Improving Driver Behavior: Introducing DriverPoint 2.0

“After three short months…I achieved a 10% improvement in MPG. I must admit it wasn’t easy at first. I really had to focus on not accelerating too hard, and I always caught myself going higher speeds. I became so much more aware of my behavior behind the wheel. By the end of three months, it became second nature.”

Those are the words of today’s guest author, Jeff Pursell, Donlen’s VP of Telematics and Strategic Development. Jeff is a fleet industry veteran, and has more than 20 years experience strategizing and executing solutions to complex business problems. In response to challenges faced by fleet managers today, Jeff designed and developed Donlen’s proprietary DriverPoint™ Telematics and Scorecard application, which helps commercial fleets improve efficiency, increase productivity, and reduce costs. Last month, Donlen released Version 2.0 of their award-winning telematics solution.

Thanks Jeff, for the sneak peak into…

DriverPoint 2.0

Three years ago, stock prices were dropping, fuel prices were rising, and finding ways to “green your fleet” was becoming more reality than buzz phrase as companies looked for ways to reduce costs and meet stakeholder demand.

Reports were out stating that up to 33% of a vehicle’s fuel economy is impacted by driving behavior. So, it made sense to us: find ways to help fleets improve driving behavior, which will lower MPG and result in cost savings across the fleet.

Donlen’s “green driving” program was threefold: train, measure, and manage.

First, train drivers through online learning and certify their understanding of the material. Second, measure their driving behavior through the use of a telematics device. Third, manage and measure driving behavior by grading the driver and providing a monthly scorecard to measure each driver against their past performance and how they stack up against their peers.

Grading drivers worked well and companies were finally able to quantify driving behavior. Improvements in score translated to better fuel efficiency and reduced fuel cost. Reduced fuel cost equated to reduced carbon emissions. Better driving behavior also improved safety and reduced accidents.

I went through training myself. I always felt I was a “green” driver, especially since I understood what I should be doing behind the wheel. Boy, was I wrong! Scoring is done on a 0 to 10 point scale with 10 being the best. My initial score of 1.89 left much to be desired. My areas of improvement were rapid acceleration and overspeed events. I put the lessons I learned into practice.

After three short months, my score jumped to a 5.01! Over the same time, I achieved a 10% improvement in MPG. I must admit it wasn’t easy at first. I really had to focus on not accelerating too hard, and I always caught myself going higher speeds. I became so much more aware of my behavior behind the wheel. By the end of three months, it became second nature.

donlen-driverpoint-telematics-v2

As we listened to our customers who were using the program, we knew driving behavior would be better visualized on a map and provide a clearer understanding for fleet managers. In April 2011, DriverPoint™ was introduced.

Yes, DriverPoint provides all of the typical functionality available from other telematics products, but what sets DriverPoint apart from every other product is the integration of driving behavior data and the ability for users to focus on exceptions within their fleet. These are the areas where you can really make a difference.

Customer feedback about DriverPoint has been extremely positive and results very good. Because we developed DriverPoint in house here at Donlen, we’re able to quickly adapt to customer needs through frequent updates to the application. In fact, we incorporate improvements and new reports every two weeks with no interruption to users – it happens behind the scenes and pushed automatically.

Last month we released DriverPoint 2.0, introducing fleet and driver dashboards and robust reporting. I have a few favorites. The Vehicle Timeline has a “calendar look” and shows a week at a time snapshot of any vehicle’s activity. TheDriver Watchlist allows fleet managers to focus on key driver exceptions. And Advanced Reporting lets fleet managers open many reports and view any of them interactively with the map.

So, what’s the future of telematics and fleet?

Advanced productivity analytics
Many telematics solutions already address utilization and route management. The analytics will become more advanced and provide even more ways for fleets to create efficiencies and improve productivity.

Telematics integrated into fleet management
A telematics device will be part of every vehicle and be completely integrated into overall fleet management. Within the next five to ten years, every new vehicle will be equipped with a telematics device through the OEM. At that point, true innovation won’t be gathering the data but the analytics behind it.

Backend system integration
Many companies have data residing on multiple systems, such as ERP, CRM, maintenance, fuel, and driver logs. Successful telematics solutions will need to provide automated updates between systems.

In conclusion, the real benefit of using telematics is the wealth of information that can be gathered to help you improve the productivity of your fleet. And when you also train drivers, you have one of the most effective ways available to achieve significant results.

> Download the DriverPoint brochure

Contact Jeff Pursell at jpursell@donlen.com

Save the date: Jeff will be the host of an upcoming AFLA webinar about telematics on August 14, from 11 to noon CST. We’ll post more information soon!


NEW! This week we’re launching FleetWeb® Tips, a new weekly FridayFleet feature.

Each week, we’ll post a tip to help you use the many FleetWeb features available.

FleetWeb® Tips: Search

Use FleetWeb’s search function and color coding to quickly access your frequently used applications and reports.

  • Start typing in the search box, located in the upper right corner of the FleetWeb dashboard
  • Your most-used applications and reports will appear: BLACK text indicates an application, BLUE is a report
  • Vehicle information can be found here too: enter either the driver name or the Donlen Vehicle Number (DVN) if you have it

Look for this symbol fleetweb-search-questions when in FleetWeb for additional search help.

donlen-fleetweb-smart-search-v2


There’s still time to register for one of our upcoming live demos of Hertz Value Lease™

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:00 am – Noon CDT

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:00 am – Noon CDT

Don’t miss this opportunity to see how Hertz Value Lease* can quickly become part of your vehicle selection process. Immediately see the benefits of Hertz Value Lease, including:

  • Broader selection
  • Reduced leasing costs
  • Faster order-to-delivery times

Driver’s Corner

Your behavior is critical to achieving the best fuel economy from your vehicle. Here are a couple things you can do right away – starting today:

  • Don’t speed. Not only is it unsafe, but did you also know that for every 5 MPH you drive over 50 is like paying almost $0.25 per gallon more at the pump?
  • Limit the amount of extra weight you’re carrying in your vehicle. The EPA estimates that for every extra 100 pounds your car carries, it loses 2 percent in fuel economy, so clean out that trunk of any unnecessary items!

(Source: EPA)


And Finally…

And finally, if you’re anything like us, the words “coffee” and “commute” go hand-in-hand. Well, soon it will be easier than ever to get your java fix. The new Fiat 500L, scheduled for release at the end of the year, will be available with a fully integrated espresso coffee machine as an accessory. What do you think about that?

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on July 20, 2012


About Donlen
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ), Donlen (www.donlen.com), with headquarters in Northbrook, IL, is the fleet industry’s most comprehensive and integrated provider of financing and asset management solutions. Since 1965, Donlen has offered its clients highly personalized and responsive customer service, and their workplace excellence has been recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “List of 20 Best Places to Work in Chicago” each year from 2009-2011, a Leader on “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) for six of the last seven years, and a National Association for Business Resources “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Donlen’s innovation has been awarded with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Opportunity,” named to “2012 InformationWeek 500” for innovative technology; the Stevie® “2012 Gold Award for Business Intelligence Solution,” the Silver Award for “2012 Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year,” and the “2011 Corporate Environmental Responsibility Program of the Year.”