Managing a vehicle program as a beverage distributor comes with a lot of challenges. Not only is there the business risk and IRS compliance to manage, but there's also the high cost of the program to factor in, the administrative burden, inaccurate mileage records and more.
If you're feeling those challenges within your company's vehicle program, then tune into our 45-minute webinar to learn everything you need to know about vehicle programs as a beverage distributor.
Don’t have time to watch the full replay?
Find all the highlights below. Have specific questions? Jump to answers about:
Vehicle Program Challenges (6:23)
Vehicle Program Options (9:12)
About the Speakers
We chatted with Kary Shumway and Caitlin Collord.
Kary’s a CPA, a CFO, a former CFO for a beer distributor in the Northeast in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and currently a partner and CFO at WormTown Brewery in Worcester, Massachusetts.
He also founded Beer Business Finance to shorten the learning curve so you can create a financially successful beer business.
Caitlin is a sales manager and account executive at Everlance. She was a speaker at NBWA last year, discussing the increasing presence of electric vehicles.
Vehicle Program Challenges (6:23)
Of the beverage distributors surveyed, there are three big challenges associated with vehicle programs:
- The high cost of running a vehicle program
- The business risk of vehicle programs
- Maintaining IRS compliance
Other challenges mentioned include the administrative burden of running the program and inaccurate mileage.
Vehicle Program Options (9:12)
62% of beverage distributors surveyed are still using some sort of fleet program, providing company cars to employees.
In general, there’s three basic options:
- The company car option, or the fleet.
With this option, the company maintains a fleet of vehicles and the employee is given use of the car. The company is responsible for covering all the costs associated with maintaining the vehicle, such as maintenance, repairs and so on.
- The vehicle allowance option.
With this option, the employee drives a personal vehicle, and the company makes an estimate for the cost of maintaining and driving a vehicle. Then, the company provides a fixed “allowance” for the employee each month.
- The mileage reimbursement option.
In this option, you’re simply reimbursing employees based on the amount of miles they drive. This is typically a CPM (or cents-per-mile) program or FAVR (fixed and variable costs) program. There’s a set rate, such as the IRS reimbursement rate, that employees are reimbursed based on how many miles they log.
Which vehicle program is right for you? Get the guide:
FAVR Programs for Beverage Distributors (14:48)
More and more beverage distributors are switching to FAVR programs, and Caitlin and Kary zoom in on these programs to discuss why.
What is a FAVR program?
In the webinar, Kary and Caitlin discuss 4 main benefits of a FAVR program:
- A FAVR program is an IRS tax-free program.
- FAVR programs help companies reduce costs by paying employees only what they need for their cars and mileage.
- FAVR helps avoid over-reimbursing high-mileage drivers.
- FAVR is also fairer for employees, by providing a set stipend for those fixed costs, while also providing a variable reimbursement based on some of those costs that vary from month to month.
Why are beverage distributors switching to FAVR programs?
There’s a few main reasons why beverage distributors are leaning more and more towards FAVR programs, aside from the benefits listed above.
- FAVR programs allow beverage distributors to reduce costs while still being fair to drivers.
- FAVR programs give companies more control over their budget and spending, and are more flexible as variable costs change month-to-month, ensuring you’re not over-spending on your vehicle programs.
- FAVR programs increase fairness for employees and increase their freedom of choice.
Curious about a FAVR program could benefit your company?
Minimizing Risk for Vehicle Programs (23:30)
While over 60% of beverage distributors surveyed already used mileage logs to minimize risks, only 7% of beverage distributors surveyed used other means of risk management, such as auto insurance, driver’s licenses and MVR verifications.
When it comes to managing risk factors with vehicle programs, there’s four important categories to keep in mind:
- Checking driver’s licenses.
- Ensuring all drivers have up-to-date auto insurance.
- Doing MVR checks
- Keeping mileage logs for accountability
If you’re not currently managing these risk factors, or if you’re considering making a change to these vehicle programs, consider adding a compliance checklist to your vehicle program in the future. Even these small steps can make a huge difference in minimizing your risk.
Benefits of Mileage Logs for Beverage Distributors (29:29)
Of course, there’s a variety of ways to keep track of your employees mileage. You can use a pen-and-paper mileage log. You can have employees email their manager at the end of each day or week to submit logs.
Or you can use a modern technology or software to automatically track miles, such as Everlance.
Why keep mileage logs for your vehicle program?
Whether your reimbursement program is a FAVR reimbursement, a CPM reimbursement, vehicle allowance program, or even a company fleet program, it's important to make sure that you're keeping accurate mileage logs.
- If you have a company fleet: mileage logs are essential to be able to differentiate between personal use vs. business use on those vehicles.
- If you have a vehicle allowance: a mileage log offers accountability to allow you to substantiate the allowances you’re paying employees for their driving.
- For CPM and FAVR programs: with these, you’re reimbursing employees on a per-mile basis, so it’s essential to be able to understand exactly what mileage your employees drove.
Why should beverage distributors consider a mileage tracking software for mileage logs?
Tracking mileage via a mileage tracking software is really going to help save your company time, be more cost-effective, and give you greater accountability with your vehicle program. Automatic mileage tracking software uses GPS to calculate exact mileage and routes for trips logged.
In the webinar, Caitlin broke down a few reasons why mileage tracking software really helps with these:
- Accurate reimbursements
- Improves employee satisfaction and confidence
- Accurate logs help you control spend and improve cost-effectiveness
- Access to real-time data on your team
- Increased business intelligence and route optimization
- Lower administrative burdens
How to Decide if Everlance is Right for You (34:39)
When it comes to choosing a vehicle program, there’s a lot to consider. Caitlin shared a bit about how Everlance can make things easier for you as a beverage distributor.
What is Everlance Business?
Everlance Business is an end-to-end vehicle reimbursement provider. With Everlance, there are three main benefits, or services, that really support beverage distributors:
- Automatic tracking software and technology. With GPS tracking technology, we make keeping mileage logs easy and automatic, ensuring you can keep your reimbursement programs tax-free and save time with your reimbursement programs.
- Everlance helps you manage your reimbursement program and minimize your risk to your programs. This is generally through providing compliance checklists and helping you manage that all in one place, in the Everlance platform.
- Exceptional service. At Everlance, we really get to know each of our clients deeply to be able to understand your business and recommend what’s best for you. There’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all vehicle program for every beverage distributor, and our team is here to support you and serve as a consultant and data-provider to help you design a program that will be the highest return to you.
What services does Everlance offer for businesses?
- CPM reimbursement and general mileage reimbursement programs.
- FAVR programs
- Driver checkups and compliance checklists
- MVR and insurance verification
- Program management (in regards to compliance)
- Expense tracking
- All-in-one system for mileage reimbursement, vehicle programs and expense tracking
- Dedicated service and success managers to help manage your program and provide consulting
- Real-time helpdesk and support for any technical questions
Interested in learning more about Everlance for business?
Over 70% of beverage distributors surveyed had not made changes to their vehicle programs in the past five years, despite only 37% feeling mostly satisfied with their current program.
Curious how Everlance can help take your company to the next level?
Everlance helps beverage distributors track mileage accurately, ensure IRS compliance, save time and reduce vehicle program costs, even with changing industry landscapes.
Learn more about Everlance for business or schedule a call with our sales team today: