How to Drive Down Your Accident Costs

Ryan Dicken

Regional Sales Manager, The CEI Group

Ryan, what is CEI’s focus right now?

CEI’s focus right now is extend­ing our tech­nol­o­gy to increase our cus­tomers’ ben­e­fits while decreas­ing their spend. One of the most com­mon things we’re hear­ing from fleets is they need to spend less on their oper­a­tions and still get more done and bet­ter results. We’re doing that by mak­ing it eas­i­er for fleets and their dri­vers to access our sys­tems and get mean­ing­ful infor­ma­tion. One way is to present more use­ful infor­ma­tion on our dash­boards. Anoth­er is to allow admin­is­tra­tors and dri­vers to log into our appli­ca­tions faster by using their own com­pa­ny inter­net.

What does this do for them?

We’ve worked with our cus­tomers to cap­i­tal­ize on sin­gle sign-on tech­nol­o­gy. Instead of mak­ing our users go through a sep­a­rate sign-on rou­tine to reach CEI’s online pro­grams, sin­gle sign-on allows them to access us direct­ly from their own intranet. They just log into their own intranet, and they can nav­i­gate from there right to our ser­vices. That means there’s one less set of IDs and pass­words to remem­ber, and nev­er any need for our cus­tomers or their dri­vers to retrieve or reset their infor­ma­tion to reach us. Because it’s eas­i­er and faster to look up dri­ver data or to autho­rize MVR reports, we have seen increased com­pli­ance and improved use of our appli­ca­tions, espe­cial­ly by dri­vers.

Will the dri­vers be able to see how they are ranked against oth­er dri­vers?

Yes. That’s the first thing dri­vers will see when they go to their Dri­ver­Care myDriver­Center page. And we think it’s crit­i­cal for dri­vers to have this kind of infor­ma­tion right in front of their eyes, because it focus­es their atten­tion on improv­ing their rat­ing by improv­ing their dri­ving behav­ior. If they can see them­selves in risk lev­el three and among the more risky dri­vers in the fleet, they know that their man­age­ment is see­ing the same thing, so they start to real­ize they need to be a more cau­tious behind the wheel.

Do you have any exam­ples of where this has been effec­tive with your clients?

With Dri­ver­Care Risk Man­ag­er – our pre­mier fleet risk man­age­ment and safe­ty ser­vice – we’ve seen fleet acci­dent rates drop with some of our clients by as much as 40 per­cent, and actu­al­ly sus­tain that reduc­tion. The best part of all of that is that Dri­ver­Care is extreme­ly cost-effec­tive. It’s not very expen­sive to begin with, and the sav­ings from the reduced costs of acci­dents are so dra­mat­ic that there is a tremen­dous return on invest­ment.

A word that I’m hear­ing much more fre­quent­ly from our prospec­tive clients and even our cur­rent cus­tomers is, “unbun­dle.” CEI offers acci­dent man­age­ment ser­vices as well as fleet risk man­age­ment and safe­ty ser­vices. Over the last 10 to 15 years, there has been a trend for fleets to want to buy those ser­vices from one sup­pli­er, who bun­dles them with oth­er fleet ser­vices, like leas­ing and main­te­nance. The con­cept was that they thought it would be less cost­ly to man­age just one rela­tion­ship and write just one check for all of those dif­fer­ent ser­vices.

Now, we’re see­ing more fleets look­ing to back away from that con­cept, think­ing maybe that isn’t the right way to go. The rea­son is that these dif­fer­ent types of ser­vices rely on dif­fer­ent core com­pe­ten­cies: just because you offer a flex­i­ble leas­ing plan or a good main­te­nance pro­gram doesn’t mean you deliv­er the best acci­dent man­age­ment or dri­ver safe­ty ser­vices. And when those ser­vices are bun­dled, it can be hard to deter­mine what you’re get­ting for what you pay. So we’re now respond­ing to more requests for help from both our exist­ing cus­tomers and prospects to break the num­bers down and see whether bundling is actu­al­ly deliv­er­ing the best results, and whether unbundling can give them bet­ter results.

Hav­ing said that, we do have some great leas­ing com­pa­nies as part­ners, and in our opin­ion, their fleet cus­tomers are get­ting the best of both worlds.

Let’s talk about sub­ro­ga­tion.

A lot of prospec­tive cus­tomers are reach­ing out and just sim­ply ask­ing about sub­ro­ga­tion. They are not con­fi­dent that their cur­rent provider is gen­er­at­ing a high enough return from liable third par­ty dri­vers. They are say­ing, “Please use your exper­tise and tech­nol­o­gy to help us get our mon­ey back.”

Our sub­ro­ga­tion team real­ly is sec­ond to none. I have spent time on the FMC side, and now com­ing over to the acci­dent man­age­ment side, I can say that, in my opin­ion, CEI has the best sub­ro team in the indus­try. We have actu­al­ly helped cre­ate a tool that inter­acts with some of the largest insur­ance com­pa­nies for faster set­tle­ment and recov­ery of sub­ro­ga­tion claims. So, when we are pur­su­ing sub­ro­ga­tion, instead of it tak­ing nine­ty to 120 days to recov­er, we are see­ing sub­ro­ga­tion pay­outs in less than 60 days from the time we send the claim.

What are some of the oth­er things that you do that saves the client mon­ey?

Effec­tive use of online dri­ver safe­ty train­ing. One of the biggest ques­tions fleets ask today is how can we train our dri­vers, we need to do more train­ing but we do not want to incur an exor­bi­tant expense. With our Dri­ver­Care Risk Man­ag­er sys­tem, we offer unlim­it­ed access to our online train­ing mod­ules, both for pre­ven­tive and reme­di­al train­ing. Our train­ing is part of our Dri­ver­Care Risk Man­ag­er ser­vice that has cut acci­dent rates by 20 to 40 per­cent for our clients. With a few fleets, that’s meant sav­ings in the mil­lions of dol­lars over a five-year peri­od.

Do you help clients devel­op a safe­ty pol­i­cy?

Most clients already have safe­ty poli­cies, but some do not. For those com­pa­nies that do not have a safe­ty pol­i­cy, we will absolute­ly assist them in devel­op­ing one. What we have done is built a pro­pri­etary Safe­ty Pol­i­cy Matrix, based on an analy­sis of all our cus­tomers’ fleet safe­ty poli­cies. It is a kind of cat­a­log of the approach­es to key fleet safe­ty issues our cus­tomers have tak­en, while keep­ing the iden­ti­ty of those fleets con­fi­den­tial. This enables us to help our clients expand or mod­i­fy their poli­cies as new safe­ty chal­lenges arise, like the use of mobile devices and how oth­er fleets address those issues.

Anoth­er aspect of Dri­ver­Care Risk Man­ag­er includes build­ing a cus­tomized online mod­ule of their safe­ty pol­i­cy and mak­ing it a key part of their safe­ty pro­gram. The mod­ules come with a test, and cap­tures­drivers’ scores with an acknowl­edge­ment to abide by the terms of the pol­i­cy. When we bring on a new Dri­ver­Care Risk Man­ag­er client, that is one of the first aspects of the pro­gram their dri­vers see.

What is going on with safe­ty poli­cies with respect to dis­tract­ed dri­ving?

Every fleet we know of is restrict­ing cell phone use and tex­ting in some way or anoth­er. Very few of them, if any, allow dri­vers to use a hand-held device while dri­ving, and some spec­i­fy hands-free use or use of a hand-held device from the car only if it’s parked. There are some clients that don’t allow dri­vers to use any mobile com­mu­ni­ca­tion devices from inside the car at all, even if it’s parked.

Com­pa­nies that allow tex­ting from behind the wheel are leav­ing them­selves open for huge law­suits, aren’t they?

Yes, and that expo­sure is one of the things I talk about when I meet with prospec­tive cus­tomers. Some com­pa­nies haven’t focused specif­i­cal­ly on that risk, but it only takes one inci­dent to expose you to a mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar lia­bil­i­ty. It only takes one cat­a­stroph­ic event to do sig­nif­i­cant, if not irrepara­ble dam­age to a company’s image and brand, not to men­tion their bot­tom line.

What are the some of the most safe­ty-con­scious fleets doing?

We’re see­ing some of them run­ning their MVRs more fre­quent­ly than on an annu­al basis. Some clients are even run­ning their MVRs four times a year, once every quar­ter. They are also effec­tive­ly cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the bundling of acci­dent man­age­ment and oth­er data inputs (such as MVRs, traf­fic cam­eras, etc.) with­in our Dri­ver­Care Risk Man­age­ment sys­tem. The sec­ond that an acci­dent or oth­er event occurs, the dri­ver is imme­di­ate­ly sent an email assign­ing them one or more reme­di­al train­ing lessons to com­plete by a cer­tain date. The fleets who employ these com­pre­hen­sive prac­tices achieve the most sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tions in their acci­dent rates.


Ryan Dick­en, Region­al Sales Man­ag­er, The CEI Group Inc. has been in the Fleet Indus­try for over 11 years spend­ing 10+ years on the Fleet Man­age­ment Com­pa­ny side of the busi­ness. Ryan moved to The CEI Group in Feb­ru­ary of 2012 han­dling the Mid-West. Ryan is an avid golfer and a mem­ber of both NAFA and AFLA, resid­ing in Lake in the Hills, IL with his wife and two chil­dren.



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