So, your company invested in new technology? Congratulations!
Trucking companies and fleets are increasingly turning to technology solutions like fleet management software to identify inefficiencies within their organization – like cutting gas expenditures or optimizing maintenance – to make an impact on their business and improve the bottom line. But before your fleet can begin enjoying the benefits of technology, there are a few things to think about to prepare the entire fleet so tech can make the maximum impact within the organization.
Let everyone know what’s coming
This may seem obvious, but it’s a step that’s often skipped. Make all staff and stakeholders aware that you’re planning to install telematics solutions in vehicles. This way, drivers and operators have time to prepare for the change and ask any questions they have, and business leaders or management are in the loop about how this will affect operations. Be sure to emphasize what the benefits will be, as this increases buy-in. Letting staff know in advance of the installation will also allow everyone time to train so they can hit the ground running and will feel empowered to utilize the system to its fullest potential.
Have a candid conversation
All involved parties should be told exactly what the tool is, how it works and what the business is planning to do with the data it generates. From executives to safety managers and drivers, ensure that each employee understands how they will interact with the tech and what the expectations of use will be. Encourage drivers and operators to ask questions - even if they’re uncomfortable ones - and hold an information session to respond to any concerns. Creating an open dialogue will reassure everyone that you’re listening and taking their viewpoints seriously, while also letting you dispel any rumours and explain the benefits of GPS tracking technology for them.
Be specific about the goals
Explain exactly what data you’re capturing and what you hope to gain by it, whether you’re trying to reduce accident rates, streamline manual business processes or drive down costs by zeroing in on issues like fuel burn. This helps drivers understand that the technology isn’t being implemented as a punishment and clearly communicates the desired outcomes to management. For drivers and operators, highlight the importance of abiding by legislation, and the role they play in compliance. From a fleet manager or safety operator perspective, explain how the technology will affect their roles in both the short-term (with installation, onboarding and troubleshooting) and the long-term, with ongoing training and reporting on results. For fleet administrators, explain how fleet management software will improve the day-to-day process and data crunching by managing telematics information in a digital format, meaning less manual paperwork to process.
Build and reinforce trust
When you’re installing technology that monitors your drivers’ behavior, especially safety dashboard cameras, you’re likely to face complaints about invasion of privacy or a lack of trust. If your vehicles are also permitted to be used for private purposes, this will be of particular concern, so it’s important to explain when journeys will and won’t be tracked. At the administrative and management levels, take time to review and discuss specific driver concerns and prepare staff to manage feedback or questions. On the other side, reiterate what drivers and the organization stand to gain from technology, like improved safety, emphasizing that technology will show how well drivers are performing.
Get everyone involved
Once you’ve collected some data on your drivers’ performance, share relevant insights with employees on how they’re driving, and use it as the basis for personalized coaching and incentive programs. Putting a safety target in place will help them feel involved and invested in the company’s objectives, and you can use data to show how their actions are contributing to those goals. You could also try starting a competition among drivers with a reward for the safest driving. The incentive could be anything from monetary bonuses to extra time off to driving the newest vehicle in the fleet. For administrative staff, keep them in the loop on important insights and regular reporting on results of driver behavior. Be sure to communicate positive trends and pain points to let them know how drivers are performing. Keep management up-to-date with consistent check-ins and reporting on fleet-wide trends so they have insight into how technology solutions are impacting the business from a high-level.
When adopting any technology for your fleet, these steps will help your company prepare all members of the staff for the change to ultimately create a data-driven culture where everyone is invested in the results.
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