More than 170 fleet safety professionals came together October 12-13 for the NETS’ STRENGTH in NUMBERS® Benchmark Conference held this year in Orlando, Florida. The conference convenes each year to review the results of NETS’ annual STRENGTH in NUMBERS® Fleet Safety Benchmark Report, as well as to hear about featured road safety case studies, new research, emerging issues, and projects that are underway. The group has grown every year since the inaugural conference took place in 2007 with record-setting attendance during this year’s event. Member companies come from diverse industries including pharmaceutical, oil and gas, food and beverage, insurance, utilities, manufacturing and more and represent a collective global fleet of more than half-a-million vehicles (approximately 80 percent passenger vehicles) that travel nearly 11 billion miles annually. This year’s conference was also opened to non-member companies with fleet vehicles for the first time.
The 2016 conference agenda included a diverse group of speakers from academia, global private-sector companies, performance management consulting firms, as well as a keynote address from Dr. Bella Dinh-Zarr, Vice-Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board. Dr. Dinh-Zarr praised NETS on its leadership and boldness in spearheading many safety efforts. “We can’t overstate the influence of employers, not only on your employees, but on the entire community,” she said.
Presentations showcased successes in workplace road safety with several case studies highlighting employers that are using technology solutions ranging from telematics to collision avoidance features to “gamification” to advance the safety of their fleets. In addition to the diverse agenda designed to stimulate discussion among the attendees, the opportunity to network with other fleet safety professionals has consistently been cited as a valued benefit of conference attendance.
“One of our members said it best—if you have a fleet safety challenge, the answer is in this room,” said Joe McKillips, NETS Executive Director. “The NETS membership is an incredible network of fleet safety professionals—many of whom are competitors in the marketplace. But under the NETS umbrella, we’re all working toward the same objective and that is to keep our employees, their family members and members of the communities in which we all operate safe on the roads.”
With the growth of the group, NETS has seen its members in like-industry sectors begin to organize their own meetings in the days leading up to the conference so they can further benchmark and learn from each other. McKillips adds, “The willingness within this group to allow others in the same or similar business to leverage promising approaches in safety demonstrates what has become a NETS mantra—fleet safety is NOT a competitive advantage. We’re all in this together.”
Members attending the conference and the membership at large will have access to the conference presentations in the Members Only section of the NETS website. If you are interested in becoming a NETS member, or would like to receive additional information, please contact Susan Gillies, Marketing and Operations Analysis Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.