Case Study: How Automating MVR Sweeps Led to a Reduction in Preventable Accidents

Shay Roseman likes to describe the fleet safety program she oversees for nearly 5,000 U.S. based drivers at The Sherwin-Williams Co. as “automagical.” But it was not always that way.

When Roseman, a 14-year veteran at the global paint and coatings company, took over as Transportation Safety Manager in 2016, the annual MVR process was manual and painstaking. It took up much of her time for four months out of the year.

The vendor that previously managed the sweeps reported results in a spreadsheet, updated weekly. It was up to Roseman sort the document for the most urgent issues – suspended, expired, or restricted licenses. While the vendor applied a point system to rate high-risk drivers based on violations found in their records, Roseman had to prioritize and resolve each of those as well.

Most frustrating, perhaps, was the initial step of getting employees to sign authorizations to access their MVRs. “The emails would go out and people wouldn’t open them. Or they would try to log in and the password wouldn’t work,” Roseman says. “There were a lot of hiccups.”

Deciding it’s time for a change

After going through the annual MVR process twice, Roseman had enough. She identified three big issues:
1. The process was inefficient and slow.
2. The data resided in a single-purpose spreadsheet that did not give her enough insight or support other corporate systems and processes.
3. MVR sweeps didn’t provide a complete safety picture; while necessary, they only captured incidents resulting in citations, while missing driver’s day-to-day habits behind the wheel.

Roseman hoped to address all these issues and more. She wanted a higher level of automation customized to her own processes. She wanted reports that were based around her priorities, so she did not worry about overlooking something in the spreadsheet. Finally, it had to be easy for employees.

“I didn’t want them to have to print out and sign anything. I wanted it to take less than two minutes to log in, verify and complete the authorization,” she says.

Roseman was familiar with Fleet Response, which was already handling property damage claims for Sherwin-Williams’ self-insured fleet. She got a demonstration of their Driver History Profile – a one-stop repository for electronic MVRs, driver risk scoring, claims history, DOT inspections, manager communications and driver safety training. With this program she was able to meet and resolve her identified issues for improved automation, flexibility and visibility.

“I thought it was too good to be true. I didn’t believe their system could manage this entire process for me,” she says.

Beyond MVR sweeps

Here is how the program works now:

Fleet Response sends an email to all drivers with login credentials to view their license info and authorize the records release. Automated reminders go out the two following Monday to anyone who has not completed the process.

“They get three weeks,” Roseman says, “…and then they receive a final request that they have 72 hours to complete the authorization or they lose driving privileges.”

The few who have not complied by then usually turn out to be on medical leave or have other extenuating circumstances, she says. The process helps her capture that data and update internal records – providing value to managers in other departments.

“It’s fast and easy. A driver could complete their authorization Monday morning and we often have results that afternoon,” Roseman says. “If it comes back invalid or suspended, we can address it immediately.”

All records are organized in an online real-time portal, which helps her see at a glance how the annual program is proceeding and where her intervention is required.

As before, a risk-rating system assigns points to drivers – but now it is based on both their MVR and continually updated claims data. Fleet Response configured the program based on Roseman’s workflow, so if an individual’s risk rating increases, the driver and his/her assigned supervisors receive an automatically generated email alert.

Each driver profile in the online portal includes helpful internal data such as contact information for the driver’s supervisor and HR manager, so Roseman has all the information at her fingertips to take fast and effective action when needed. [Related article: How Fleet Response helped Sprint foster a new culture of driver safety]

Tangible results

The MVR process is now wrapped up in four weeks. “I spend a lot less time on it. All the manual monitoring, overdue authorizations, addressing adverse MVR results: I did that manually and now I don’t have to think about out,” she says.

It has also provided measurable safety benefits. “It has enabled me to monitor in real-time where our high-risk drivers are, and reward those who maintain excellent safety ratings,” she says. “This is something we couldn’t do before. In the two years it’s been in place, we have seen the number of preventable accidents decrease.”

The time savings have also opened capacity for further safety improvements.

Now, Roseman is working with Fleet Response to provide targeted driver safety training based on data coming into the Driver History Profile. For example, drivers would automatically be assigned remedial training after a preventable accident or if their MVR comes back with multiple speeding tickets.

Second, she expects to begin including the telematic data in the Driver History Profiles to help identify at-risk drivers and provide targeted training before accidents occur. [Related article: Steris uses MVR monitoring to reduce risk and improve driver safety]

“It’s amazing. I can’t say enough about how well it works,” Roseman says. “The portal is super user-friendly and easy to navigate. This is a very good tool for anyone who is responsible for a Transportation Safety Management System. It takes MVR, preventable accidents, DOT roadside inspections and telematics and just ties everything together. It has modernized the process for us. It’s ‘automagical’.”

To discuss how Fleet Response can automate fleet safety compliance and improve visibility of risk in your fleet, contact Jeff Fender, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Fleet Response,