A panel discussion at the Telogis Latitude event.

A panel discussion at the Telogis Latitude event.

DANA POINT, CA – “Out-of-the-box” thinking is one of the business (and fleet) world’s most used catchphrases, though, in today’s break-neck world, putting this principle into practice is sometimes rare.

But, for the presenters at last week’s Telogis Latitude meeting, thinking out-of-the-box has transformed every aspect of their lives. Members of the Automotive Fleet team had the opportunity to attend the recent meeting in Dana Point, Calif.

You can view a photo gallery from this event here.

While stories of transforming fleet operations with telematics data were front and center, comedian Mark Rayburn opened the first day by showing how asking “what if” — in his case about music — was a stepping stone to creating a successful career. Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane’s keynote address underlined this message by relating how he used statistical analysis to leverage his smaller team to successfully compete with larger, better funded sports organizations.

Throughout the three-day event, the theme of transformation was underlined by other keynote speakers such as Scott Asplundh, CEO of Asplundh Tree Expert Co., panel discussions with industry leaders, and training sessions hosted by Telogis staff. Throughout, Rayburn kept showing how “what-if” questions can lead to surprising, transformative, and, in his case, entertaining results.

The event opened with a motivational keynote presentation by Rayburn, called the “world’s funniest guitar virtuoso.” The theme of his presentation was a humorous take on the question, “What if?” He pushed attendees to become “possibility thinkers,” and explained that if transformation is change, we must all be examples of transformation.

Asplundh’s keynote speech touched on a very important value: Safety first, no one gets hurt. With high employee turnover, catastrophic vehicle incidents, and high levels of fuel consumption, the company realized changes needed to be made. Utilizing a “peel the onion” approach, the company stepped slowly into driver training through Liberty Mutual, utilized a “blue sticker program” for driver observations (similar to a 1-800-HOWS-MY-DRIVING program), and started piloting the Telogis AVL program. Results included an 81-percent decrease in crash rates since 2004 and an accident severity rate decrease from 62 days to only eight.

A panel discussion included representatives from Ford Motor Co., Volvo Truck of Americas, Travelers Insurance Co., AT&T, Nokia, and Motorola. The discussion touched on vehicles being isolated versus connected, the role of insurance telematics, and how to validate and differentiate products and programs. Finally, the discussion focused on how telematics is no longer just a “where am I?” program, moving to a “where should I be?” technology.

Concluding with nuts-and-bolts training with the Telogis telematics platform, the Telogis Latitude meeting left attendees with both the tools and theoretical framework to ask the “what-if” questions to transform their fleets and the companies’ businesses.

For more information on Telogis or the event, visit: http://latitude.telogis.com/

By Lauren Fletcher & Chris Wolski