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Adrian Bewley's blog: Accident management is driver expectation management

Date: 16 October 2018

A road accident is a moment of truth for organisations that support business drivers. That's the moment when the driver requires help to deal with their vehicle, and support to ensure continued mobility. 

Seamless integration between all the parties involved in this incredibly complex ecosystem, including fleet management, leasing, repairers, insurers, rental firms, roadside assistance and more, is essential in order to deliver against the driver's and company's understandably high expectations.

This is where the relationship with the driver shifts into high gear. The stressed employee suddenly needs - and expects - a personal, caring, hands-on service. This seamless procedure must keep the driver mobile and informed wherever they are.

It's a complex process. Technology and communications are now key to our accident management solution, and in fact, are as important as ensuring the right expertise is available to repair the vehicle. Technology and communications enable all the different companies and stakeholders involved in the repair to leap into action at the right place and time.

Technology also ensures the differing expectations of both driver and business are fully met. The employer wants the employee to access the right replacement vehicle asap while the damaged vehicle is repaired quickly and cost-effectively. A courtesy car may not be appropriate for the driver's requirements. Our branch-based tablet system enables employees to quickly locate a suitable vehicle close by. Technology plays a pivotal role, connecting the repair supply chain and providing real-time data.

The driver, meanwhile, wants to know how quickly their damaged vehicle can be picked up and where it will be picked up from. They want to know how they're going to get to the nearest garage when they're stranded by the side of a motorway at an inconvenient time, and when they will be able to get back to work or get home. They may need a like-for-like replacement to do their job and want someone to keep them in the loop on the repair as well. 

Suppliers must work together to deliver a connected service with connected, end-to-end mobility - with access to a bodyshop network all around the UK that can handle the latest vehicles with the latest in-car technology. 

Close proximity to a rental branch ensures that drivers - and fleets - don't rely on courtesy car availability. If technology can bring branch employees to assist the driver at the roadside, so much the better. This is where tablet systems introduced across the UK can deliver real benefit to stranded motorists. 

Enabled by technology, all the companies involved in the repair and mobility process can work together to eliminate any 'grey' areas in-between suppliers where service can lapse. It ensures expectations are met - from the moment they make that first phone call from the roadside to the day the keys to their shiny, newly-repaired company car is returned to their grateful hands. 

Adrian Bewley is assistant vice president of business mobility in the UK and Ireland for Enterprise Rent-A-Car