Decision bias isn’t a new concept; however, many fleet managers and truck drivers fail to recognize how it affects the transportation industry. According to the Harvard Business Review, when it comes to making purchases, people inherently prefer the advantages of their own products to those of new ones. This transfers to the business world as well, as company leadership will prefer innovations made in-house to other products available for purchase.
This skewed perspective means a new product has to be three times better than existing ones for fleets or drivers to make a purchase. On the other side of the equation, manufacturers think the benefits of their products are three times as good as current offerings. This results in a nine to one spread between what innovations manufacturers think truck companies want and what they actually prefer.
Statistics aside, the effects of decision bias are obvious in the trucking industry. Adoption of new technology is slow and many view innovations with a significant degree of mistrust. One of the more recent examples of this bias is the resistance to adopting electronic logging devices (ELDs). While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) passed regulations to make ELDs required equipment for trucks, there was significant pushback from within the industry.
What Manufacturers and Fleets Can Do
Fierce opposition to trucking innovations inhibits a fleet’s ability to improve in several ways. New technology can help enhance fuel efficiency, transportation safety, and more. However, fleet managers will never make a change if they don’t manage their expectations. It’s unrealistic for a new technology to solve every woe a fleet may have, but if it can improve their MPG or reduce operating costs, it’s worth considering. Manufacturers also need to change how they market their products to fleets if they want to see sales increase. Manufacturers often hype up the usefulness of their product, but fleets need to see measurable benefits before they will make a purchase.
Several innovations and services exist to improve transportation management and safety. However, the abundance of products available can be overwhelming. Contact the experts at Encompass Risk Solutions to learn how we can help your trucking business.