Risk & Economy » How Iron Mountain slashed its fleet running costs

When storage and information management giant Iron Mountain launched a plan to improve work-related road risk, there were several objectives in mind.

The company wanted to reduce risk for both the business and its drivers, and in doing so cut various costs associated with running the fleet.

The results have been astonishing. Iron Mountain employees recorded over 800 incidents in 2008, which was reduced to less than 50 by 2017.

Since 2008 vehicle accidents have fallen by nearly 87%, own-damage and third party risks have tumbled by around 78% and insurance premiums have fallen significantly, thanks to incident reduction.

All this is hugely important to a company like Iron Mountain, which runs a fleet of 450 vehicles serving 156,000 customers in 36 countries.

As a consequence, vehicle damage, maintenance and fuel are some of the biggest costs to the business, yet a programme of effective management of those who drive for work has enabled these costs to be cut dramatically.

Formulating a plan

The process began with an in-depth fact-finding operation in partnership with Zurich Risk Engineering, giving Iron Mountain a clear understanding of where the key costs were, what the targets should be, and what needed to be done to meet them.

The significant reduction in the number of incidents, claims and claims costs was only possible due to the plan receiving full support from the senior management team.

Rory Morgan – the man behind Iron Mountain’s success in reducing fleet costs, and road safety charity Brake’s Road Risk Manager of the Year 2017 – has three golden rules of road risk management.

Rule One: analyse and understand the root cause of every issue. Or as he puts it: “At Iron Mountain we report on everything, whether it’s a clipped door mirror or if someone has reversed into a gatepost in the yard.”

Rule Two: do something about it – without delay. “Any remedial action is taken when it is required and no detail is too small,” says Morgan. “It could be in reaction to telematics scores or a manager picking up that a driver is not so good with tachographs.”

Rule Three: maintain and manage – don’t walk away. “You cannot take your eye off the ball,” says Morgan.

Reaping rewards

As well as reducing the number of accidents, therefore cutting costs of damage and as a result lowering insurance premiums, other significant benefits have resulted from the plan to reduce work-related road risk.

Speeding events have gone down by 92%, Notices of Intended Prosecution have plummeted by 79% and fuel use is down by 7% thanks to defensive driving.

Over the last 10 years, Iron Mountain has learned much about work-related road risk and, as a Business Champion for the Driving for Better Business campaign, the company is keen to share that wealth of knowledge so that others can enjoy the benefits too.

One of the secrets of that success has been the adoption of driver behaviour telemetry in 2011. Although one of the key contributors to the programme, however, it wasn’t just a case of fitting the technology and hoping for the best. Iron Mountain recognised the power of this tool but knew it would need to be closely managed to be effective in the long run.

A daily report was created to show instances of speeding for all the UK and Ireland vehicles, reporting any violation of more than four miles per hour above any posted limit- for example 35mph in a 30mph zone, 45mph in a 40 mph zone, and so on.

Working closely with the drivers, the number of violations were reduced by over 80% in just six months – a resounding success yet, crucially, the on-time delivery service KPI of 99.97% has not been affected by the initiative and means drivers now realise they don’t have to speed to get the job done.

Since installing telemetry maintenance costs have fallen by over 30% and driver telematics has delivered Return on Investment (ROI) in just eight months.

“The work-related road risk management programme that Iron Mountain have in place has been rightly recognised throughout the industry as being best in class,” says Andy Price, Practice Leader – Europe, Motor Fleet, at Zurich Risk Engineering.

“The ongoing improvements in the collision and claim rates are a testament to the excellent work that Rory and his team are doing on a daily basis – the results speak for themselves,” adds Price.

Spreading the word

The great news is that good results can be replicated. The Driver Behaviour Telematics System was deployed right across the UK and Ireland fleets in 2011, reporting on various aspects of driving behaviour including acceleration, braking, cornering, lane handling and speeding. Over 100 different vehicle movements are now captured by the system.

The system delivered a return on investment within just eight months and has now been installed across most of the European fleet covering 12 countries. So successful has this work been that, according to their telematics supplier, Iron Mountain records the best results for this system worldwide.

Iron Mountain’s customers often ask about their road safety and sustainability record and, thanks to their track record, they are delighted to discuss it with them.

The Central Compliance Team is always pleased to demonstrate and share their successful approach assisting other companies to work on their own risk reduction, something they do as part of being a Driving for Better Business Champion.

You can read the full Iron Mountain case study here.

You can also read how other Business Champions including supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive, vehicle leasing group Arval and social care provider HILS have achieved equally impressive results.