Is Your Business Being Affected by Fuel Theft?
If you have recently found yourself asking a very difficult question; ‘is one of my employees stealing fuel’, then you can learn how to put your mind at ease by determining the cause. It’s not easy looking after a fleet and sometimes you will have to face some difficult situations, but when that happens, we’ll be there to help you get back on your feet.
Step 1) Calm and Collected
A good fleet manager can keep a level head. If you suspect that one of your employees is stealing fuel, then it is not a good idea to start by holding a business-wide meeting to vent your frustration. Doing so can cause fear and distrust amongst your employees, and it could even make the situation worse. If your best employees feel that they are being unfairly treated by having to suffer collective punishment for the actions of someone who is unknown, they could end up choosing to leave your company and finding work elsewhere.
By staying calm and collected, you will better be able to understand the situation. Firstly, you need to be sure that you are indeed losing fuel before you start accusing your employees. You should check your fuel storage and equipment to account for potential leaks before assuming that theft has taken place. Secondly, you should try to determine how often the theft is occurring; if it’s a one-time situation, it could be an outsider, but if it’s a relatively small amount occurring fairly regularly, then the odds are that one of your employees is indeed stealing fuel.
Proving that fuel theft has occurred can be very difficult and is one of the biggest challenges that fleet managers face. This means that in the event of fuel theft, you will either be blissfully unaware of it or struggling with the pressure of suspecting one of your employees with little you can do to prove it.
Step 2) Employ a Means to Prevent Theft
Since there is little you can do to diagnose precisely who is stealing your fuel, the next best step is to invest in a fuel management system. Not only will this help to prevent against unwarranted loss of fuel, but it will also save you time.
A fuel management system will automatically track how much fuel you currently have left, so pen and paper stock-taking exercises will become a thing of the past. With your new found free time, fleet managers will be able to focus on other pressing activities, such as formatting reports and getting to know the bottom line of their business.
Our systems prevent against fuel theft by keeping everything under lock and key, or rather – unique tag and keypads. Every driver will be assigned their own unique tag which they must use if they want to access the fuel. This is combined with a keypad which requires employees to enter a code when they need to take fuel out. This means that should a stranger stumble across a lost employee tag, they will be unable to steal your fuel without also knowing the code for the keypad.
It’s also worth considering ensuring your drivers are taking the most fuel-efficient routes, you can do this by carefully considering various routes your drivers can take on certain journeys. If you’re aware of routes which are prone to heavy traffic at certain times of the day, encourage your drivers to avoid them. By having a good idea of the routes your drivers are likely to take, you can roughly estimate how much fuel would be used on each trip. Pairing this up with a modern fuel management solution will help you to ensure that no drop of fuel will go unaccounted for within your fleet.
By making it harder to steal fuel, you will no longer need to worry about the event of fuel theft.
Step 3) Useful Extras
If you want to discourage unsavoury individuals from entering your yard in the hopes of scoring some free fuel, there are a few other tips and tricks that you can use to ward them off, such as lighting up the yard and warning that there is CCTV in the area. Incorporating CCTV can be a good idea for protecting your employees of wrongful accusation of fuel theft too, as it can prove if an outsider has tampered with your goods.
Another tip is to really develop bonds between managers and drivers, this includes team building sessions as well as looking after their safety and teaching them about business-wide goals and overall progression. Your employees are less likely to want to steal from people they view as friends if you can cultivate the right atmosphere.
Keeping your business free of thievery can be difficult, but with the right steps, you can make roads into improving your current set-up. The benefits a fuel management system can bring to your business are huge, this time next year you could be looking at a business that is paperless, efficient and stronger together.