I’ll ask you the same question I ask fleet managers on a regular basis: Is safety important?  And, like those same fleet managers, I can almost guarantee that you would answer ‘yes’ to that question.  Who wouldn’t?  So, we’ll agree on that point.—safety is important.

But, now for my follow-up question: if it is important, what are you doing about it?

Safety is a core business value.  It should be managed.  Like so many things we do in our daily lives, safety is one of those things we often take for granted.  We think that it is simply a result of our choices versus something we can make purposeful.  In business, safety is normally only considered (and indirectly at that) when it’s time to renew a vehicle policy for example.

Safety is just not thought of as a “thing” that can be managed.  Yet many businesses—like the ones we serve—regard safety is a core business value.  It’s part of their service.  When fleet managers put their drivers, their vehicle assets and (more importantly) their customers or consumers out on the road, they feel some responsibility for what happens out there.

What’s amazing is how little they know about how safe their fleet really is out on the road.  It’s just not being managed.  The good news is that the tools and technology exists to help make it possible to manage safety.  Gathering vehicle performance data—speeding, sudden starts or stops, etc.—is easy work for embedded technologies.

However gathering the data is not ‘managing’ anything.  It’s simply recording.  Managing extends beyond the technology—to the people using it.

The telematics industry, as a whole, does itself a disservice to the market by limiting the discussion of its value-add to the technology alone (GPS, business intelligence, analytics, etc.) from which it can be hard to derive meaning.  The real impact that the technology can have is in helping fleet managers understand how safe they are and how to maintain or improve their fleet safety.  The data arms the fleet managers with decision points and helps prompt action items to drive toward increasing safety.

The noise created by messages focused only on technology distracts attention from what’s really important to the market—the idea that safety matters and technology can help monitor and improve it.

There are a host of other issues that come up before a company will invest in technology to help them manage it—who the right vendor is for them, etc.—but it all starts with the most basic concept—is safety important…?

Orion is a national provider of fleet telematics to the human services and insurance industries known for its unique approach to offering advanced insight and guidance to its customers on how to fully capitalize on the trends and opportunities captured by fleet data. For more information on Orion or its fleet telematics program, please visit www.orionfi.com.