Staying the Course with NETS
A seasoned global fleet manager takes the help of an employer safety network with driving safety top of mind.
Joseph McKillips, who oversees global fleet safety operations at Abbott, took over leadership duties for the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety in late April as the board chairperson. He succeeds Sandra Lee, director of worldwide fleet safety for Johnson and Johnson.
By leading NETS, McKillips arrives at the intersection of driver safety policymaking and global corporate fleet governorship. McKillips talked with AutomotiveFleet.com about his plans for the network, and how he might tap into the resources of the global corporations on the board to improve driver safety.
AF: Give us a refresher about the benefits of becoming a member of NETS. Are NETS members mostly global corporations?
MCKILLIPS: Becoming a NETS member allows a company to instantly connect with employers and transportation professionals seeking to develop and enhance their existing road safety programs. While there are many multi-national companies who enjoy the benefits of NETS membership, there are also numerous small and mid-size companies within our membership ranks. NETS members benefit from diverse perspectives across industry sectors.
AF: You've been a board member of NETS for several years now. What's your vision for the network now that you're in the chairperson's role?
MCKILLIPS: As the NETS chairman, my number one role is to ensure existing and future NETS program efforts continue to bring value to our growing family of NETS members. Keeping the NETS resources simple and easy to implement will also be a priority to ensure our program and product offerings are effective for employers of all sizes.
NETS is also committed to making top quality road safety materials available to all employers at no charge. Examples include NETS' annual Drive Safely Work Week materials, NETS' Comprehensive Guide to Road Safety, the electronic Novice Drivers Road Map and NETSWork, NETS monthly e-newsletter. All are available at NETS Website.
AF: NETS is often known for its annual benchmarking study that allows fleets to compare their safety records with their peers. Tell us more about how that works?
MCKILLIPS: The annual benchmarking effort is a hallmark NETS initiative that affords employers the ability to confidentially compare their fleet performance against the perspective of all NETS member companies as well as a more detailed look at comparison metrics within a particular industry sector. Road safety program elements are also collected as part of the survey which allows employers to gain direct insight into industry best practices, which can be readily implemented to help improve their current road safety program.
AF: What else can NETS members look for in the coming months?
MCKILLIPS: NETS members can expect to see continued development of our benchmarking survey that will afford members even greater insight into what it takes to establish and sustain a successful road safety program. Additional focus and program offerings related to management-based initiatives are also on the horizon to help employers gain effective leadership buy-in and engagement to help sustain their road safety efforts over time.
AF: As someone who has led the implementation of a comprehensive global road safety program, how has Abbott’s affiliation with NETS helped shape its program?
MCKILLIPS: Looking back, I can readily cite NETS as playing a positive and influential role in the development of the Abbott road safety program over the years. Leveraging the annual NETS benchmarking data, along with on-going exposure to cutting edge program elements, has been extremely helpful. The opportunity to openly exchange ideas and program challenges with so many dedicated and passionate road safety professionals has also made our long-standing NETS partnership especially valuable.