When it comes to fleet management, good safety = good business

February 16, 2024

Martin Bain

Senior Director, Sales EMEA


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There are plenty of reasons why fleets invest in Samsara’s connected operations platform. It could be to improve their operational efficiency. Reduce costs. Improve productivity. Or manage the transition to EVs. 

For many, though, the real penny-dropping moment comes when we talk about safety. 

Using a combination of real-time data and video footage — often captured from fleets as part of a trial or pilot —  we’re able to show boards and senior business leaders exactly what’s happening behind the wheels of their vehicles.

For many, this is the first time they’ve seen the true extent of driver behaviour. And to put it mildly, many are shocked when they see footage of people using their mobile phones, for example, and not paying attention while driving. 

It’s a sobering thought — not least because, up until this moment, many are unaware that this behaviour exists within their business. They may have their suspicions, but to be confronted with evidence is a real eye-opener. 

Technology provides valuable insights to tackle risk head-on

Let’s be clear — bad driving is bad for business. The increased risk caused by such behaviour has a knock-on effect across the whole business in terms of increased costs associated with avoidable accidents, more frequent maintenance, and higher insurance premiums. 

There are also reputational risks associated with businesses that have a less than satisfactory safety record. Tarnished records can damage future growth with customers unwilling to be associated with such firms. 

And then there is the human cost in terms of the injuries or fatalities caused by a culture that turns a blind eye to what happens out of sight. It’s safe to say that this point needs no explanation. 

But our technology isn’t just about recording and reporting those incidents. Thanks to features such as in-cab nudges, warnings and alerts, our technology actively intervenes to stop such behaviour from getting out of hand. 

It focuses on changing people’s behaviour and promoting self-coaching to improve the safety performance of every single driver. Our technology isn’t there to catch people out. It’s there to help them become better, safer drivers. 

This isn’t just good practice. It doesn’t just save lives. It benefits fleets by reducing risk and saving money. In other words….good safety is good business.

Focusing on safety to bring about change 

So, what happens when we reveal such behaviour to boards and senior business leaders? Broadly speaking the response tends to go one of two ways. 

Some are completely focused. Faced with such information they make safety a priority. 

“We must act,” they tell us. “We must invest in this technology. And we must do it now. We cannot unsee what we’ve just seen.” 

And then there are those who are stunned by what they’ve been told. Rather than generate a positive response, boards are stopped dead in their tracks as if caught in the headlights.

To a certain extent, I can sympathise with this response. When they begin to process the enormity of what’s been revealed, it’s not just a question of installing technology. It’s about changing the culture at work. And that takes time and commitment from across the entire organisation — especially senior leaders. 

Again, Samsara doesn’t just provide technology. We also provide the know-how to improve the safety culture. In essence, it boils down to three key areas. 

Three steps to introducing a safety programme 

First, you educate. Then, you enable. And finally, you incentivise. So, what does this mean in practice? 

  • During the education phase, you create a period of amnesty for drivers. You acknowledge the problem, address your concerns — and the concerns of your drivers — before starting with a clean slate. 

  • The next phase is enablement. That means installing technology into vehicles to give people the tools to improve their driving behaviour, supported by an inclusive training programme.

  • Finally, you incentivise your drivers. You may reward them (financially) or via gamification or some other engagement initiative. You offer ongoing training and support. But with every carrot, you also need a stick. This is why people need to be made aware of the consequences of failing to adapt to a newly improved safety regime, especially for those given every opportunity through technology, training, and coaching.

If this means losing some drivers, well, there’s an argument that says you probably don’t want them in your organisation anyway. Why? Because no matter how much you invest in technology — how much training and how much support you put in place — some people are always liable to break the rules. In such cases, it may simply be too risky to hang on to them.

Technology and a safety culture work hand in hand

There are many business cases for investing in technology to aid a business. There are many more business reasons that justify investing in technology on the grounds of safety. 

For those in the C-suite, the one question they have to ask themselves is this: “When it comes to managing risk — and keeping people and your business safe —  could you have done more?”.

For me, it always boils down to the same point. The main purpose of our technology is about saving lives — to make sure employees who work in physical operations go home to their families at the end of a shift. That’s all that matters. If this approach also helps reduce risk across a business, then so much the better. 


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