Fuel for Thought

A Dollar Saved is Better Than a Dollar Cut

May 19, 2015

by Joe Thompson - Also by this author

Ben Franklin said that a penny saved is a penny earned. Good personal advice. The business management version is: A dollar saved is better than a dollar cut.

Fleet managers have a big job. With so many factors to consider — fuel type, hours worked, idle time, miles driven, run time, length of routes, and training, to name a few — it’s no wonder many are just getting through the everyday tasks. The goal of staying within budget is always looming.

But, simply cutting corners is usually not the best solution to stay within that budget. Instead, by learning how to operate your fleet more efficiently, you can retain more cash long-term.

Many successful fleet managers are doing this through in-depth analysis of their total ownership costs. Rather than putting most of their time into reviewing initial vehicle costs or daily mileage costs, they’re considering the entire process — acquisition, operations, depreciation, insurances, financing, maintenance, taxes, downtime, and more.

For example, some fleet managers have been able to reduce costs by implementing preventative maintenance schedules, training drivers on proper vehicle practices (such as avoiding excessive idling), and minimizing hard braking and acceleration (which is all monitored through effective telematics systems). Others have chosen to fuel with cost-efficient alternatives like propane autogas and natural gas.

Resources like the Propane Education & Research Council’s savings calculator help fleet operators compare vehicle cost savings and savings per mile for conventional fuels versus an alternative.

Here’s your fuel for thought: Take the long view to save that dollar. Avoid cost cutting for short-term gain. Instead, retain more cash over the years through efficiencies you implement today. A long and healthy career is more enjoyable than the constant scurry associated with constant cost-cutting.

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Joe Thompson

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Joe Thompson has served as president of ROUSH CleanTech since the company’s inception in 2010. Under Thompson’s leadership, the company has won numerous quality control and environmental awards.

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