By Simon Turner, Campaign Manager for the Driving for Better Business programme
It’s not always obvious where to start with managing driver risk. After all, there are so many different areas that need to be tackled. And how do we know whether what we’re doing is good or bad, or whether we have any glaring gaps. It’s easy to feel like we’re just going round in circles.
There is a simple (circular!) process that can help you based around four easy to understand steps:
- Benchmarking – Do I need to improve?
- Gap Analysis – If I need to improve, where do I start?
- Action – How do I make improvements?
- Check – How big were the improvements?
Driving for Better Business has created a range of free online tools that can help you with all of these key steps.
Benchmarking sits as the primary entry point to this process. By allowing organisations to see how they fare when key metrics are set against the performance of their peers, it becomes clear how they stack up against both a user average benchmark and also a good practice benchmark. You should be looking to calculate and monitor over time the following calculations:
- Incidents per million miles
- Average cost per incident
- Average incident cost per vehicle
- Average maintenance cost per mile
- Average maintenance cost per vehicle
- Average fuel cost per mile
Gap Analysis – Step two involves a deep dive into your current policies and processes to highlight the areas that could deliver the required improvements to raise the organisation’s benchmarking scores. You should be looking to identify all the things that well run fleets do – and not just the legally required stuff, but the good practice management systems that deliver the higher levels of performance.
At the minimum you should be looking at how the company manages driver risk and then in detail at the processes you have for managing drivers, vehicles and journeys.
Action – how do we implement those new processes effectively? The resources on the Driving for Better Business include tools, guides, advice and examples of good practice. As well as information to help managers, one of the best new features is a whole section of resources dedicated to driver knowledge, including downloads, weblinks and videos that can be shared with your drivers to raise awareness of important issues.
Having implemented the improvements and given them time to bed in, it’s time to return to the start of the circle and ask the final question, “How big was the improvement?” thus starting the process again. This process will help you to:
- Clearly compare your performance to others.
- See where your priorities should be.
- Confidently implement improvements
- Clearly see how well they worked
So, while you’ll still be going round in circles at least they’ll be productive circles, and you’ll be doing it with the expectation that you and your fleet will be performing a little bit better each time around.
If you’d like to learn more about what you and your organisation should be doing and whether you have any gaps in your driver risk management, join our free programme at www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com. We have a wealth of free online tools and resources to help you understand where your priorities should be to reduce risk, control costs and improve efficiency.