29 Sep New Fleet Response Clients Speak Up
It’s always good to hear another company’s experience with a vendor. Think of it as an Amazon review on a business partner. So we asked three Fleet Response clients – each with unique needs – to talk about their partnerships with Fleet Response for claims management and subrogation:
- Aptive, a nation-wide residential pest control company with over 2,000 company-owned vehicles
- Hillman Group, a builder solutions company managing about 600 leased vehicles, 400 personal vehicles used by employees, and 350 forklifts in distribution centers
- Cook Group, with family-owned businesses ranging from medical devices to resorts, managing nearly 1,000 vehicles predominantly for sales reps along with a smaller fleet of maintenance trucks
ON-BOARDING MADE EASY
As Global Director of Risk Management for the Cook Group, Will Lehman began working with Fleet Response in late 2020 for accident management, subrogation, safety training, and motor vehicle record monitoring.
Right off the bat, Will was impressed with the onboarding. “I work with a lot of vendors and Fleet Response was one of the most comprehensive onboarding experiences I’ve ever had. Usually, a vendor has one or two people in an onboarding call. Fleet Response easily had six people on the call, all from different functional areas including dedicated individuals from subrogation and training. It made onboarding exceptionally smooth.”
The initial set-up process was also a critical starting point for Rich Gardner, Safety Director for Aptive. His company employs service professionals who drive more than 2,000 vehicles to meet customers and apply chemicals to protect homes from pests.
“My main goal is to create a safety culture and improve on that culture,” says Rich. “Fleet Response helps us with incident reporting and making recoveries through subrogation. They made set-up easy. We just gave them all our company information and they put it in their data base with little interaction from me. That’s the kind of process I like – they take care of it.”
Jeff Scott is Fleet Manager for Hillman Group, a building supply company engineering and delivering products to home improvement retailers. He’s responsible for a fleet of more than 1,350 vehicles and equipment. After 23 years’ experience in transportation with the U.S. Air Force, he previously worked with Fleet Response in a civilian job with an Akron, Ohio company.
“Any company with a multitude of vehicles can benefit from their services to track accidents from cradle to grave, from the time the call comes in until the case is closed and insurance is paid. Otherwise, I’d be doing nothing but that,” says Jeff. “Onboarding with Fleet Response was as easy as giving them an Excel sheet listing our vehicle information. Every time an incident occurs, they take all the vehicle information or whatever we want to use. They customized the process for us.”
Jeff appreciated a brief initial onboarding phone call to collect information and was happy to have a letter created by Fleet Response informing Hillman employees about the process and number to call after an accident.
“Onboarding didn’t take weeks – it took a day or two to get up and rolling,” recalls Jeff. “We set it up using our Hillman hotline number so our drivers just press a number that connects directly to Fleet Response to report an accident. I don’t have to be on the call, but the supervisor and I get a heads up via email. So we are in the loop.”
CUSTOMIZED PROGRAMS TO FIT ANY COMPANY
At Cook Group, Will describes the relationship with Fleet Response as collaborative – with the ability to customize their programs. “It starts with excellent account management and strong relationships. The Fleet Response team is always available, and for us that included customized scoring for motor vehicle record monitoring. Any type of customization we’ve asked for, they helped us find a solution.”
Jeff of Hillman Group points out that every company has different data they want to track – so customization is essential. “Some want to track just costs, others look at total numbers, or preventable versus non-preventable, and so on. Every month I get reports on our top five types of incidents, like a glass claim, an animal strike, a rear-end, or others. I can go on the Fleet Response VISIBILITY dashboard to create my own report or it’s easy to just call and ask for a certain report, with unit number, driver name, date and time of the accident and more.”
Jeff likes being able to track whether there is subrogation after an accident – since his accounting office wants to know how much money the company can expect to get back. “This kind of customization is why we chose Fleet Response. When I first joined Hillman, we worked with a company that couldn’t provide us with that. Their IT systems were antiquated. I had already worked with Fleet Response, so I felt like I had flown first-class and didn’t want to go back to coach!”
DATA ACCESS & TRANSPARENCY
“I’m a big fan of the Fleet Response VISIBILITY dashboard tool,” says Will at Cook Group. “It’s easy to customize so you can hone it in on KPIs for your vehicle fleet program. And it provides leadership updates with easy exports of information. That kind of transparency is so important.”
Will also points to Fleet Response’s proactive stewardship meetings and benchmark reports helping the Cook Group see how their fleet program compares with other fleets externally. “The Fleet Response and Cook teams get together to talk about any performance issues and how we are performing, such as how our subrogation timelines match up to other fleets.”
Rich at Aptive appreciates the VISIBILITY dashboard but finds he often wants to know more about vehicle repair status, days until repair or other info he can’t always find. “So I just call my Fleet Response rep Kelly and she gets me the info I need right away. I like having both options – online and a personal contact.”
To share data with insurance companies, Fleet Response provides a weblink to download the entire database file of reports, photos, and other documents. “For some reason that was being blocked at one point and Fleet Response fixed the problem,” says Rich. “They were very responsive, and we came up with a game plan together. They make it as easy as possible for me and take much of it off my hands.”
Jeff at the Hillman Group has his own perspective. “I’m not a techie kind of person so I wouldn’t typically go into VISIBILITY and create my own specific reports. They do have canned reports that are easy to look at, but I like to call Fleet Response to ask for certain reports and they create it in a day or two. They can run it for you or help you set it up on a daily or monthly basis.”
For a fleet manager like Jeff, that transparency of information is critical. “I need to be accountable. I don’t want anybody to ever ask me a question I can’t answer. I should be able to look on the dashboard and find the answer or make a call. I should be able to find dates and times, what the other driver said, who is the other insurance company, body shop information, subrogation status, and more. It’s all right there so I don’t have to wonder if they’re doing what they say they’re doing.”
SUCCESS & OUTCOMES
At Aptive, Rich wasn’t pleased with their former insurance partner when it came to repair time and subrogation. “It was terrible, and we were relying too much on rental vehicles which are so expensive now. Since working with Fleet Response, we are recovering more money in subrogation – they are very good at that. At the 90-day review, Fleet Response was even surprised at the amount recovered already. I see the results in our monthly bills. More money is coming in and the salvage process is better. They take the menial stuff and make it a priority, getting better resolution and more dollars back for our company.”
Rich also sees greater efficiency and speed in reporting incidents and processing claims. “Prior to Fleet Response, drivers and managers had to get a link, log in and submit a form. It was a cumbersome process and Fleet Response took that off my hands. Now drivers call an 800 number direct to Fleet Response to report right at the scene. This saves a lot of time for everyone. There’s no need to report to a manager or me before getting it submitted to insurance. Now it’s one call. Fleet Response gathers all the info, submits it to insurance and submit it to me to verify. If there’s any mistake, my rep updates it quickly.”
In the Hillman Group, Jeff has already seen successes in reporting up the chain but also seeing every step in the subrogation process. “I can see how much we’re asking to get back, how much we receive in a check to accounts payable and share that with my supervisors and leadership. I hear things like ‘Oh wow, we got that much back – I don’t remember it ever being that fast or that informative.’ So that’s been a great success.”
“And their cost is minimal – Fleet Response makes their money by getting part of subrogation recoveries,” says Jeff. “Most fleet departments are small one or two-man shops. The time and stress saved in in tracking and transparency of data, the follow-up with insurance companies, all that will far exceed anything you pay to Fleet Response.”
Over at the Cook Group, Will hears positive feedback all around for Fleet Response services – and sees cost savings from more efficient processes. “Our drivers love the dedicated 800 number with 24/7 access to a friendly person on the phone who has expertise in this space. They’ve just had an accident that can be traumatic, so they really like this. We’ve also had success in subrogation, with the timelines and proceeds they’re getting back have really exceeded our expectations.”
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