By David Rodriguez, chief marketing officer at GreenRoad
A lot has changed in the transportation industry since the introduction of telematics and GPS tracking in 2001. While these early hardware models were expensive and provided little ROI for fleets, advancements in cloud and connected vehicle technology made real-time reporting a reality by 2010. Today, all of this can be delivered to drivers’ mobile phones.
What our industry defines as “fleets” has changed greatly in that time as well. Omnipresent connectivity has made it possible for companies like Uber to exist, while also giving rise to a more mobile workforce. While companies may be experiencing a boost in organizational efficiency, this rapidly growing number of mobile workers also brings an increased risk for organizations who don’t proactively focus on driver safety.
Both traditional fleets and organizations with mobile workers are beginning to realize the immense cost-saving and life-saving opportunities technology can provide. I witnessed their interest and enthusiasm first hand while speaking at the Artex Customer Conference in February, where 300+ attendees gathered to learn about the latest tools to sustainably reduce organizational risk and spending. Artex provides insurance and alternative risk transfer solutions, often recommending GreenRoad’s driver safety technology to customers that are experiencing high rates of vehicular accidents or are looking to improve the overall performance of their fleets and drivers. These attendees, made up mostly of fleet owners, represent some of the largest warehouse, logistics, beverage distributors, food distributors and OTR trucking companies from around the U.S..
My presentation discussed how connected vehicles can improve organizational efficiency and highlighted smart mobility advancements that can help companies boost employee safety while on the road. Other conference presenters also shared best practices for reducing the number one risk for fleets: accidents.
Fleets have long recognized the obvious costs of accidents, ranging from $15,000 to half a million dollars in repairs for one accident alone. Accidents also cause an average of 12 days of employee absenteeism per year due to injuries. Considering one in five fleet vehicles are involved in a crash each year, this adds up quickly to an estimated $10 million in annual direct costs and 100,000 customers impacted, as well as irreversible brand damage.
But what many fleets didn’t realize until recently is that driver safety affects the bottom line in other less obvious ways. Organizations that implement driver safety programs spend 25% less on insurance and up to 30% less on fuel costs, resulting in a sustainable 5% increase in their operating margins. They may also see a boost in employee well-being and overall retention rates.
By providing visibility into not only real-time fleet locations and statuses, but individual driver actions as well, GreenRoad gives fleets with extensive insight into behavioral, contextual, and diagnostic data for a comprehensive picture of how their organization is performing as a whole. As fleets learn more about how they can make routes more efficient, stay ahead of vehicle maintenance, improve driver safety, and save fuel, they can hone their logistics strategy and team over time for a consistent increase in productivity and savings.
The response from conference attendees during my presentation was overwhelmingly positive. Engaged audience members eagerly shared their own perspectives on how they have seen a reduction in their overall risk since striving for safer fleets. Many attendees asked thoughtful questions regarding the cost, implementation and results of GreenRoad’s smart mobility solution. They were surprised to learn how affordable our mobile solution is, as well as how easy it is to roll out and start using.
It was inspiring to see how concerned, engrossed, and dedicated these leading fleet owners are to improving driver safety. Fleets are taking driver safety and employee health seriously, and for more reasons than improving their bottom line.
Most importantly, the industry as a whole is experiencing the tangible results driver safety programs provide for their organizations. And with those results, they’re only becoming more committed to educating themselves and continuing to support programs that keep their fleet employees safer, healthier, and happier.