Since first integrating a fleet risk management program into its fleet during 2007, Sealed Air in Elmwood Park, N.J., has seen its accident rate steadily decline, dropping 14 percent since 2008. For a fleet that drives close to 20 million miles per year in the United States alone, the drop in incident rates has saved the company a significant amount of money.
Sealed Air is a leading global manufacturer of materials and systems for protective, presentation, and fresh food packaging and performance solutions in the industrial, food, and consumer markets. The company operates just over 650 vehicles in North America, with a total of 1,000 vehicles and more than 100 locations globally. Employees eligible to drive a company car, van, or SUV include account tech reps and the sales force.
According to Marianne Garvey, corporate fleet manager for Sealed Air's North American fleet, the company partners with Fleet Response to provide drivers online safety modules that cover topics ranging from road rage to escape routes to intersection problems.
"The best way to describe the modules is that they remind drivers of the things we don't necessarily pay attention to," Garvey said. "The vehicle is only as safe as the driver makes it, and this program allows us to provide a constant safe-driving reinforcement."
Fleet Response supplies Garvey a list of available modules to offer drivers, and she decides which to roll out based on fleet needs. Because she reads every incident report, Garvey can identify priority modules at any given time.
"I chose a 'green' module this year, which includes information on tire pressure, fuel mileage, cost efficiency, and a focus on tire safety," she said.
Expanding the Program
Building upon the company's risk management program, in 2008 Garvey reached out to her leasing company, PHH, and Sealed Air's business-unit leaders and managers for insight on how drivers carried equipment in their vehicles. She consulted Sealed Air's Employee Health & Safety Steering Committee for guidance.
"Expanding our program to address additional safety needs was paramount," she said. "And when I learned that some of our drivers carried large volumes of heavy equipment, I became even more concerned about their safety. Their vehicle is their office. It only takes one time to be involved in a serious accident."
Because Sealed Air drivers also use their vehicles for personal use, safety concerns extended to family and friends. Garvey also tapped Fleet Response and NAFA Fleet Management Association resources to learn more about peer risk management programs and best practices.
"I asked a lot of questions and took into account safety and cost efficiency before going to upper management with my recommendations," she said.
Garvey implemented several program changes, adding:
- Mandatory MVR checks on spouses who drive Sealed Air vehicles.
- A new vehicle level to the selector list for drivers who regularly carry 100 lbs. of equipment or more in their vehicle.
- Barriers and pull-out drawers inside the vehicles for qualifying drivers.
The new vehicles will be on the road by year's end.
Moving forward, Garvey will gather global data regarding fleet safety, including preventable and non-preventable accident information, as well as "hit-while-parked" and "glass" incidents by business unit.
"Talking with other fleet managers and then experiencing the support here at Sealed Air from upper management was critical," Garvey said. "I couldn't do it without their support."