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Fleet FAQ? Fuel Management

Q. Describe a fleet manager’s typical morning in the Era of Big Data.

A. Arriving at work, Fran Fleetkeeper scans a large board with dots on a map. Some of the dots are green. Some are red. Some are blinking. These are her company’s vehicles, and she notices some are missing while others are clustered too close for optimal efficiency. But Fran won’t be pinging her drivers. Instead, she taps her phone to implement “Driver Area Eight,” a navigation overlay that directs vehicles in that area to destinations that better serve her operation. On the right of that board might be a fuel fever chart, indicating the total fuel that will be consumed that day, based on the day’s routes and the navigational instructions Fran set to reach them. Maybe the fuel spend has a corresponding line chart that compares to the same day last year or last week, or against industry benchmarks for that vehicle, or against expense goals. When these charts hit red, reports are triggered pointing out to Fran the variables that could save fuel costs. Her phone buzzes. It’s an alert telling her Steve the driver is moving at 60 in a 45-mph zone. She texts him a pre-written alert to slow down. When his seat belt light pings her, it is his second violation in a day, which generates an email to HR for counseling. Meanwhile, the vehicles – some of them driverless -- navigate streets and soon automatically pull in for fuel – or an electric charge – at stations listed as the most price competitive based on real-time data, not published surveys. They drive away and head down the interstate, paying tolls and logging hours of service seamlessly, wirelessly, electronically. Then Fran notices new orders have come in. She panics. Can her own fleet deliver? She checks a ride-sharing service to see about subcontracting the work. She taps a button on her phone and commissions an instant delivery. Then a truck pulls up outside her door with an emergency fuel delivery for their bulk tanks, triggered automatically by a hurricane warning with the potential to shut down her company for weeks. Fran is living in a world run by data, but Fran is more important to the fleet than ever.

Expert Bio

Answered by : Bernie Kanavagh from WEX

Senior Vice President and General Manager

A 27-year fleet professional, Bernie Kavanagh currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Large Fleet at WEX Inc. He joined the company in 1996 and his career has been a steady progression of increased sales and marketing responsibility. Kavanagh serves on industry related boards and is a frequent speaker at payment industry conferences focusing on fuel trends and technology in the payment space. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey and is an active member of NAFA, AFLA, NCSFA and AALA. Prior to joining WEX, Kavanagh held a number of roles with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Enterprise Fleet Management.

A 27-year fleet professional, Bernie Kavanagh currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Large Fleet at WEX Inc. He joined the company in 1996 and his career has been a steady progression of increased sales and marketing responsibility. Kavanagh serves on industry related boards and is a frequent speaker at payment industry conferences focusing on fuel trends and technology in the payment space. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey and is an active member of NAFA, AFLA, NCSFA and AALA. Prior to joining WEX, Kavanagh held a number of roles with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Enterprise Fleet Management.

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