Fuel fraud and theft – the two major causes of significant financial losses to the fleet industry in South Africa – have been reduced by a computerized fuel management system from fleet management services provider Avis Fleet Services. Since the introduction of Avis Fleet Services’ Intelligent Fuel Management system in August 2012, the product has saved clients more than R40-million in fuel, according to a report in Engineering News Online.

The South African software was developed as a solution to solve the problem of monitoring fuel data when a fleet uses two or more fleet card service providers or accounts with specific retailers, which has led to ongoing and prevalent fuel fraud and theft.

Once supplied and input by fleet operating clients, the information regarding “fuel farm” use is consolidated, examined, and integrated into a single report, giving the fleet operator a true picture of actual fuel use, according to Engineering News.

With the price of gasoline and diesel remaining volatile and being the biggest cost center in running a fleet, the use of analytics to log and review data intelligently has become invaluable, according to the report. The typical savings achieved, over four years, for a fleet of more than 1,000 vehicles, equalled R16-million. Further, Avis said a commercial fleet operator with 89 vehicles has saved almost R3-million over eight months.

“Making the difference in combating the six major causes of theft and fraud (siphoning fuel, inflated card transactions, cloned cards, side fuelling, multiple pump transactions and continuous pump activity) involved identifying where collusion was taking place and being able to access merchant records quickly,” explained Hein Crocker, operation head for Avis, to Engineering News, noting that, typically, action within the Avis Fleet Services system takes place within 48 to 96 hours.

All the Intelligent Fuel Management reports quantify potential losses by percentage, liters and rand value. This feature enables fleet operators to manage quantifiable losses instead of fuel consumption figures, allowing fuel consumption to be justified, reported Engineering News. Usually, Hein said, it takes nothing more than an analysis of three months fuel data for the Avis Fleet Services system to identify where losses are taking place, what the financial implications are and which individuals are scamming a company.