I’ve read the book by #StephenRCovey : The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and, personal opinion: great book guys!
This book planted a seed on me to research and write about something similar, something that could enrich you guys and your Fleet Businesses. So, I came up with the 4 habits of highly effective fleet companies. Most of us want to be better, and want our people and business to be better… I hope you enjoy.
Highly Effective Fleet Company – HABIT ONE. Safety & Documentation.
*HEFC for short.
A delicate topic that does not get the thorough focus and investment it deserves… until the Sh*t hits the fan! #FleetSafety
More than ever the world is trying desperately to get our attention: Via social media on our smartphones, this is #1 distractor while driving. As well as all the other common road distractions/objects: other vehicles, pedestrians, weather, traffic signs, & more. Among, many other events that could at any given time, put a company in harms way. With these real distractions and unforeseen situations, HEFC’s practice safety often.
Almost everything works like a muscle. Effective fleet companies workout the safety muscle, regularly!
They have regular meetings about safety, they bring in advisors, consultants, they educate themselves on changing technology and implement new safety practices and technology at the right time and strive to keep present and not fall behind. They discuss safety scenarios and technology, basically a little bit of safety R&D, and act on their safety decisions.
HEFC with safety technology. The cost of technology such as a recording system in&out driving cab, a hands-free device, a driver behavior monitoring application, may seem expensive, but way cheaper than an accident.
There are hundreds of companies out there that sell the technology described above. Without any affiliation to them, I am sending this shout-out to www.roscovision.com #roscovision – We’ve heard very positive things, such as that their devices are used by most school buses in the USA.
Lastly, the act of documenting will operate as the ‘metal alloy’ assuring a good safety performance of your company before and after an incident. It will take effort and time to create an efficient and well-documented safety program, but in the case of an incident you’ll be happy that you put in the time.
Highly Effective Fleet Company – HABIT TWO. Maintenance.
Pro-Active vs. Reactive.
How do HEFC’s create #FleetMaintenance programs that stick? That remain? That are simple to follow and do work? They need to be Simple, and very Easy to manage, and with *checks and balances.
There are so many tools (cloud tools and software tools) that integrate with MS Outlook, MS Excel, or with your existing fleet management software that will help your company create a stress free, easy implementation, memory free system.
And like habit #1 above: the cost, the program creation, the effort, and the implantation will be an Economical Investment vs. The cost of a new transmission, a new engine, or dealing with the bureaucracy and inefficient time spent of insurance claims, plus the down time of your units.
So, why *checks and balances? Majority of times honest mistakes happen, and a mechanical part or maintenance procedure may be overlooked; however, if you have a checks and balances system: What one person (or team) might have overlooked, the other one should detect. This is the same principle as #ISO quality principles or #sixsigma systems.
Highly Effective Fleet Company – HABIT THREE. GPS/E-LOG.
Majority of fleet companies out there have a GPS/E-log service provider. What separates the standard from a Highly Effective Fleet Company? The effort to truly understand their provider and the available tools and the implementation of them. That’s the difference!
One thing I recommend is get one provider that serves the two purposes. GPS + ELOG. It will be easier for your company to efficiently learn and use one cloud portal vs. two of them.
Make sure it is approved by the #FMCSA, and that it maintains the approval status.
Please check periodically the ELD FMCSA web site for current providers and revoked ones:
These are the Key things highly effective companies look for in a provider:
- Easy, Stress Free, Flexible Installation Process
- Maintenance and/or Replacement of Units, Cost and Response Time
- No Downtime (very important)
- Customer Service
- Two in One (ELD + GPS)
- Monthly Cost (of course)
- An open SDK. Software Developer Kit. (to help integrate with other vendors such as your fuel vendor, maintenance software, etc…)
- And many look for the FMCSA approval
And as I said a few paragraphs above, HEFC’s get the juice out of it: (and they drink it!)
So they set program ‘Tolerances and Exceptions’ Specific to their company operation and fleet type:
- Speed, Harsh Accelerations, Harsh Breaking
- Combine with your Maintenance Program
- Integrate with your Fuel Card Provider for additional security, better reporting, I naturally recommend: energiefuel.com #energiefuel
- Create your companies Critical Numbers, Measure and Improve.
Like habit #1, we are not affiliated but we like them a lot!, #LakeviewPetroleum uses them on our fuel delivery trucks, plus this company is on top of their game with anything related to #telematics #fleetanalytics, they are a global leader on IoT and connected transportation.
A shout-out to www.geotab.com #geotab – Congrats on being awarded the world’s largest telematics contract.
Highly Effective Fleet Company – HABIT FOUR. Positive Management.
I was going to use the beaten word ‘culture’, but it is so beaten! – So, I went for Positive Management.
Positive management is not easy as by default our brains are wired to detect weaknesses, to point out negatives, all with the desire of correcting and improving. What do HEFC’s do differently? When dealing with fellow co-workers, with a work team, or with business associates, they apply #emotionalintelligence #EQ. They are thoughtful and make an effort to understand the WHY? the supporting decisions and actions.
They analyze if the person has been given the opportunity to learn their craft? Have they been offered the opportunity to train? Do they feel personally valued apart from profits? On the person side, does he or she show a genuine interest by being inquisitive and outreaching to learn and grow? Do they like to help?
These are important questions because they go deep and up the company ladder. Many times working people don’t react positively because they are somewhat lost as to why* the work? (of course, taking this further than the basic need of money to financially survive). But, If the company provides an easy to understand objective/vision, then the people that form part of the company should be able to *develop:
- Common Purpose. Team effort, Cross Training, Strengths Detection.
- Family at Work, Protection, Loyalty.
- Positive Focus. Assume Positively, Build Trust, Provide Solutions.
Consequently, it’ll become easier for everyone to strive towards Your Company’s Vision. *Develop is an operating word because although it goes up the company ladder, the development part starts with YOU.
This reminds me of the famous JFK quote “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Same thing, but it is about what You can do for your Company.
HEFC’s use simple and easy words to communicate the company’s vision/objective. People will have the ability to see what the business leader sees and focus on the positive.
HEFC’s don’t pay too much attention to the HOW TO and expect more ‘a responsibly ACCOMPLISHED Task’. Meaning: delegation and trust, full trust. They let people do and responsibly decide towards accomplishing the desired objective within their area of management, and don’t focus on the how they accomplished the task, if it is accomplished within a responsible time frame and with good quality. (Communication and Service)
HEFC’s tactfully PRAISE in PUBLIC and criticize in private. And yes, they make sure to document the negative, but keep the documentation Positive by explaining accountability… How did that negative behavior impact the team? the outcome? the company? They are creative and implement systems to avoid failures.
HEFC’s INCENTIVIZE good work with: Money (Bonus), Time (Vacation), Growth (Education), and again, they let the good news be known!
Practicing Positive Management will result in people that react positively to change, it will promote adaptation, it will motivate to provide solutions (vs. complaining), it will help with retention, it will bring out the leaders inside of everyone, it will result in awesome customer service, it will reduce sick days, it will eventually reduce negative stress. That’s why Positive Management is a #HIGHLYEFFECTIVEHABIT.
Influenced by @SimonSinek.
*ps: Just as we are wired to detect negatives, we are also wired To Be and Work in Teams!
Thank you. CH.