The Bug Master is an established pest control company that has grown over four decades from its original Austin, Texas location to operating out of three locations, using a fleet of 80 trucks.
Dauphin Ewart is President and owner of The Bug Master, having taken over the business from his father about fifteen years ago. While the company started with a single VW-bug in 1981, its fleet now offers pest control from San Marcos to Waco along the IH 35 corridor, is one of the largest independent pest control companies in the state, and recognized as being among the top 100 in the nation. The company’s previous fuel card solution associated each individual fuel card with a specific vehicle, and that created problems.
Recalling the daily frustrations with their old fuel card, Dauphin said, “When the card generally associates with the vehicle it can cause a lot of operational confusion because it’s very easy for cards to end up in the wrong vehicle. That makes it very difficult to maintain reporting accuracy. When they pulled up to a fuel station, they would run that card and the card was supposed to indicate what vehicle you were in. If for some reason that card wasn’t in that vehicle anymore, or was in a different vehicle, your data was wrong. All of your data around fuel attribution just became a mess.”
When asked about the switch to Coast, Dauphin says there were two reasons that it made a lot of sense to him. One was the high level of confidence in Coast’s data attribution, and the other was the ease of deployment.
“The way that Coast works, the driver text the license plate of their vehicle when they fuel. It’s very to have a high level of confidence that the fuel purchase is going to be associated with the appropriate vehicle and it’s very easy to pull that off. And the other big factor for me was that with Coast, I just ordered a bunch of cards, handed them out to everybody, and then explained how to use it. We just made sure that their phone numbers were in the system and associated with a name and the license plates were in the system and associated with a vehicle. Those were really easy things to pull off. Our implementation of Coast went on in about a week, which is amazing. It was incredibly fast for us to be able to do this.”
Immediate Feedback, High Level of Communication and Transparency
Though data accuracy was important, Dauphin’s favorite aspect of the transition to Coat has been the company’s ability to provide a lot of information to the driver or to administration quickly.
As an example, Dauphin said, “If a driver’s trying to get gas and something goes on, like maybe they’ve exceeded their number of fill-up for the day, Coast texts the driver and tells them what’s going on, then texts me as the administrator and asks if I want to make an exemption or not. It really provides a lot of transparency around the approval process, and just makes it really, really easy to use.”
Expounding on the ease of use, he said, “The biggest issue was breaking the old habits that we had from traditional fuel cards. We had to retrain people to keep their card with them since under our old system, the card was assigned to the truck. Within a week we didn’t have any significant challenges. Everybody understands how to text, everybody can look at their vehicle and see the license plate number. It’s just really simple.”
Fleetio Platform Is Invaluable Data Tool
Dauphin says that as his company has grown, he’s needed tools that help him keep better track of what’s going on. “There are a lot of components of doing our job, and getting gas is a pretty small one. I want that to be easy and seamless for my team, but also want to have control so that I know what the transactions are and so that financially I have the information I need. The Fleetio fuel and management platform has become his “source of truth.” He explains that now, “Instead of logging into all these different portals, we’ve got one place with really good data that tells us what we need to know so we can make the decisions that we need to make regarding the fleet. What Coast brings to the table is the data accuracy and knowing that the information that’s going into Fleetio is correct. It’s accurate. It’s usable, you can trust it.”
The Bug Master’s move to Coast means that they have ease of use, reliable data accuracy, and tremendous responsiveness. “I just really believe in the product,” says Dauphin. “It’s just a fantastic product, and I think it’s a no-brainer.”