Peak Performance Management is using its victory at the 2002 Fleet News Awards as a springboard to further develop its packages of interactive risk management software and driver training.
The company was named Best Risk Management Company at the awards, in a category sponsored by Vauxhall. Since then its main achievement has been reducing accident rates on one the UK's biggest fleets by a quarter.
PPM launched a traffic accident reduction programme in July 2001 for BT. This included various strategies such as online risk assessments and a driver of the year competition.
The programme was rolled out across BT's Network Field Operations division, which totals 5,500 liveried Ford panel or car-derived vans and 3,400 cars which are on employee contract schemes, or are driver owned.
The division suffered from a one in five incident rate and was costing BT about £7.5 million a year in direct repair costs and related expenditure.
PPM started up workshops and on-the-road driver training, and used its RoadRISK interactive programme to attempt to hit a target of a 50% reduction in incidents, repairs and associated costs by the end of September 2003. To date the collision rate has dropped by 25%.
PPM was set up in 1989 by James Sutherland to specialise in supplying the pharmaceutical industry with driver training and risk assessment. Its current clients in that sector include GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Roche Products and Leo Pharmaceuticals.
But the firm has expanded its remit in recent years and can now boast corporate clients including BT, HSBC, Orange, Agfa, Budgens and Air Products.
Judges at the Fleet News Awards said: 'Peak Performance fulfilled its commitment to provide an holistic approach to management. For a relatively small company it has invested heavily in comprehensive fleet risk assessment software and internet facilities that include an online driver risk assessment facility and fleet risk audit.
'It has also invested heavily in its management and operations personnel to provide the resource to help clients reduce their risk profile from both an accident and vehicle security perspective.
'Such an approach has helped Peak Performance Management develop significant relationships with insurer Groupama and with Peugeot to develop Peugeot Driver Solutions for the manufacturer's fleet customers.'
Research suggests about two-thirds of company vehicles are involved in a claim every year. The average cost of repairing a crash damaged vehicle is £700, and the total cost of that crash is anywhere between four and 32 times the 'bent metal' cost. PPM claims a company that has invested in driver training and risk management can expect a reduction in crash frequency of between 25% and 40%.
BT has its own driver training course, called Turning Point, which is based on PPM's All of a Sudden workshop and Behind the Wheel training course.
All drivers who join the BT division have to complete the online risk assessment developed by PPM. So far, a third of the 8,900 drivers have completed it, with the remainder aiming to be assessed by March.
And to extend the programme externally for families of drivers, PPM has put together a website with defensive driver and safety information, at www.arrive-alive.co.uk.
Programme leader Paul Sands said: 'The accident reduction programme has been warning about winning the hearts and minds of our drivers and setting a cultural change in the process – that all incidents and injuries are preventable.
'It has been a long process carried out with great enthusiasm and a huge amount of hard work and it is now starting to pay real dividends.'
Sutherland added: 'By tackling the issue of reducing road traffic accidents through a series of internal and external initiatives, BT's Network Field Operations division has reduced its accident costs by 25% – and seems set to achieve much more.'