give you a good feel for both the future growth of the network and the company’s commitment to customer service. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Show me All of the Money. </li></ul><ul><li>Both the price you pay for fuel and the price you pay for the convenience of your fuel card should play a factor in your decision-making process. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Ensure that you will pay the cash price at the pump </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Clarify all fees upfront </li></ul></ul><ul><li>- monthly usage fees </li></ul><ul><li>- customer service fees </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- bank service fees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- cash advance fees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- additional card and supply fees, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Making Dollars and Sense of it All. Nearly all fuel card companies provide fleet management tools with the opportunity to download reports on fuel transactions made, but very few provide detailed information on how to utilize the data provided. Ask your prospective fuel card company to walk you through the management reports offered and how other fleets utilize these reports to assist their business efforts.
  8. 8. <ul><li>Cut Through the Lip Service. </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel card offices may not be open 24x7x365, but your trucks keep running anyway: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Will a person or an automated system answer the phone why your drivers call? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• What is the typical wait time for a customer before they have access to a live customer service representative? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• What are the company’s policies for processing requests for credit lines, additional support materials, etc. both in regard to fulfillment time and fees? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Where is the customer service department based; what languages can they easily support? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The Bottom Line. </li></ul><ul><li>The best way to optimize your business is to fully understand your company needs. Don’t assume your fuel card company knows best. Make sure they earn your business with the kind of service that is most likely to improve your business, such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Appropriate Credit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Useful card acceptance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Cash price fuel at reasonable service fees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Applicable management reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Accessible customer service </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Multi Service. Innovation Where it Matters. Multi Service is a global transaction management company specializing in billing and payment solutions, with particular expertise in the transportation industry. Multi Service was founded in 1978 with the Multi Service Fuel Card as its flagship product. The Multi Service Fuel Card serves to “level the playing field” for small- to mid-size fleets, utilizing their collective purchasing power to earn rebates of up to 10 cents per gallon at truck stops throughout North America. Thank you for your interest in this free presentation. We welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions. Please consider sending us a note about how this paper has helped you. Check out the Multi Service website at . If you would like to contact a fuel card representative directly, you can call 1-866-956-0414 or email [email_address] .