Over the last two weeks, my fellow bloggers, Kris Bush and Maggie Leark, have both talked about our driver scorecard called OneScore from the perspective of the driver and the fleet manager. This week, I’m going to lift the hood on OneScore a little more and give you a taste of where it’s headed.

With ever-rising operating costs, fleet managers are often on the lookout for savings and more efficiencies. The typical challenge revolves around the diminishing returns of going through the same variables repeatedly to no avail, with marginal returns. You can only squeeze a budget so hard before it starts to hurt!

Fleets are hungry for ways to increase productivity, reducing operating expenses and lessening downtime for drivers, that’s a fact. OneScore is here to help identify where these tough-to-find- opportunities may be hiding. OneScore is made up of three major buckets of data points – driver safety, efficiency and compliance, where each and every variable is scored against our aggregated internal benchmarks. This framework helps us have more intelligent discussions on what to focus the fleet on to unlock savings.

Our data-centric approach has proven that one of the most neglected fleet-cost villains is in fact the driver behavior itself, regardless of the size of the fleet.

OneScore today – Safety and Telematics

If we are not watching driving behavior carefully, it can easily have a negative impact on a company’s bottom line. Better understanding of key data points can help bring clarity to poor total cost of ownership (TCO), and bring to life agonizing trends and enable fleet managers to take action to stop the “bleeding.”

Many of us were awestruck by some of the figures shared by our telematics partner, Geotab, not too long ago. They said employers in the United States collectively pay $60 billion annually for motor vehicle crashes involving their employees in direct expenses – wow! The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that each fatal car crash averages a payout of $500,000. This loss can exceed $1,000,000, depending on the severity and legal outcome.

Sadly, it doesn’t end there. Poor driver behavior can also adversely impact the number of vehicle incidents, driver productivity, vehicle downtime and replacement. Poor driving can also increase fuel and maintenance costs by large percentages, hitting a fleet’s efficiency performance levels. As the saying goes, more is NOT always better. However, in this context, data abundancy bodes well with what we are trying do with OneScore.

Though the world at large is still getting used to the advanced features in today’s cars to keep people safe, more Adaptive Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) data points will bring additional opportunities to connect vehicle data with TCO. With advanced tech like lane and steering assist that beeps [loudly] every time you take your eyes off the road, or when there’s a car right in your blind spot, drivers can get real-time car feedback for corrective action, but so can fleet operators! With embedded technologies becoming more common, carmakers are collecting massive amounts of data from every make and model out there.

A whole bunch of data

It wasn’t too long ago, in the late 1990s, when the first vehicle tracking systems began to emerge with single client-server connectivity. But with the speed of technology advancements, telematics is a prevalent resource to gain insight from fleet drivers and the vehicles they are riding.

It’s not hard to gain access to a flood of historical and real-time data these days, but the challenge is how to adequately unpack these vehicle and driver data points while marrying them with other sources of information to make the effort worthwhile.

Connecting the dots – Let’s get some actionable insights… PLEASE!

It is with enthusiasm that we believe in the opportunity to promote fleet safety and greater fleet efficiencies through gaining a deeper appreciation of this daily “data-rich” alliance between drivers and their wheels. With the MyLeasePlan mobile app, we are gathering relevant connected and non-connected driver and vehicle data and weaving them into OneScore. This is unique in our industry. Some scorecards out there are still static reports – we think that’s just not good enough for the modern fleet.

With OneScore, we empower fleet drivers to be the best fleet driver they can be. Because we aggregate OneScore data from any departmental structure or organizational model our clients need, OneScore is also fleet branch friendly. It goes without saying the tool can be seen at an enterprise level, too. Our algorithm-based method tracks, scores and provides feedback to drivers and fleet managers on their performance – and it’s more than just safety data. OneScore cuts across performance indicators in three categories – safety, efficiency and compliance – and lets drivers and fleet operators know how they can be safer, more efficient, and in turn, reduce fleet costs.

The process of seamlessly joining all fleet activity into one easy-to-read score with the ability to drill down to see how drivers compare to their peers gives us an opportunity to better communicate with our drivers and determine focus areas.

A window into the future

At LeasePlan, we have taken the extra steps with our development teams to ensure our fleet analysis and data models are permeating into the business rather than nurturing siloed data sources. It is impossible to fully search the data points when you can’t work horizontally between different data sources.

Recently, my buddy Greg Buckland, LeasePlan USA’s CIO, and I spoke at an AFLA conference about “The Problem with Big Data” and how to turn information into a strategic asset. We discussed a rather healthy approach to “getting dirty” with big data. Talking from experience, we suggested the audience start small. Start by working out what you want to know first, then work out how you’re going to get the information. This approach has helped us continue to evolve OneScore into a consultative tool. By elevating fleet performance into a dynamic scoring mechanism, it enables a simple conversation about what matters the most for our clients.

As for what’s next – we will be taking OneScore from the responsive to the predictive. It will become not only a window into the present of your fleet, but somewhat of a crystal ball giving you insight into where your fleet’s performance is headed, and where to make improvements to change that trajectory!

If you’d like to learn more about our telematics, safety and OneScore solutions just contact us!

About the author

As executive vice president of transformation at LeasePlan USA, Smolka is leading the strategy to drive modernization and innovation across the U.S. subsidiary and launch the company further into its journey to deliver what’s next for fleet, mobility and connected vehicles. Smolka’s career has consistently revolved around digital transformation, developing cutting-edge technologies and leveraging the power of big data to create and deliver value. With a strong history of successes, Smolka is a proven leader poised to transform the fleet industry. Smolka has an MBA from Emory Goizueta Business School.

 

 

 

*LeasePlan is committed to ensuring we handle customer, business partner and employee data to a high and compliant standard. We were one of the first companies to introduce a set of binding privacy rules across the whole of our organization, and we have established a dedicated Privacy Office to make sure those rules are upheld. But this does not make us complacent. As technology develops and our use of data changes, LeasePlan is continuously working to improve our data protection policies, processes and systems.

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I want to start this blog with a short tale of my own UX (User Experience) superhero, the iPhone. The smart device that got everyone to do a “180″ and rethink UX in its essence. Is it time for the invincible superhero to grow up? Well, maybe, just maybe, some help from cars could be of use…

Imagine the scene as a young dad rushes into a Whole Foods store, on a sunny winter afternoon, in Georgia. In his hurry to grab this new high-end red blend and a gluten-free ham-and-swiss quiche, he has left his phone in his car – then, the two devices start to chat.

As the global market for smartphones has become besieged by devices of all shapes and sizes, a stressed post-pubescent iPhone talks with its older mobile device cousin, the car. They begin to discuss the challenges of reaching adulthood (yes – our automobiles are indeed centennial devices that are mobile… they come with wheels).

iPhone – “I am like a superhero, they said.”
Car – “You are …you are… aren’t you?”
iPhone – “I thought I was irreplaceable.”
Car – “Exactly…”
Car’s inner thoughts – “That’s funny… it’s like the 1970s for us. That poor young telephone, it’ll learn!”

Much like a frightened grown-up, the iPhone and its family of similar gadgets are facing a new stage in their lives. Almost everyone has one in their hands, and they don’t switch them as frequently as they once did before. But irreplaceability is still the case, isn’t it? We can’t substitute our smartphones because there’s nothing to change for. Smart devices need to believe that life doesn’t get dull when you get more responsibilities and different expectations.

iPhone Slowdown?
Last quarter, when Apple warned of cuts in revenue projection because of surprisingly sluggish sales of iPhones, mortals felt like their coronary arteries were getting blocked by an 18-wheeler. Suddenly, people had difficulty breathing. The news of declining sales sent shock waves to other players in the industry, like Samsung for example, and even usual supply chain comrades. But is the most successful device maker failing, or is it going through a life transition – are these devices just reaching maturity?

Humans around the world have chosen smartphones as their most inseparable piece of tech with about 4 billion of all 5.5 billion adults on earth having one (or two, or many) in their pockets. Jaw-breaking figures are often published for smart devices in every geography, like how many apps are downloaded every day or time spent on social media through these platforms. The point is: these devices are everywhere to be seen. People around the world hold more than 14.2 billion mobile devices according to market researcher, Gartner. From streaming, banking, gaming, chatting, etc… men, women, and children found meaning and applicability in carrying these things.

What would my “digital persona” say about me?
All previous UX boundaries have been broken by the smartphone ecosystem. These advances have played a significant role in how the [older] auto industry has found inspiration to ‘fuel-inject’ the passion back into their developers and designers to deliver unique driver and passenger experiences in cabins. The automotive industry is older than a century. Fleets of all kinds have been living in developed markets for a long stretch, where saturation is as common as long replacement cycles. In its most basic definition, market saturation is the state that emerges when the volume of a product or service has been maximized in a marketplace.

When it comes to in-vehicle UX, part of the OEM play here relies on building “digital personas” for drivers and occupants so that user’s preferences are captured, dissected and insights, then, provided. All the data gathered and the mining of analytics through ever-more-complex algorithms is aimed at connecting operators with their vehicles in more meaningful ways.

Substantial investments by automakers are flowing into designing mechanisms to allow drivers to engage with their cars (and be engaged) in touchless conversations with voice-enabled virtual assistants. By doing so, the hope is buyers will factor in the switching costs when considering another Automotive brand. Buyer: “I am kind of torn…this car knows me so well, and it took a while to get here… I will probably stick with my brand.”

Having learned much from decades of genuine development in mobile tech, OEMs have been inspired by smartphones to build and/or acquire new technology to deliver on the promise to make drivers and passengers’ daily routines more meaningful. The challenge has been how to adapt and adopt the schizophrenic one-year consumer electronics change cycle (let’s call it “CES ready.” Here we go, Vegas!) without giving up much of their heavy-labor margins to the electronics industry.

Superior UX is non-negotiable. Period.
“Cars” have always looked up to the “iPhone” (and its colossal universe of creative think designers, marketers and developers) to mimic what is now labeled as “minimum user expectation.” If you have a smartphone – and I am sure you do – and have taken an Uber before – you know what clean and compelling user experience is. Consciously or unconsciously, we demand superior user experience – frictionless, practical and easy. What is now regarded as the expected level of features has carried itself deeply onto how we choose our new vehicle purchases, too.

But can the “iPhone” get inspiration from a mature industry to get the depth needed and find meaning post-market congestion? As per BayStreet Research, iPhones were being replaced on average after two years in 2015, but that period has jumped to roughly three years now and is anticipated to increase. With increasing water resistance and stronger glass for its screens, smartphones are more resilient than they used to be, so that adds to keeping the device longer, too. The parallel with the Auto industry here is: the replacement cycles for smartphones have been lengthening as brand new models offer only minimal changes and improvements. This is logical when thinking about vehicle purchase cycles.

The Economist said the smartphone market slowdown doesn’t symbolize disenchantment, “quite the contrary…After a decade of rapid adoption, there is much less scope to sell handsets to first-time buyers as so few of them are left.”

iPhone – “People are keeping me longer.”
Car – “That’s a good sign, bud.”
iPhone – “I thought I was irreplaceable, and they will keep wanting me.”
Car – “Exactly… – I said that before.”

What can the iPhone learn from cars?
A large part of an OEM’s success comes from its vehicle’s trade-in value. Removing shortages from the equation, the highest resale value usually means a high perceived value for the brand. It depends on how desirable the vehicle is on the used car market. Automakers understand the importance of the second-hand market because the market can only take so many new vehicles a year (around 16 million in the United States alone). With that, more mature thoughts involve warranty services, performance, reputation and adaptability with green technologies such as over-the-air updates.

So, what is next for the “iPhone” and its alike gadgets? Will it consider how trade-in affects its future resolution? What can it learn from its (not so) distant mobile cousin? Will there be a time when the used market for iPhones will behave like the automotive sector? If it’s in excellent condition and has a clean history and few owners, is it more likely to be sold on the dealer’s used car lot for a good profit?

Who knows… change is undoubtedly coming fast, and that’s always exciting!

 

About the author

As executive vice president of transformation at LeasePlan USA, Smolka is leading the strategy to drive modernization and innovation across the U.S. subsidiary and launch the company further into its journey to deliver what’s next for fleet, mobility and connected vehicles. Smolka’s career has consistently revolved around digital transformation, developing cutting-edge technologies and leveraging the power of big data to create and deliver value. With a strong history of successes, Smolka is a proven leader poised to transform the fleet industry. Smolka has an MBA from Emory Goizueta Business School.

 

Sources:
• https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/05/technology/apple-iphone-replacement-mom.html
• https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/01/12/the-maturing-of-the-smartphone-industry-is-cause-for-celebration
• https://www.strategyand.pwc.com/trend/2017-automotive-industry-trends
• https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-13/how-global-smartphone-sales-growth-ground-to-a-halt-quicktake
• https://www.aaautowarranty.com/extended-car-warranties-increase-trade-in-value/

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