Improving Driver Behavior & Managing Repair Process

Vincent Brigidi

President & COO, The CEI Group

What are the biggest prob­lems that fleet man­agers are fac­ing right now with respect to col­li­sion, dam­age, risk –areas that CEI cov­ers so well?

There are sev­er­al things that are par­tic­u­lar­ly chal­leng­ing right now for our cus­tomers. The vehi­cle mix is num­ber one. A lot of our fleets are using small­er and lighter vehi­cles that are suf­fer­ing more dam­age in acci­dents than just a few years ago, when the most com­mon­ly used fleet vehi­cles were typ­i­cal­ly a lit­tle bit big­ger. Sec­ond, there are more plas­tic, car­bon fiber and exot­ic met­al com­po­nents that require replace­ment because they can­not be repaired. So the repair process has become much more com­plex. It real­ly does take a spe­cial­ist to under­stand that and to invest in the tech­nol­o­gy, exper­tise and train­ing to man­age the repair process well in our now more com­plex oper­at­ing envi­ron­ment.

Is it absolute­ly essen­tial that a fleet has to go out­side for resources for man­ag­ing their entire col­li­sion, dam­age and risk?

Yes, and we believe the need for spe­cial­ized exper­tise has been rec­og­nized by our direct cus­tomers and our leas­ing part­ners. They reached the point where they under­stood that if you don’t spe­cial­ize in acci­dent man­age­ment, and don’t han­dle $100 mil­lion in repairs a year, you can’t achieve the cost sav­ings and effi­cien­cies that com­pa­nies like CEI do. With­out that scale and focus, you can­not eas­i­ly invest in the kind of tech­nol­o­gy we have to make sense of large amounts of data and com­mu­ni­cate elec­tron­i­cal­ly with our repair net­work, nor can you effec­tive­ly gain the nec­es­sary expe­ri­ence with such a wide vari­ety of vehi­cles that gives you a leg up when you change your vehi­cle mix.

Safe­ty is real­ly key more than ever. What are the biggest chal­lenges that you see for fleets with respect to safe­ty?

One is data — there is so much more of it than there were just 5 or 10 years ago, when the cut­ting edge involved basic acci­dent data and MVRs (motor vehi­cle reports). Today, a good rule of thumb in fleet lia­bil­i­ty is, “You should have known what you could have known” about your dri­vers. Beyond the tra­di­tion­al types of data, there is much more avail­able today, like data from pub­lic dri­ver com­plaint ser­vices, traf­fic cam­eras and safe­ty pol­i­cy vio­la­tion data. It includes data that you can get from mobile devices and telem­at­ics data. All of this new tech­nol­o­gy gen­er­ates new and fresh data that comes into play in estab­lish­ing poten­tial fleet lia­bil­i­ty and expo­sure. It’s not enough for fleets to say they didn’t have the data, or they had it but didn’t ana­lyze it. To man­age risk prop­er­ly has become a much more com­plex task for our cus­tomers, but it’s absolute­ly vital for them to do it. And it’s about more than sav­ing mon­ey – it’s about sav­ing lives.

Behind the tech­nol­o­gy that CEI has devel­oped and deliv­ered, give us an overview of that and of the areas where  you have enhanced tech­nol­o­gy.

We have gone down the path of enhanc­ing our tech­nol­o­gy both in our acci­dent man­age­ment busi­ness and dri­ver safe­ty and fleet risk man­age­ment busi­ness. On the acci­dent man­age­ment side, we’ve been cre­at­ing new appli­ca­tions that make it eas­i­er to grab and see data from mul­ti­ple data bases in one place at the same time. We’ve also focused on mak­ing it eas­i­er to make sense out of the data, to spot trends and make the data action­able with enhanced dash­board met­ric dis­plays. A key to all of this is to make data for­mats and doc­u­men­ta­tion eas­i­er to manip­u­late and con­trol. We’ve just cre­at­ed an advanced doc­u­ment image man­age­ment appli­ca­tion in our Claim­sLink por­tal that we’re going to be rolling out to our cus­tomers in the near future.

Our dri­ver safe­ty prod­uct is Dri­ver­Care, which col­lects a num­ber of dif­fer­ent kinds of data, includ­ing acci­dent his­to­ry, Motor Vehi­cle Reports, traf­fic cam­era vio­la­tions and oth­ers. The goal is to change dri­ver behav­ior, and to sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase your chances of suc­cess, you have to share that data with all the stake­hold­ers through­out the orga­ni­za­tion who dri­ve change. That can be risk man­agers, fleet man­agers, HR, legal and each driver’s man­ag­er. Dri­ver­Care tech­nol­o­gy was recent­ly enhanced to give those stake­hold­ers one-click access to that data.

While tech­no­log­i­cal advances are key to improv­ing fleet safe­ty, at CEI we rec­og­nize that cor­po­rate cul­ture is just as impor­tant. For the tech­nol­o­gy to work, it has to take full advan­tage of each organization’s exist­ing cul­ture. You always want to push the enve­lope, to strive for bet­ter results, but if you are going to work against what you know is out there in your cul­ture, you’re going to be less suc­cess­ful than if you work with it. So CEI’s focus it to help our cus­tomers tai­lor our tech­nol­o­gy to fit their cul­ture instead of tai­lor­ing their cul­ture to fit our tech­nol­o­gy, while help­ing them make the broad-based improve­ments they are look­ing for over time.

So dri­ver behav­ior is real­ly, real­ly impor­tant to the extent that you have devel­oped a Dri­ver­Care myDriver­Center. How does that work? What is that process? I am a fleet man­ag­er, how do I take advan­tage of it?

myDriver­Center is the name for the new driver’s home page in Dri­ver­Care. The the­o­ry behind it is that dri­vers are much more like­ly to change their behav­ior when you show them their dri­ving his­to­ry in a way that is very pow­er­ful yet easy to access and digest. For one thing, it demon­strates that they’re on the radar screen, that the orga­ni­za­tion is aware of and mea­sur­ing their behav­ior, and reminds them that there are con­se­quences for that behav­ior, both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive. This is vital, because when employ­ees know that they’re being mon­i­tored and mea­sured against stan­dards that are impor­tant to the orga­ni­za­tion and their future with that orga­ni­za­tion, the chances of pos­i­tive­ly influ­enc­ing that behav­ior are great­ly increased.

My Dri­ver Cen­ter uses bold, intu­itive graph­ics, sim­i­lar to the kind you see on smart phones and tablet devices, to show every dri­ver their dri­ving his­to­ry and what it means. It focus­es on their risk rat­ing, and how that com­pares to the every oth­er dri­ver in the fleet. By click­ing on var­i­ous icons and dis­plays, dri­vers can also access all the details of their dri­ving record. They also can see a quick sum­ma­ry of the fleet’s risk rat­ing sys­tem, so they under­stand why they’ve been rat­ed the way they have, and what kinds of behav­ior can change that rat­ing.

Dri­ver­Care offers our cus­tomers the abil­i­ty to give access to dri­ver data on a select­ed basis, while pro­tect­ing dri­ver con­fi­den­tial­i­ty. So select­ed man­age­ment per­son­nel can see what the dri­ver sees, which is very impor­tant for secur­ing man­agers’ par­tic­i­pat­ing in chang­ing dri­ver behav­ior and improv­ing fleet safe­ty.

So it is a way of not only inform­ing the dri­ver and mak­ing the dri­ver aware of his or her behav­ior, but the com­pa­ny as well?


Do you pro­vide reports? How do you com­mu­ni­cate that back to the fleet? Do you have a dash­board?

We do have a dash­board for admin­is­tra­tors and man­agers. Line man­agers can only see data regard­ing dri­vers who report to them. To make it easy to access to the data, both for man­agers and dri­vers, we now offer sin­gle-sign-on capa­bil­i­ties into Dri­ver­Care. What that means is that you can access Dri­ver­Care just by using your login infor­ma­tion for your organization’s Intranet, instead of hav­ing to remem­ber sep­a­rate Dri­ver­Care log-in infor­ma­tion. Once you’re logged on to your company’s Intranet, you can nav­i­gate seam­less­ly to Dri­ver­Care, with no addi­tion­al user ID and pass­words. So far, we have nine fleet cus­tomers who use this fea­ture and are doing so with great suc­cess includ­ing increased com­pli­ance.

What might be typ­i­cal pro­file of one of your clients?

Our cus­tomers are fleets and fleet man­age­ment com­pa­nies who rec­og­nize that acci­dent man­age­ment and fleet safe­ty are not their core com­pe­ten­cies and want the best solu­tions.  They want a sup­pli­er who invests in the lat­est tech­nol­o­gy and is always stay­ing ahead of the mar­ket­place.  But that must be com­bined with a high lev­el of cus­tomer ser­vice, because when a call comes in from a dri­ver who’s just had an acci­dent, that’s the moment of truth. That’s why we pro­vide true 24/7/365 cov­er­age with calls answered by a spe­cial­ist who is trained and expe­ri­enced and capa­ble of deal­ing imme­di­ate­ly with their prob­lems. You can have all the tech­nol­o­gy in the world, but if you can­not deliv­er at the moment of truth, you can­not suc­ceed for your cus­tomer.  So we focus on suc­cess through both peo­ple and tech­nol­o­gy.


Vin­cent Brigi­di is pres­i­dent and chief oper­at­ing offi­cer of the CEI Group, Inc., a provider of fleet acci­dent man­age­ment, risk man­age­ment and the dri­ver safe­ty solu­tion, Dri­ver­Care, which has over 100,000 fleet dri­vers sub­scribed across North Amer­i­ca.  Vin­cent first joined CEI in 1994 and has been respon­si­ble for var­i­ous depart­ments through­out the orga­ni­za­tion.  He now has over­all respon­si­bil­i­ty for the com­mer­cial and oper­a­tional func­tions, as well as the strate­gic direc­tion of the orga­ni­za­tion includ­ing prod­uct devel­op­ment.  A grad­u­ate of James Madi­son Uni­ver­si­ty, Vin­cent is a mem­ber of the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Fleet Admin­is­tra­tors and the Amer­i­can Fleet & Leas­ing Asso­ci­a­tion.




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