CEI Debuts Photo-Based Estimating at RIMS 2019

The largest risk event of the year, RIMS 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibition, concluded just last week in Boston, where CEI debuted its DriverCareSM photo-based estimating module to fleet risk managers.

With more than 10,000 attendees, RIMS 2019 provided a captive audience for CEI to demonstrate how photo-based estimating can speed claims processing while also reducing costs and liability.

CEI walked attendees through the module’s three-step process, including:

  1. Taking a photo of damaged vehicle with your phone
  2. Sending photos to repair shop for an estimate
  3. Estimate is approved, driver is notified, and repairs begin

The module is part of the CEI DriverCare platform, which is designed to meet all collision and safety needs by integrating claims, repair, training and risk management for drivers. Through a combination of best-in-class programs and proprietary technologies, DriverCare is recognized as the smart and easy way to maximize safety and productivity on the road.

In addition to providing a rapid method for claims processing, photo-based estimating and other DriverCare modules can help fleet risk managers minimize claims and liability expenses and reduce claims frequency.

Thank you to The Risk Management Society for hosting this year’s conference and exhibition. We’re already looking forward to RIMS 2020 in Denver.

To obtain pricing and learn more about DriverCare, contact us.

CEI Introduces Advancements to DriverCareSM at NAFA 2019

Just a few weeks ago, CEI attended the NAFA 2019 Institute & Expo in Kentucky, the industry's largest and most comprehensive annual event for fleet professionals. The event served as a showcase for CEI to introduce advancements to its flagship DriverCareSM platform, which provides everything fleet professionals need to reduce costs and protect drivers in one program.

If you’re not familiar, the CEI DriverCare platform is designed to meet all collision and safety needs by integrating claims, repair, training and risk management for drivers. Through a combination of best-in-class programs and proprietary technologies, DriverCare is recognized as the smart and easy way to maximize safety and productivity on the road.

Some of the newest features revealed at NAFA 2019, include:

  • Integrated and mobile telematics
  • Interactive truck training modules
  • Smart message-driven photo handling
  • Predictive modeling
  • Enhanced data visualization and more

DriverCare Integrated Telematics serves as a barometer for safety between MVR events and accidents, helping proactively monitor, improve and reward driving behaviors. Features include:

  • Five telematics tiers complement DriverCare risk levels
  • Factors include cornering, breaking, acceleration and speed
  • Easy-to-read trends dashboard at fleet and individual level
  • Color-coded performance metrics for fleets and drivers
  • 60-day telematics accident lookback by driver

New and interactive truck training modules include Road to Safety, which shows drivers how to overcome common fleet driver mistakes that contribute to collisions, injuries, unexpected repair costs, and downtime. Additional new modules include Hazard Awareness, which places users into a variety of scenarios to test their ability to detect common driving hazards, as well as Pro-Tread, which is offered in partnership with Instructional Technologies, and is an e-learning library of training modules proven to change driver behavior through increased driver focus, engagement and retention.

With thousands in attendance, the I&E Expo Floor bustled with fleet professionals from around the world, representing all fleet segments including Corporate, Government, Law Enforcement, Global and more. The event was the ideal venue to debut these advancements to DriverCare and educate fleet professionals on how they can improve their safety and accident cost outlook.

Thank you to NAFA, the world’s premier not-for-profit association for professionals who manage fleets, for hosting yet another great conference. We look forward to next year.

To obtain pricing and learn more about DriverCare, contact us.

Cybersecurity: How Well Protected Is Your Company Against the Rising Tide of Malicious Disruption?

My theme in this continuing blog is that business disruption – the kind that results from a continuous strategic embrace of cutting-edge technology – is not just a good thing, but a requirement. Call it creative destruction. But there’s another kind of technology-powered disruption that is simply destructive: the hacking of an organization’s digital infrastructure.

How pervasive is the threat? Consider the following:

• Computer Ventures, a researcher and publisher covering the global cyber economy, estimates that cyberattacks cost the global economy $3 trillion in 2015, a figure is likely to double to $6 trillion a year by 2021.
• PWC, the accounting and consulting firm, says that 32 percent of U.S. organizations were victims of cybercrime in 2016, and projects that 34 percent will have become victims by the end of 2018.
• Microsoft estimates that average cost of a data breach to a business is $3.8 million, and that the average attacker resides in a network for 146 days before being detected.
• A University of Maryland study found that hackers were attacking computers and networks “at near-constant rate”, with an average of one attack every 39 seconds.

U.S. consumers and businesses of all sizes are being targeted, by individuals, organized crime and even state-sponsored agencies. What they’re after is consumer personal data, credit card numbers, login credentials, access to funds, technology and intellectual property, ways to cripple operating systems and – in a recent and rapidly growing trend – ransom to restore them.

The lure of rich bounty from cybercrime has attracted some of the brightest rogue minds and hostile regimes, and they’re widely believed to be working on the cutting edge of digital technology. In addition to the fact that hundreds of thousands of new viruses and other kinds of computer malware are created every day, a concern is that some hostiles are working on quantum computers that could hack the most sophisticated encryption systems while being invulnerable to hacking themselves.

As bad as 2017 and 2018 were, 2019 is likely to even worse, as the following evolving and emerging threats are gaining momentum (my thanks here to the Lazarus Alliance):

Phishing Schemes. Nearly all successful cyber-attacks begin with a phishing scheme. Business email compromises, a highly targeted spear phishing attack, are responsible for more than $12 billion in losses globally.

Cloud Cyber Security Threats. Cloud computing has transformed the ways in which we live and conduct business, but it has also given hackers a broader attack surface and created a host of brand-new cyber security threats and vulnerabilities, from cloud malware to misconfigured Amazon Web Service (AWS) buckets. Cloud security must be addressed differently than on-premises security, and solid cloud security starts with a secure cloud migration.

Use of Shadow IT Apps. More than 80 percent of employees admit to using unauthorized IT apps at work, which are known as shadow IT. Most of the time, their motivations aren’t malicious or negligent; they’re just trying to do their jobs better. However, shadow IT usage can be a serious compliance and cyber security threat. The best course of action is to open a dialogue with your employees to determine why they believe these shadow applications are better than your existing, vetted applications.

Cryptojacking. Cryptojacking malware, which allows hackers to hijack enterprise computer equipment for the purpose of “mining” cryptocurrencies, has become more common than ransomware. These attacks can be hard to detect, but they can be snuffed out by upping endpoint security and monitoring network traffic for unexplained spikes at odd times.

Ransomware. Cryptojacking malware may be more common today, but that doesn’t mean ransomware has fully gone away. While cryptojacking can waste energy and slow productivity of your systems, ransomware can stop you dead in your tracks.

Unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) Devices. A recent Mozilla report shows that there may be up to 30 billion IoT devices by 2020. Both the public and private sector are scrambling to secure the Internet of Things. In recent weeks, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released guidelines for securing medical IoT devices, and Microsoft launched a public review of its new solution for developing secure smart devices. Ask your IT team how many things really need to be connected and automated before adopting them, and always look to secure these devices with regular updates and passwords.

What business leaders must do

Cyber defense is critical to every business, and it’s too important for senior executives not to be familiar and up-to-date on cyber threats and counter-measures, especially those in charge of companies that may not have invested enough in computer security in recent years. A sound approach to cyber security rests on two key practices: an ongoing review and dialog between CEOs and their Chief Information Officers about the organization’s security technology, and a continuing program to educate all employees about cyber threats and the organization’s computer security policy.

Millennials Are Disrupting Business…In a Positive Way!

For the past decade or so, the press has been filled with stories about how difficult millennials are to manage. We’re talking about people born approximately between 1980 and 1996, and the complaints about them are legion: They lack a work ethic, question and disrespect authority, are needy, and want to be pampered.

The description sounds like a nightmare. But as a business leader for a number of years, that negative portrayal doesn’t fit. That’s not to say I haven’t come across individual employees with those traits, but I don’t think they are any more prevalent among people between the ages of 22 and 38 than they are among any other age group.

The reason I don’t share the negative perception of millennials is because I’ve seen a very different type of millennial.

First, let’s cite some statistics. Today, millennials constitute the single largest block of employees, accounting for 36 to 38 percent of the total U.S. workforce. By 2025, some estimate they’ll account for as much as 75 percent of it.

Yes, millennials are different from previous generations, but in ways that should excite businesses. For one thing, they’re the most highly educated generation in U.S. history: a higher percentage of them have graduated from high school, as well as attended and graduated from college, than any generation before them. They’re also the most tech-savvy generation, many having never known a time when the Internet didn’t exist. Put these two facts together, and it’s no wonder that they want full information and expect the companies they work for to be more transparent, responsive and forward-thinking.

Gallup offered some clues as to how companies could make them more dedicated and engaged, finding:

• 72 percent of millennials who strongly agree that their managers help them set their performance goals are engaged.

• Nearly 70 percent are also engaged when their direct managers help them prioritize their tasks and responsibilities.

I have to cite my current company, CEI, as an example. CEI has been named as one of the best places to work in the Philadelphia area or the state three times, and twice cited as a “psychologically healthy workplace”.

When I read lists of what millennials want and need, I asked myself if they seemed unrealistic. Here are some of their biggest concerns:

• Open and frequent face-to-face communications with their managers.
• A workplace culture that emphasizes and rewards teamwork and creativity, not just output statistics and results.
• Thorough training that demonstrates how their role supports the company’s strategy and goals.
• Mentoring and coaching that prepares them for advancement in their careers.
• Flexibility for employees to achieve work-life balance, including the ability to work on a “flex-time,” job-sharing and remote access basis.

These are all values that add to work-life balance and a feeling of fulfillment in the workplace – something we all want, regardless of age. I believe the best companies already do these things, which is extremely valuable when considering how expensive it can be to train new employees. A new hire costs 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary for the position, all while their productivity takes time to ramp up. Simply put, businesses cannot afford to continue with the status quo, or this highly educated and skilled sector of the workforce will move on to other companies that have adapted to these needs.

When we think of disruptive leadership, it can be easy to think only in terms of how technology can disrupt, but disruption can also mean changing the business culture. I urge any leader holding on to a negative view of millennials to embrace these change agents who are more likely to question accepted practices, to disrupt the status quo, and to help take the company to the next level.