Knowing when to use technology to help train workers can drive success in a small business.
DriveCam sells technology to companies maintaining fleets of cars that employees drive that records risky driving behaviors and reduces the occurrence and cost of vehicle accidents. Founded in 1998, the San Diego company has since grown to 108 employees, and its products are used by more than 1,200 corporate fleets. DriveCam ranked #67 on the Inc. 500 in 2005. Videos recorded by the DriveCam are used to educate drivers and are frequently submitted into evidence to assist in determining fault. Inc. Technology spoke with DriveCam President and CEO Bruce Moeller about his company and its technology.
Inc. Technology: How can fast-growing small businesses use technology solutions that monitor behaviors for training?
Bruce Moeller: The key to training is to know specifically what deficiencies actually exist in the field while individuals are actually performing their functions. With a DriveCam like observation module, a business can actually see the unsafe behaviors and habits that are occurring on the individual and group basis and take specific actions to target the things that are really misunderstood or misapplied instead of taking a one size fits all gun shot approach.
Inc. Technology: In what cases are virtual training solutions better than other training methods?
Moeller: Virtual training is used for cost and mass area coverage, but as we all know in any classroom or learning environment, the quality of the experience is always better with as close to a one-to-one relationship between teacher and student as possible. In person is always has more impact because it allows a two-way communication of expectations and understandings and can engage the other senses in learning and communications and not just verbal or written communications.
Inc. Technology: What do business owners need to know about training employees to properly drive company cars?
Moeller: Small business owner are likely to have high insurance deductibles and therefore bear the cost of any damage to people or property caused by their drivers. By recording the conditions surrounding an accident, business owners can quickly identify fault and minimize their legal costs. By keeping drivers focused and in the moment while operating a company's expensive assets, they can avoid the entire cost and aggravation in the first place.
Inc. Technology: Your technology could be viewed by employees as compromising privacy. How does a small business address customer concerns about possible negative reactions from the workforce?
Moeller: We limit customer uncertainty by being upfront about all of the possible issues that unions might raise. It is equally important to demonstrate the benefits to employees. DriveCam has exonerated drivers by providing evidence that they were not at fault during an accident. Also, we explain that the recording function is only activated when drivers are putting themselves and the company at risk. If the worker is not making any sudden stops or turns that indicate dangerous driving there is no recording. After a few days with DriveCam in their vehicles, most drivers are happy they are there.