Teletrac sits down with Curtis Savitz, Director of Sales, Western Region, to discuss the interesting dynamic between fleet vehicle tracking and loss prevention.
1. Please provide some insight into fleet theft: what are some of the most common ways people steal from fleet managers and owners?
People are generally honest unless given the opportunity. However, the psychology involved in employees stealing from a multi-million dollar conglomerate is different than pocketing from a fleet. At least in retail, 45% of theft is internal. For example, employees that steal from Best Buy may believe, “This is a huge company, I’m going to steal from them because they owe me.” In contrast, customers that steal from Best Buy are an emotional sell. They see the electronic pedestals at the store’s exit and immediately put the merchandise back. Again, this is because most customers steal based on emotion.
Driver theft is different. Fleet employees may simply think, “I’m going to spend an hour doing X or Y while on the job to help me pay for daughter’s day care,” or things such as that. Individually, it’s not big time. But multiply that by 50 vehicles, and that’s a huge number. And then when these employees go to their boss and ask, “Where’s my raise?” the boss can say, “You already spent it. You owe me.” I believe everything else for employers, such as a reduction in fuel and overtime, is simply an added benefit.
2. How do you explain the importance of loss prevention to fleet managers and owners?
I always present the ROI. It’s integral to promise potential customers a return on investment worth their time—because that promise is true with our product. While you can’t guarantee a concept, such as productivity, you can guarantee that a potential customer’s investment will be a smart one.
3. Speak a little about Fleet Director’s ability to prevent vehicle theft.
While it is impossible to guarantee that a vehicle will not get stolen, I used to say that if a vehicle moved during the wrong hours, the company would be notified (i.e. through the alerting feature) within 90 seconds of any unauthorized movement. This way, fleet companies could look directly on their cell phone (via the mobile app) and see what’s up.
I also spoke about how LoJack worked and how the police had to activate it—if they had time, they could help. Now you, (the customer) can be in charge and can actually call the police and say, “My truck is doing 75 mph down Highway 1 and just stopped at the Shell station. Will you please meet me at the truck?” or "Where are you going in my truck? The lake? Well then I better not see you at the fuel bin on Monday.“
4. Which Fleet Director feature do you find most useful?
The ability to accurately record timesheets is invaluable. It’s an immediate proof of service for hours operating. Fleet Director’s loss prevention features are also vital because they act as a strong deterrent—helping to deal with a problem immediately.