Sales fleets in Canada lag significantly behind service fleets when it comes to telematics adoption. The fleet management experts at Wheels Canada share some strategies sales fleet operators can employ to overcome objections to employing this powerful tool.

Canadian fleet operators continue to place cost control and cost reduction as top outcomes. Using telematics is one way to tackle the “ final frontier” of optimal fleet management. Service fleets are increasingly employing this powerful tool, yet Canadian sales fleets are considerably behind the curve. Sara Sweeney, Senior Product Manager and Bob Clark, Manager of telematics, Violations and Toll Management for Wheels look at why and offer some sage advice on how sales fleets can put telematics to work for them.

CAF: What are the most common objections to telematics adoption among sales fleets?

Sara: The most commonly cited concern we hear is around privacy. Sales fleet drivers feel more ownership for their vehicles – despite the fact that they have no more of an owner- ship claim over them than their service fleet counterparts. With that sense of ownership comes the expectation that the vehicle is theirs and they can do what they want with it. Since most service fleets are not assigned the same vehicle day in and day out, we and this barrier is much less frequently encountered. Service fleet drivers already know they’re “being watched” since they’re driving in logoed vehicles with decals on the side announcing what company they work for.

Bob: Visibility into personal use vehicle activity. Both from the driver and from their management. There is some concern about misinterpretation of data based on vehicle location. Also, some drivers do not want their home address visible to others.

CAF: What advantages can telematics adoption provide to sales fleets as opposed to service fleets.

Bob: Visibility and reporting related to customer visit activity, frequency and duration. This is

especially helpful when looking at product visibility, customer service & support, cost per customer & vehicle type review. Sales territory management. Asset and staff utilization. Personal use kilometres and other expenses.

Sara: A CRM tool combined with telematics data can ensure you’re visiting your best customers at the right frequency. Monitoring personal usage more closely – looking at weekend and off-hours driving – can help validate your personal use contribution.

CAF: What is the average/typical ROI period for a sales fleet adopting a telematics solution.

Sara: If considering telematics as a means to preventing accidents, it’s certainly a possibility to achieve a positive ROI within the 1st year when you considering the cost of a collision that results in an injury. Avoiding just 1 accident like that can cover the program cost – and then some.

Bob: It is dependent upon many inputs; company fleet policy, policy adherence, established, meaningful and manageable goals for the program, corporate alignment to fleet goals, data utilization, driver feedback & coaching and % of fleet committed to telematics.

CAF: Canadian privacy concerns are an impediment to telematics adoption. How is this objection overcome.

Sara: The key is laying out a clear policy around the telematics program. It should out- line what data is being collected and how it is being used in service to the employee. It should also be clear who will have access to the data and what they’ll be doing with it. The policy should be reviewed regularly and all changes should be communicated to the employee.

Bob: Provider and client design a program which delivers meaningful and actionable data and operates within the requirements set forth by the ministry.

CAF: Fleet drivers can be resistant to change. What is the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) factor that would encourage them to accept a telematics solution.

Sara: At the end of the day, drivers want the confidence that the solution won’t negatively impact them. This goes back to the clearly spelling out the policy on how the data will be used. This isn’t about monitoring their whereabouts – no one is going to watch thou- sands of vehicles oat on a map all day. This is about identifying opportunities to help the employee be the most efficient they can be and remove impediments to their day that the company may not be aware of. And at the end of the day – no pun intended – this is about ensuring employees get home safely to their families at the end of each workday.

Bob: Clearly communicate the program intent and its goals. Be upfront about why the pro- gram is being used. Provide a positive, not punitive program. Recognize and reward the desired behaviour and commit to limit the visibility of data to only HR. CAF


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