What process should you go through before signing up for fuel cards? Do you really need to think through the entire process? Like all business ideas or decisions signing up for fuel cards needs thought and yes it does require a good degree of research. Also like other purchase decisions, it can be a real challenge at times to consider the prospective providers in a like-for-like comparison. In this article, we hope to give you an insight into how companies should research and come to purchase decisions on fuel cards.
Researching the companies
Like everything with research the first step is always finding out what you want. Have you written a clear scope document (one page should do) which fully explains what you are looking for from the fuel cards? Once this is done (it really shouldn’t take long) you can set out searching for the prospective companies. The first step here is looking at the current set up. Once this is done perhaps then start rounding up the prospects by all methods possible (referrals, google searches, popular brands in the area etc.). If you can try to compare each of these companies to your scope document with your top priorities weighted accordingly.
Understanding the benefits
Once you have graded the companies on their respective offerings it may be time to start talking directly to the companies involved. Try to gear the conversation towards your priorities and see if there are additional benefits available which are not mentioned on the fuel card companies’ website. These conversations can be truly illuminating as representatives should be able to give you insights into how their current customers are using the service. Insights into how other customers use the service can be a real help as it may open up new opportunities which you had previously not considered.
Making the decision
Once you have researched the companies, talked to the companies and clarified all the features and benefits its time to make a decision. At this point, you should start discussing contracts, contract terms and timelines. Having a deadline on the decision can help however at times it can be helpful to take a break from the decision immediately before choosing. This break can, at times, offer you some time to reassess your decision-making process. Once this is done you will be ready to complete the transition to fuel cards or a new fuel card provider.
Getting set up with new fuel cards can be very quick and simple or it can be slow and painful. Truthfully it all depends on how well you understand the product from the outset. Simply put the most confusing part can be comparing fuel card services which, on the surface at least look very different. In the end all services are largely similar and customers and businesses alike simply need to look past the myriad of offerings to find the features which appeal most to them.