May 18, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Focus on the Moment!

In her Customer Driven column this week, Laura Jozwiak evokes the challenges we face of focusing on one thing at a time as we juggle a daunting schedule and multiple distractions. Dogs will bark during a Zoom call and cats and kids will demand attention.

If you haven’t seen it and could use a chuckle, here’s a classic example from the BBC.

Motorcyclist and safety guru Art Liggio offers us a tutorial on how to make the roads safer for the two-wheeled vehicles. He cites this disturbing statistic: motorcyclists represent 3% of the motor vehicle population, yet account for 14% of all traffic-related fatalities.

More on distractions. Ed Pierce gives us highlights from a recent webinar: “The Road to Safety for Your Fleet Drivers: Why Behavior Change is Key to Eliminating Distracted Driving.”

Stay safe and in the moment!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Drivers are Liking Driving Dynamics’ Virtual Training

Driving Dynamics created their Virtual Training program last year, and drivers are adapting quickly. Many of them even prefer it over the in-person method.

VIDEO: Trusted Partners

 3 Main Pillars of Customer Experience

There are 3 main pillars when it comes to customer experience: first, become a trusted partner; second, make sure you listen carefully; third, be transparent.

VIDEO: AFLA’s Canada Fleet Summit

 Attend the AFLA Canada Fleet Summit Online

After great success last year, AFLA is pleased to announce its second Canada Fleet Summit. This virtual event is happening June 9th and 10th and offers a great mix of education and networking.

The Fleet Spot

AFLA Coffee Break Panel & Discussion: The Power of Analytics

Join AFLA for a Coffee Break Series Table Discussion

Tuesday, May 25 2:00 CDT

The power of analytics is in the information it extracts, allowing you to make informed choices, decisions, and strategies. It can be your biggest cheerleader in measuring success, or your best detective in determining where to prioritize your improvement energies.

Online registration is available until May 25, 2021

Merchants Fleet Names John Korte Director, Last Mile and Mobility Sales

Press Release

Merchants Fleet has hired John Korte as Director of Last Mile and Mobility Sales to oversee the company’s last mile business segment which has seen 3x growth year-over-year, with nearly 3 million packages delivered in a Merchants vehicle daily throughout North America.

“John is a tenured Mobility expert with a superior track record in business development and client relations” said John Cail, Senior Vice President of Mobility. “John’s extensive history in the industry makes him a valuable addition to the Merchants team, as we continue to innovate with industry-first solutions that give our Mobility clients the ability to flex and transform their fleets as they need to.”


Wheels Wins Silver and Bronze Stevie Awards in the 2021 American Business Awards

Wheels, Inc. won silver and bronze Stevie® Awards in the 19th Annual American Business Awards®.

Wheels’ EcoWheels program was awarded the silver Stevie in the Achievement in Product Innovation category. The program provides strategic consulting services and tools to help fleets achieve their green fleet program goals. The fleet management company was also awarded the bronze Stevie in the Most Exemplary Employer category. Wheels was recognized in this category due to their extra commitment to keeping their staff employed and safe during the pandemic.

“We are pleased to be honored and recognized for our commitment to helping our planet and the Wheels’ community,” said Laura Jozwiak, senior vice president of sales and client relations and executive chair of the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) program at Wheels.


NAFA Webinar: Fleet Pulse: The Top Fleet Priorities for 2021

Wednesday, May 26 — 12:00 — 1:00 PM EDT

In 2021, fleet professionals are faced with complex and often conflicting priorities. Hear the most common fleet questions, challenges, and priorities as identified by North American fleet managers. More importantly, get answers to these challenges which are specific to the 2021 fleet operating environment and economy.

This supplier webinar is presented by ARI.


Safety and Risk

By: Art Liggio, President and CEO, Driving Dynamics

Several years ago, I purchased my first motorcycle. Since then, I complete one or two advanced safety courses almost every year to ensure that my skills remain current and that I take all precautions to safely operate a two-wheeled vehicle.

Most importantly, I continually practice these skills to keep myself and others safe when taking the bike out for an enjoyable weekend ride.

Why am I telling you this? My safety and that of other riders is not solely dependent on us – we also rely on those with which we share the road.



Customer Driven

By Laura Jozwiak, Senior Vice President of Sales and Client Relations, Wheels, Inc.

Picture this: It’s your fifth Zoom call of the day. As you listen to a colleague review agenda topics during a client meeting, a notification pops up for an email from another key client.

You see the subject line flash quickly — and there seems to be a problem. You click over to your inbox to read what is going on and get absorbed in the new >at hand — typing away and trying to resolve it.

Mid-paragraph, your ears focus back to the Zoom call as you hear, “Do you agree, Laura?” Agree to what? You wonder with building anxiety.



Telematics and Safety

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Cambridge Mobile Telematics recently gathered a panel of experts for its webinar, “The Road to Safety for Your Fleet Drivers: Why Behavior Change is Key to Eliminating Distracted Driving.”

The panel included Judy Columbus, senior fleet analyst for GlaxoSmithKline; Brian Kinniry, Product Development Director for CEI; Emily Stein, president of the Safe Roads Alliance; Joel Feldman, president of CMT director of marketing Ian Murphy served as host.

In this, the first part of a two-part series, the panel covers topics such as educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving when the drivers are receiving pressure from their management to stay connected.

Here are some of the highlights of of the Q&A session

Fleet Trends & Issues

How EVs Compare to Gas-Powered Vehicles in Seven Performance Metrics


To see what electric vehicles are capable of and how that’s different from the combustion-powered vehicles,  47 electrics and more than 2200 gas, diesel, and hybrid vehicles were tested. 

On average, internal-combustion-powered vehicles are slightly quicker. The real-world swiftness of electric motors and single-speed transmissions shows in our passing tests. But the lack of gearing in most EVs hinders top speeds.

EVs are vastly more energy efficient. But you’ll have to plan for extra time if you’re pushing past their limited ranges. EVs are quieter at max-attack acceleration as well as while cruising at 70 mph. EVs are heavier than comparable combustion models

Read the article at MSN.

Study: Drivers Who Experience Shift Work Sleep Disorder are 3x More Likely to be Involved in a Vehicle Crash

Missouri University

Each year, the NTSB issues a “most wanted list” of safety improvements, and their 2019-2020 list includes “screening and treating obstructive sleep apnea” among the top 10 topic areas.

People who work nontraditional work hours, such as 11 p.m.-7 a.m., or the “graveyard” shift, are more likely than traditional daytime workers to develop a chronic medical condition – shift work sleep disorder – that disrupts their sleep.

According to researchers at the University of Missouri, people who develop this condition are also three times more likely to be involved in a vehicle accident. Shift work sleep disorder increased the risk of a traffic crash by nearly 300%, as compared to both sleep apnea and insomnia, which both increased the risk of a crash by approximately 30%.

Read the article at Missouri University.

Biggest Driver of Price Increases, Inflation Worries: Used Cars


The cost of used sedans, pickups and SUVs soared 10% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest climb ever in data that go back to 1953. It accounted for more than a third of the 0.8% increase in the consumer price index, which was four times the level economists estimated.

With fewer new cars being made amid a shortage in critical semiconductors, both retail consumers and rental car companies have gone to the used-vehicle market to get the wheels they need. Wholesale prices have soared as a result, up 54% in April from a year earlier at Manheim.

Most analysts say the increase in car prices, like the spike in inflation as a whole, will likely be transitory as production ramps up and demand subsides. Auto sales had soared amid a pandemic-era boom in road trips and hesitancy to take public transportation, trends that look likely to fade over coming months.

Read the article at Autoblog.

Wearing Headphones While Driving is a Bad Idea, and Now We Know How Bad


Driving with headphones on or earbuds in is illegal in many places, but even in the areas in which it’s not illegal, it’s a bad idea because it destroys your sense of spatial awareness. Ford decided that it was curious about how bad an idea it is, so it put together a study in Europe to quantify that.

It was found that the people listening to music via headphones were on average 4.2 seconds slower to identify cues than those without headphones — practically an eternity when you’re talking about the difference between crashing into someone on a bicycle and avoiding them.

Read the article at MSN.

Not Enough Microchips

The Drive

The global supply chain has been hit hard by COVID-19-related complications. Factories have shut their doors causing a backlog in production and an increase in product demand, largely due to a significant shortage of the most basic building block of technology: semiconductors.

This includes cars, which have become increasingly dependent on electronics over the past several decades. And it’s proving to be perhaps the most devastating supply chain disruption the auto industry has seen in decades – maybe ever, if you ask some executives.

The result is new cars with inflated prices and customers clawing at the limited available inventory. Even the used market is ballooning in price. So if you’re looking for the best deal on a new ride, now might not be the best time to buy, especially if you don’t want to be upside down on your loan in a few months.

Read the article at The Drive.


The World of Work


Companies are starting to bring employees back to the office and will have to strengthen their “social architecture. Employees and other stakeholders are demanding leaders step up and put some concrete action behind their words. What are the policies behind the mission? When there is a gap between words and action, people will spot it and call leaders out.

Agility will grow in importance as an X factor that sets high performers apart. CEOs and heads of HR are talking more about looking for talented people who understand the importance of embracing ambiguity – as well as people who are able to learn new things quickly and, if necessary, unlearn them just as fast.

Fostering and embedding the corporate culture will have to become a priority. The core skills of leadership will matter more than ever. Leaders will have to work overtime to share the company’s values, and the stories behind them.

Read the article at strategy+business.


EV Strategy

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Although Merchants has recently announced a spate of electric vehicle-related announcements, Senior Vice President of Mobility, John Cail, explains that the news is the result of the company’s ongoing electric vehicle initiative.

“We’ve been building our electric vehicle strategy for some time, including electrified vehicle fleet management services, charging, OEM relationships, and more.

“Merchants is developing and implementing EV strategies because we foresee that’s where our clients are migrating,” he adds. “We are building out our ecosystem of partners and are ahead of the curve and will remain out in front in order to offer our clients the best possible outcomes.”


Fleet Management Resources


The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association. Advancing corporate fleet worldwide.

The fast, easy way to remarket without risk. Get an offer in hours, paid in a few days. Improve TCO. Save time, money and resources.

PARS’ mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.

Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.

Fleet Street
Fleet Street has 30+ years of experience and knowledge using a spectrum of wholesale and retail channels to simplify your involvement in the remarketing process.

SuperVision is a fleet driver management solution for MVR & license monitoring, fleet management, fleet safety oversight and driver performance and retention.

eDriving partners with its clients to engage with drivers and their managers to create a culture that supports lasting behavioral change to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations as well as a fleet’s total cost of ownership.

NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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