What Fleets Really Want (Part 2): Why Integration is Key to the Success of Fleet Management Solutions

This blog is Part 2 of a 5-part series focused on what fleets really want in 2021 and beyond, and the elements impacting the path forward for fleet management solution providers. 

We will continue to stress the point that businesses who choose to ignore customer needs and the trends impacting the industry will miss opportunities to remain competitive and grow in 2022 and beyond. Throughout this series, we dive into six key areas that providers of services and solutions to commercial fleets should address, to better meet the needs of fleet customers within a saturated and competitive market:

  • Part 1: Relevance & choice 
  • Part 2: Integration
  • Part 3: One-stop shop 
  • Part 4: Single pane of glass 
  • Part 5: Engagement & advice

Why do fleets want multiple solutions and applications to be integrated?

Fleets are increasingly pushing their solution partners to provide integration between their systems and applications for a number of reasons:

Many solutions can provide additional value by leveraging data generated by other solutions.

A routing application can compare planned routes with actual routes if it has access to a vehicle’s actual location from a telematics provider. A maintenance service can provide prescriptive and predictive solutions with access to diagnostics data. A fleet management company can help prevent fuel theft by combining its location data with fuel card data, and there are many other examples where data from one solution could help another solution create new value for fleets.

Make more intelligent, data-driven decisions.

Siloed data results in fleets making sub-optimal business decisions based on limited information available at any given time. Integrating siloed datasets from disparate sources gives fleets a much more holistic view of their business, and allows them to make more intelligent, data-driven decisions. 

Most fleets don’t have the resources to do integrations in-house. 

In almost every part of our lives, connectivity and integrations are available to streamline our day-to-day responsibilities and tasks. There is unparalleled value to be gained with integrated data, so it’s no surprise that fleets today want to move to an open architecture world where integration of multiple apps can be achieved more easily (FreightWaves). However,  in many cases fleets don’t have the expertise or bandwidth to implement useful integrations in-house. This means they will seek help from you, the fleet management solution provider. According to the SMB Group, “to reduce friction and cost, more SMBs will opt for pre-integrated solution suites built on extensible, open platforms.” 

Are you in a position to deliver integrated solutions and meet their expectations? How much effort and resources would it take?

The current state of integration in the fleet management industry

Today’s fleet management solution providers are not well-positioned to address fleet integration needs. In fact, most fleet management solution providers have a backlog of customer requests for integrations that they realistically can’t handle themselves, for a few key reasons:

  • Solution providers are busy working on their core products. As companies must continue to prioritize development and IT resources for their own products, they aren’t able to provide ongoing support for their integration aspirations.
  • Fleets are different and therefore require different integrations. Because fleets vary by vertical, type and size, they have varying needs that require different integrations. Keeping up with many different integration requirements requires even more resources.
  • Solution providers’ tech platforms were not designed for easy and quick integrations.  The technology platforms used by solution providers in the fleet industry were designed to solve some specific product needs of each solution provider, but were not built from the ground up as open platforms to support  the unique needs of integrations in the commercial fleet market. This means that each integration requires significant and unique tech investment. 

Overall, the level of effort and resources required of fleet management solution providers to meet integration expectations from customers just isn’t always there and unfortunately, there really has been no comprehensive integration platform as a service available…until now! 

How to streamline integrations – and even make it a profit center – with Roadz

Roadz helps companies in the fleet management ecosystem build and harness the value of integrations quickly and with minimal resources. 

Why use Roadz to handle your integration needs? 

‘Integration Platform as a Service’ for the commercial fleet industry

Roadz provides an ‘Integration Platform as a Service’ built uniquely for the commercial fleet market. As Roadz expands its integration network, you reap the benefits as new integration partners are added to the platform. As the platform grows, so does your number of integration options, at no additional cost to you. 

Save time and money

Roadz can save you time and money by not charging for time and materials. For a fixed monthly fee for the integration platform, Roadz includes access to the currently available integrations on the platform plus new integrations based on your needs. 

Roadz helps you empower your fleet customers to improve their operations and decision making through integrated data and powerful visualizations

Through seamlessly integrated data, fleets can:

  • More effectively generate actionable insights
  • Foster better decision-making
  • Decrease operating costs
  • Increase the ROI  

Integration won’t just be a check off your list for customers; it can also become a profit center for you

Many think of integrations as something that they have to do just because their customers want it. This may be true, but the current way of approaching it costs money and the only yield in return is customer retention. This is certainly important, but what if you could spend less, make more, and boost retention? Roadz wants you to think of integrations as a potential profit center, with the capability to monetize integrations powered by the Roadz platform, charging your customers for it. Most fleet management solution providers have not been able to operationalize integrations in this way before, and the Roadz platform and model can help.

Roadz offers its integration platform and service as a standalone solution or in combination with its “Marketplace as a Service” 

Together, the Roadz ‘Marketplace as a Service platform and the Roadz ‘Integration Platform as a Service’ become a powerful tool to attract and retain fleet customers. You can also support data permissions and rights, contracts, billing, and more (you can learn more here about launching a Roadz-powered marketplace).

Ultimately, the goal of the Roadz integration platform and service is to help fleet management solution providers meet their fleet customer integration expectations, while positioning themselves as market leaders. Avoid a passive, “business as usual” approach and start thinking about how connecting with an integration platform service can help you and your fleets grow in 2021 and beyond! Make integration a new value-add service, not a source of friction with fleet customers!

Interested in learning more? Schedule a free demo with Roadz here. In our next post, we’ll cover the importance of providing simplicity and ease to your fleet customers through a one-stop-shop ecosystem of solutions. In the meantime, click here for more information about What Fleets Want in 2021 and Beyond.

What Your Fleet Customers Really Want (Part I): Why Relevance & Choice Are Critical for Fleets

This inaugural blog is the start of a series that focuses on What Fleets Want in 2021 and Beyond. As we approach the final months of 2021, you may be starting to think about your business goals and aspirations for next year. Businesses that fail to understand and meet their customers’ changing needs, choosing to move into 2022 with a passive “business as usual” approach, will struggle to remain relevant and competitive in the industry. Through our own research and the findings of other reputable sources, we’ve identified six key areas that fleet customers are looking for in fleet management solutions: 

  • Relevance
  • Choice
  • Integration
  • ‘One-stop shop’
  • ‘Single-pane-of-glass’
  • Engagement & advice

Achieving your goals requires you to help customers achieve theirs

You want to provide your customers with the best services and support, while also prioritizing your business’s own growth goals. You’re probably working toward growing your subscriber base, increasing your customer retention rate, figuring out how to earn more revenue per customer, or increasing profitability. 

Your goals are unique to your business, but at the root of your strategy for achieving them, it’s absolutely critical to have a thorough understanding of your customers’ ever-evolving needs. Getting inside the heads of your customers allows you to effectively plan for how you can uniquely address their business challenges and help them grow. By prioritizing customer growth, you prioritize your own. 

Fleets today are demanding variety when choosing fleet management solutions. They want choices across multiple solution categories and an ability to pick custom applications that are relevant to their business needs and challenges. We’ll begin this series by first diving deeper into what it means for fleet management solutions to offer choice and relevance to customers.

Fleets want a broad selection of relevant third-party solutions integrated with their fleet management platform 

Fleet managers want custom solutions to choose from across multiple relevant categories, and the data proves it:

  • 73% of fleet survey participants would prefer to subscribe to a GPS fleet management platform that offers a broad selection of applications from third parties that would be easily integrated with their own GPS fleet management platform (C.J. Driscoll and Associates). 
  • 69% of SMBs are looking for applications that are relevant and specific to their industry, rather than apps that are “one size fits most” (SMBs and Cloud Service Adoption).

These findings should come as no surprise, given that:

  • The fleet industry is made up of different types of fleets with various operating models and sizes. All of these require their own unique flavors of fleet tech solutions. In order to find solutions that are relevant to the business problems they’re facing, fleets expect to see multiple options of solution providers that span multiple categories and verticals.
  • Solution saturation results in hours spent researching applications, distracting managers from their actual business priorities. Fleet managers have long experienced the pressures of improving productivity, safety, and compliance, while simultaneously reducing operating costs. There’s an expanse of fleet solutions out there to help address those pain points, but researching and validating them can be overwhelming and time-consuming. 

The power of choice among solutions that are relevant to the needs of fleets is essential to identify and harness as you define your business goals. Your ability to streamline discovery efforts for your fleet customers by providing them with an abundance of vetted and relevant solutions across a variety of categories will set you apart from competitors, enable you to attract customers across multiple fleet segments, improve your retention rate, and ultimately boost your growth. 

Are you effectively addressing the need for choice and relevance? 

Fleet management solution providers often attempt to address customer needs in a couple of ways that aren’t necessarily effective: 

  • Some take a horizontal approach and offer only one solution in each solution category. While some providers may try to build their own add-ons, or add a handful of white-labeled solutions to their platform, evidence shows there is typically very little adoption of those add-ons among existing customers. The main reason for the limited adoption is, you guessed it…choice and relevance. As already mentioned, customers want to know that they have a choice, and if they are not offered a choice, they will look elsewhere. They also need to find solutions that are relevant to them, and it is very rare that one solution or add-on in a solution category can meet the needs of a significant percentage of your customer base. Another reason that home-grown add-ons see very little adoption is that they are usually not that good. It’s hard to compete with providers of point-solutions that know their solution category in and out. 
  • Some focus vertically and create highly specialized offerings. This works great for that specific fleet segment. The problem with this approach is that once such specialized providers become established in the market and look for growth opportunities, they lack the breadth of solutions and relevance needed to attract a wider base of varying customers.

Focusing on either of these approaches won’t fully address the issues of choice and relevance for your customers. Rather, finding a blend in which you can provide your customers with multiple highly specialized choices across a comprehensive array of categories will. 

A Roadz-powered “Ecosystem in a Box” provides the choice & relevance customers are demanding 

Offering an ecosystem of smart fleet solutions can help you address both choice and relevance for your fleet customers, while also giving your company opportunities to: 

  • Increase customer acquisition
  • Improve customer retention
  • Increase revenue 

If we agree that it is essential to provide fleets with choice and relevance, and that the best way to do that is to offer an ecosystem of solutions across multiple categories, available through a marketplace, then the question becomes: how do you build such an ecosystem?

Building such a marketplace and ecosystem on your own could take several years and millions of dollars. You must also consider the tech and dev resources needed for ongoing management of the marketplace. What would take a company years to build in-house, Roadz can launch for you within weeks, with no development resources required on your end, and no upfront costs. 

Roadz “Ecosystem in a Box,” is designed to help fleet management solution providers, including vehicle OEMs, telematics providers, fleet leasing companies, mobility providers, fuel card providers and others, meet their customer expectations while positioning themselves as a leader in the market. 

Why launch a Roadz-powered marketplace for your fleet customers?

  • You’ll retain existing customers while also attracting new ones. Select from a catalog of carefully curated, integrated third-party solutions across dozens of fleet categories. This will enable you to meet the ever-evolving needs of your existing customers while also attracting a new base with a ‘future proofed’ offering.
  • You can upsell. Upsell/cross-sell your own proprietary solutions, features, and add-on modules in a more effective way.
  • Roadz does the work for you. With no development work required on your end, it’s easy to create a custom marketplace, expertly curated to fit the exact needs of your fleet customers no matter their size, class, or vertical. The goal is to give every customer that visits your unique marketplace the power to choose what works best for them. In just a few weeks, you can have a customized marketplace. 
  • Billing is simple. Worried about the complexity of billing for 3rd-party solutions? Roadz can manage billing and collection for you. 

Prioritizing choice and relevance as focal points for your strategy will help guide your business goals, keep you relevant and competitive in the space and ultimately lead to growth for both you and your customers. However, those aren’t the only important concepts to consider! Stay tuned for our next blog in the series, where we’ll dive into the importance of data integration, why fleets are demanding it, and how to implement it.

In the meantime, click here to download our resource for more information about What Fleets Want in 2021 and Beyond

If you’re interested in scheduling a free demo with our team of experts, complete the form here and we’ll connect with you to discover your best path for offering choice and relevance to your fleet customers.

How Gamification Leads to Safer Driving

App-based driver behavior management solutions are shifting to a carrot rather than stick approach with game-based features.

Motivating commercial drivers to be safer behind the wheel can present a sticky challenge. With a shortage of qualified drivers, it’s often better to seek improvement rather than pursue termination. Using a carrot approach can also improve morale and company culture.

Mobile apps that enable a fun approach to safer driving, known as “gamification,” provide an effective way to improve driving behavior and improve morale.

You’ll also likely create a more engaged driver pool, while collecting plenty of actionable insights around fleet trends and risky drivers.

What is Gamification?

In 2019, mobile games such as Candy Crush, Fruit Ninja, and others generated $49 billion in revenue, according to industry sources. The popularity of these games has led fleet driver safety providers to incorporate game-based features into driver safety apps.

Using a game-based approach can encourage engagement, motivation, and loyalty. Gamification taps into our inborn impulse to compete either with ourselves or others.

It’s important to remember that people are motivated differently – some are motived by extrinsic factors (external awards such as money), intrinsic factors (such as job satisfaction), or a combination of the two.

By rewarding the new, and safer, driving behavior in some way, managers are increasing motivation within each driver.

Foundations of an Initiative

The only way a gamification works is to get the drivers to “play.” Once drivers begin engaging with the mobile app, it can start collecting useful data. This driver behavioral data will underpin the initiative.

So, the first step will be overcoming the driver’s reluctance to use a driver behavior app. Drivers enjoy playing and earning rewards, as long as they understand and accept the initiative and its value.

Brightmile, one of the solution providers on the Roadz marketplace platform, uses five strategies to get drivers to use its gamification app:

  1. The driver’s location isn’t reported to company managers.
  2. Driver behavior is only assessed on business trips.
  3. Good drivers receive rewards and positive reinforcement.
  4. A private mode gives drivers control of their data.
  5. The app consumes minimal battery life and data consumption

Accomplishment Propels Safer Driving

Simple data visualizations in the app engage drivers in an immediate, transparent way. They allow drivers to monitor their own behavior and self-coach on a regular basis. These can be pop-up charts, rising or falling arrows, or other trending events.

Apps that serve data visualizations every day will help drivers remain engaged. Ideally, the apps will send a daily report card that allows the driver to see how the day compared with other days.

An effective gamification app will provide drivers with daily, weekly, or monthly challenges or missions akin to the levels of a video game. Accomplishing the missions should provide rewards that can be redeemed.

Some apps allow drivers to compete with their peers to unlock the reward.

Stay Committed to the Process

Changing ingrained driving habits, especially among a veteran driving pool, will take time. Much of a driver’s behavior was ingrained when they first learned how to drive — in some cases 20, 30, or 40 years earlier.

Humans are great at setting goals, and less successful at attaining them. Changing behavior requires our brains to use something psychologists refer to as “executive function,” meaning that we must use conscious attention.

The driver must be actively thinking about the behavior change, rather than pushing it into the background of their mind. Gamification keeps drivers engaged because they’re motivated to achieve rewards. It keeps safe driving in the forefront.

The approach isn’t a quick fix, however, it can bring significant improvement when implemented and retained for the long haul.

The Fleet Safety Marketplace: A New Paradigm in Commercial Auto Insurance

If you’re a commercial auto insurance company, it’s possible you’ve yet to hear about a new and exciting development in commercial fleet insurance – the fleet safety marketplace – brought about by the Roadz marketplace platform. A Fleet Safety Marketplace is an ecosystem with integrated 3rd-party solutions across multiple fleet safety and risk management categories. 

Some of the leading commercial auto insurance carriers in North America have already launched a Roadz-powered marketplace of their own. Why?

A fleet safety marketplace helps insurance carriers achieve 3 very important goals (quickly, and with minimal resources):

  1. Improve fleet safety and reduce loss ratios by offering insureds a curated set of safety and risk management solutions at discounted prices.
  2. Improve risk selection, pricing, and claims adjusting by gaining access to unique fleet datasets across multiple safety solutions.
  3. Increase customer engagement and loyalty by providing ongoing engagement and education offered by an ecosystem of safety and risk management solution providers.  

Commercial auto insurance carriers are facing big challenges

Poor loss ratios and enormous nuclear verdicts 

This challenge is nothing new; poor loss ratios and nuclear verdicts have been frustrating commercial auto insurers for about a decade. But, in the last few years, those challenges have worsened. Commercial auto insurers have tried to engage safety technology providers to help reduce loss ratios, but with minimal success. Fleet customers are diverse, and therefore want choice and relevance when choosing and buying safety and risk management solutions. Engaging more than a handful of siloed providers is challenging, let alone an entire ecosystem. 

Safety technologies could potentially help fleets reduce the number and severity of accidents, but fleet managers remain confused with the large number of safety solutions out there, and are slow to adopt. So how can you help them select the right safety solutions to jump on board?

Intense competition

Many commercial auto insurers lack a key differentiator, making it difficult to build customer loyalty. Without a unique incentive to stay, it’s easy for fleet customers to switch carriers. Very often, commercial auto insurers meet their customers only when it’s time to renew. There is very little ongoing customer engagement or added value provided during the policy term, so customer- stickiness is low. 

Limited data for sound risk selection and pricing

Insurers lack the granular data necessary for sound risk selection and pricing. Every underwriter wishes they had the right data to help them assess and price risk, but it’s been nearly impossible to access such data.

Offering your customers a “fleet safety marketplace” 

Roadz, a Silicon Valley company, provides a personalized “Fleet Ecosystem in a Box” to commercial auto insurers, customized based on the unique needs of both the carrier and their customers.

Gain access to fleet data

Launching a Roadz-powered marketplace provides insurance carriers access to data generated by the solutions offered through their marketplace, including:

  • Telematics
  • Driver behavior 
  • Video footage
  • Texting-while-driving
  • Driver training
  • Critical maintenance data
  • And more!

This data allows underwriters to better select and price the risk, and enables insurance carriers to improve claims adjusting and measure the impact of recommendations made by loss prevention teams. With integrated data, you’ll create more accurately priced policies.

Improve loss ratios

A Roadz-powered Fleet Safety Marketplace carefully curates a wide variety of safety and risk management technologies, all available in a single user interface. This enables insureds to select and find the solutions that best meet their needs, ultimately enabling improved safety, which leads to reduced losses. 

Increase customer engagement and loyalty

A Fleet Safety Marketplace allows insurance carriers, brokers and agents to provide additional value and engage their insureds on an ongoing basis, with minimal resource commitment on their part. Customers get educated about new technologies and trends through monthly webinars and newsletters crafted by Roadz especially for your customer base, in coordination with your marketing team. 

Enhance relationships with agents & brokers

Insurance brokers and agents typically work with multiple insurance carriers. How do you stand out from the rest? The marketplace gives you competitive differentiation 

Control costs 

With a one-stop-shop Roadz platform, insurance companies minimize the time and resources associated with the ongoing management of technology partners.

What value does it bring to your fleet insureds?

A Fleet Safety Marketplace – customized by you and powered by Roadz – provides unparalleled value to your fleet customers:

  • One-Stop Shop: Eliminates guesswork with carefully curated, industry-leading safety, compliance, and risk management solutions in a single interface. 
  • Open Data Platform: Integrates rich data across solutions, enabling smarter decision-making, better safety outcomes, and higher ROI.
  • Simplicity: Unified and simple billing and an end-to-end user experience.
  • Affordability: Discounted pricing and promotions on top safety solutions

What does it take to launch a Fleet Safety Marketplace?

If you want to build your own marketplace and ecosystem, you’re probably looking at several years and quite a few million dollars. Plus, you need to consider the ongoing management of the marketplace on both the technical and business development fronts. 

But, if you choose to launch a marketplace using the Roadz platform, then it will take you  weeks, with no development resources required on your end, and no upfront costs. Roadz will handle for you:

  • Partner selection and management
  • Business and tech diligence
  • Contracts and legal agreements
  • On-going management and marketplace operations
  • Data integration
  • User identity integration
  •  Multiple business and billing models
  • Turnkey marketing support

The Roadz platform was designed for a seamless process that yields maximum efficiency and ROI for commercial auto insurers. 

Become an Industry Leader with the Fleet Safety Marketplace

The leading carriers are already working on launching their marketplaces. As we near the final quarter of the year and prepare for 2022, don’t ignore it. If you want to stay in the game, consider planning to launch your own in 2022 and seize the growth opportunity.