Fleet Data Insight (FDI), the collaborative industry group, is urging fleet managers to use data already at their disposal to help improve driver behaviour.
The group has released its latest best practice guide following a meeting of 40 members, including founder TomTom Telematics, consultants and a range of fleet operators – Sainsbury’s, Office Depot, National Grid, Fife Council and Waitrose. The meeting was led independently by consultancy service Real World Strategy.
Mike Rayner, a Forever Fleet manager, who is now a consultant for TomTom Telematics and director of Turris, urged fleets to prioritise what they’re looking to improve as a starting point.
He said: “There are a number of data sources a company can use and the best way is to split them down into technical and non-technical sources. That way a fleet can actually start to develop the existing process they have in place and work out whether they need to go further.
“The issue you have with data sources is that there are so many. The key thing is to prioritise which sources you want to use, when and where as part of an overall improvement programme.”
The guide includes a table to help fleets pick through what data they may be able to gather without having to invest in new technology, as well as what data would need additional investment. This is then broken down across fleet type (car, LCV, HGV, grey fleet).
The long-term goals for fleets looking to overhaul their driver behaviour strategy are improvements in safety and reductions in fuel, fines, maintenance and insurance costs.
Rayner said: “A large range of data is readily available to all fleets, from the volume and cost of fixed penalty notices to MOT and vehicle service reports.
“The most comprehensive approach could draw on telematics data, measuring everything from excessive acceleration and braking to harsh steering. Driver profiles can be created and maintained that form the basis of an over-arching driver performance programme.”
The full report is available for free to members that sign up to be part of the FDI group, which is also free. It is the second report the organisation has published, following its risk management best practice guide earlier this year.
Each of the members attending the driver behaviour day helped to brainstorm what would be included in the guide, including chapters on how to set clear objectives, changing the culture within a business, analysing data, communicating with drivers, recognising improvements and coaching.
Videos were also recorded during the meeting to be uploaded into the report and FDI’s YouTube channel, interviewing those involved in putting the report together.
“We put this group together just over a year ago as there was a realisation that there are large amounts of fleet data available to businesses and it is becoming overwhelming,” said Rayner.
“Most fleets don’t have the resources to do anything with it and so are just ignoring what it can tell them.”
The organisation was founded by TomTom Telematics after it approached Rayner about engaging with fleets, but “not in a sales environment”.
The group has three key partners: Zurich Risk Engineering, Freight Transport Association and Energy Saving Trust.
The main goal of the group is to get like-minded people in the fleet industry together to help discuss and talk through issues they have in their business, which is also done online with FDI’s ‘Fleet Geek’ forum.
This produces two best practice guides a year, chosen and developed by the community.
Rayner said: “We have 200 members that have signed up and downloaded a guide, but it is constantly growing. Members in the community will drive what the next best practice guide topic will be.”