Why Putting Safety First Makes Business Sense for Service Fleets

Originally published in Fleet Management Weekly 3/6/2020

By Ed Dubens, CEO/ Founder of eDriving

Speed, efficiency and first-time fixes are high on the list of service fleet concerns, with customer service and satisfaction of critical importance. A proactive approach to maintenance plays a crucial role in helping service fleets ensure profitability, and sophisticated technologies are an integral component of this operation. Effective safety and risk management strategies if put together with these objectives in mind can help everything else fall into place in one focused approach!

A culture of excellence improves performance

There’s a great deal of evidence relating to the correlation between ‘culture’ and employee performance. For example, Gallup research estimates that actively disengaged workers alone cost the U.S. between $450 billion and $550 billion per year and that a culture of engagement can lead to up to 18 percent higher revenue per employee. Added to that, research reveals that absenteeism is 37 percent higher among disengaged workers (Harvard Business Review).

Workplace culture is the first thing any safety, risk, operations or transport manager should focus on. A culture of excellence, a safety culture, a crash-free culture® – whatever you want to call it – that’s the heart and soul of your company, and without one you’ll struggle to achieve your goals, whether they relate directly to safety or to efficiencies, customer service or financial ambitions.

Disengaged employees simply aren’t committed to achieving your goals. Yes, they show up and they might do a good enough job, but they’ll collect their pay checks and go home. Engaged employees on the other hand are motivated to meet or exceed expectations; they care about the company’s mission and their own performance. They want to do better, and they willingly take part in coaching or training as a way to help themselves, and the company, achieve more.

While every workplace culture looks different, a truly successful culture of excellence centers around safety, which has a knock-on effect of helping to reduce costs, reduce collisions, improve efficiencies and improve customer service. Because a service fleet that is safe is also a service fleet that has less wasted time dealing with incidents, less missing hours due to vehicle repairs or injuries, and can succeed at meeting targets and deadlines without comprising safety, customer service and the value of your brand.

Combining the best of telematics with the best of risk management

Many service fleets already use telematics and multiple tools to locate vehicles, manage worker activities and schedule work, all crucial activities involved in managing the service fleet. But, these doesn’t necessarily support the company culture. Smartphone-based technologies are filling the gap, enabling service fleet operators to enhance their existing telematics solutions with behavioral insights, linked specifically to the individual driver. In short, combining the best of telematics with the best of risk management.

Expanding the scope of service fleet management in this way not only enables the operator to identify how the company’s cultural messaging translates to behavior on the road, but data insights can also help identify drivers in need of further guidance, support and coaching to meet the company’s goals and expectations. Smartphone-based telematics technologies can also provide a tool for engaging drivers. Peer interaction – with a degree of competition – can be a really useful way of encouraging employees to want to do better. And using technology that provides instant feedback to the driver and enables cross-team messaging/ chats gives transparency and informality to a service fleet’s program. Recognizing driver improvements and even awarding prizes for top performers can help retain a focus on the mission and ensure everyone feels part of the culture of excellence.

Learnings from Ecolab, a company that used smartphones to create a crash-free culture

Ecolab, a company with 49,000+ employees that serves customers in 170+ locations, initially launched a pilot of eDriving’s Virtual Risk Manager and Mentor by eDriving programs in three regions, incorporating 500+ drivers. The program saw a statistically significant CPMM (Collisions Per Million Miles) reduction of 30 percent versus an increase in the non-pilot region, and was followed by a rollout to 12,000 drivers across the U.S. and Canada, where it has the most drivers and sees the greatest risk. In 2020 Ecolab is focusing on global expansion.

About eDriving’s smartphone solution for service fleets

Mentor TSP (Telematics Service Partner) is eDriving’s latest solution that provides users with an integrated performance management platform that combines their existing telematics programs with eDriving’s Virtual Risk Manager (VRM) risk reduction program and the award-winning Mentor by eDriving smartphone app. Mentor TSP collects and analyzes data on the driving behaviors most predictive of risk, including Acceleration, Braking, Cornering, Speeding, and Phone Distraction. Thanks to eDriving’s partnership with industry analytics leader FICO®, driver on-road performance is converted into an individual FICO® Safe Driving Score, which has been validated to predict the likelihood of a driver being involved in a collision.

Mentor TSP combines Mentor’s FICO® Safe Driving Score with a driver’s collision history, license violation history (MVR) and data from existing telematics solutions including seat belt usage, idling, reversing and fuel efficiency into ONE performance management platform for enhanced risk reduction and claims management opportunities. Mentor TSP also includes manager coaching, eLearning, license checking and FNOL (First Notice of Loss) reporting and tools.