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5 Megatrends Impacting Safety Leaders in 2019 and Beyond

Takeaways From the 2019 Lytx User Group Conference

2019 Megatrends impacting safety leaders

If you missed this year’s sold-out Lytx User Group Conference in San Diego, we’ve got you covered. 

Each year, we talk to 300-plus fleet safety and operations leaders during our two-day summit, asking them to share what they see as the biggest forces and trends shaping their industries, along with their insights and best practices as users of Lytx products and services in order to take on their toughest challenges and most promising opportunities. This year, we were fortunate to host representatives from BNSF Railway, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Swift Transportation, The City of Kansas City, FedEx, Waste Management, Greyhound, Ryder, and dozens of other organizations at our user conference. We’ve synthesized our learnings into five, easily digestible takeaways — gleaned from more than two dozen sessions. So, strap on your seatbelt for a quick tour of this year’s User Group Conference.

1. The Future is Yours to Shape

Imagine a future where no commercial driver is ever the cause of a collision. Now imagine making that happen.

Two decades ago, this would have been a fool’s errand. Today, we have the tools, experience, and capability that can make this a reality. The journey there will be paved by the all decisions and actions we make today, including:

  • Using analytics to identify the source of our biggest risks

  • Coaching drivers proactively

  • Investing in machine-vision and artificial-intelligence technologies that can vastly improve our ability to detect, deter, and manage risks on the road


2. Companies Don’t Transform. People Do.

The future is uncertain. But one thing we know for sure is that it will be filled with change, and the rate of change is only going to get faster. This year’s keynote Peter Sheahan talked about how to embrace disruption to help their organizations navigate through change. Safety leaders who master this trick will not just survive, they’ll also potentially gain significant competitive advantages over rivals who can’t keep up. Peter’s Three Step Plan to remaining relevant in changing times:

1. You have to be willing to tell yourself the truth. Understand your industry and the external forces and megatrends shaping its direction.

2. Put pressure on your own organization before it breaks. The best time to improve is when things are going well. Rather than wait for things to plateau, use the positive momentum of a smoothly running organization to continuously improve.

3. Go first. Don’t wait for someone else to go first. Take small, intelligent risks. Move to the edge of disruption and learn as much as you can. Being willing to learn faster than the market is changing is the path to relevance.


3. Megatrends

The world doesn’t sit still, and neither should we. Each of us plays a part in developing smart solutions and seizing opportunity in change — whether it’s by leveraging people, processes or new technologies. At the User Group Conference, safety leaders outlined the megatrends shaping their industries over the next decade.

  • For Distribution, it’s an epidemic of worker injuries.

  • For Government, it’s funding challenges and developing partnerships with unions.

  • For Services, it’s satisfying customer demands — safely and efficiently.

  • For Transit, it’s meeting the mobility demands of a new generation.

  • For Trucking, it’s navigating regulatory changes.

  • For Waste and Construction, it’s providing timely, safe, and efficient service — every time.

There are also universal challenges that affect everyone, such as finding qualified drivers to do the work, nuclear verdicts, and semi-autonomous technologies.


4. Tools & Tactics for Change

It’s one thing to say, “prepare for change.” It’s another thing entirely to actually go through it. At this year’s conference, safety leaders shared tools and tactics to meet those challenges, develop a competitive advantage, and succeed. Those include:

Power of Data

Telematics data contains a wealth of insights that you can act on, provided you know where to look. 

  • Predict and prevent your next big collision, using simple but effective frequency analysis of who, what, when and where your risk events are happening.

  • Leverage benchmark data to see where you stand among industry peers with similar fleet sizes, facing similar risks.

  • Tailor the right metrics to different audiences to motivate action and spur change

Protect Yourself When You’re in the Hot Seat

Transportation attorneys gave tips for acing your next deposition and avoiding a few infamous traps that are now popular with plaintiff’s attorneys. In short, the formula is:

  • Be proactive. Understand patterns of questioning and prepare for them.

  • Stand your ground. Don’t get bullied into changing or hedging your statements.

  • Put your best face forward. Show professionalism and respect.

  • Be prepared. Go over your facts and answers in advance.

  • Endure the process. Depositions are grueling. Don’t blow it at the 11th hour.

  • Show compassion.

Future Proof Your Fleet Technologies

It starts with picking technologies that can adapt as your needs grow and change. Make sure your fleet technology investments have open APIs and integration opportunities with an ecosystem of best-in-class vendors. Because while you may not need some of those capabilities today, you might find your requirements changing as growth, advancements in technology, and competitive pressures fluctuate.

Engage a Younger Generation of Drivers

As our driver workforce continues to age out, recruiting a younger generation of drivers becomes an imperative for all sectors. These newer generations tend to hold different values and norms than previous generations. In short, here’s how they’re different:

Read More: How to Attract Millennials - Driver Recruitment Guide

  • Learn: Younger generations are visual learners who turn to YouTube and other video sites as their go-to learning platform.

  • Communicate: Texting and messaging apps are top of the list for this generation.

  • Collaborate: Younger workers ask lots of questions and like to explore new ways to accomplish tasks.

  • Values: They also like a challenge, crave a sense of purpose, and desire a work-life balance. 

Retaining Drivers for the Long Haul

We all work hard to attract the best drivers. At the User Group Conference, managers also shared best practices to keep them with us for the long haul. Among the top takeaways for driver retention:

  • Cultivate a culture of caring. Show drivers you care about their safety. Find ways to recognize them for a job well done.

  • Develop a sense of shared mission and camaraderie. Having a greater purpose, such as Waste Management’s Mission to Zero (M2Z) initiative or the Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s vision to protect, respect, and assist, builds workforce cohesion. In large organizations, breaking drivers into smaller groups or “squads” can build camaraderie, which can function as a glue to keep teams together.

  • Investing in training and professional development. Dolese Brothers pays for drivers to get their Commercial Driver’s License. They also offer a 7-stage driver development program that rewards participants with a pay raise after they complete each stage.


5. Safety & Business Excellence Are Interconnected

Safety and operations don’t have to be adversaries. In fact, many of the winners on today’s business battlefield deliberately design their organizations to achieve excellence in safety and operations simultaneously. How? Here are a few of the tactics shared:

  • Engage frontline workers. They will be the ones to execute your plans.

  • Build a beta group to vet new initiatives. Fill it with people who have influence among key stakeholder groups.

  • Use empathy. Build your campaign’s messaging around things that matter to the people you are speaking with.

Build trust. Be transparent about the rationale behind your programs and initiatives. Then do what you say you will do.

Contact Lytx to get started with a fleet safety solution.