Many companies in the driver training and fleet risk management industry offer “consultancy” as part of their portfolio. But how impartial can they be when they have a vested interest in selling as much of their product or service as they can? There’s one thing the driver training business and show business have in common: they’re both “bums on seats” businesses. Profit is related to volume.
No free lunches
In some cases, “consultancy” may be offered as a “free” service, as part of a package, but we all know there are no free lunches. If the service being provided is truly valuable, why is that value not represented in the fee? Does the supplier lack confidence in its value? Or is it actually a thinly-disguised step in the sales process?
The illusion of impartiality
In other cases, a fee may be charged for a “risk assessment” or a “situation analysis” but we have to question whether the real purpose of the fee is to create the illusion of impartiality before recommending the company’s own interventions.
Are independent advisors really independent?
So-called independent advisors may also not be impartial; they may receive much of their income from commissions. So their advice tends to be biased towards what most benefits the advisor rather than the client. One should be suspicious of, for instance, a fleet management consultant who always seems to promote driver training with a particular company—the one he has a cosy relationship with.
How is Drivernetics’ advice different?
You may be assured that my consulting advice and recommendations are truly impartial, not least because I have eliminated financial incentives. If you’re paying me a fee to provide advice, I do not accept any commissions, introduction fees or sales mark-ups from any of the suppliers I may recommend.*
Where such payments are normally made I insist that their value is redirected into price reductions for the client or I rebate them against my fees. You’ll know that I recommend particular products or suppliers because I believe they will be right for the job, and I will also help you to specify the purchase so that you get no more and no less than is necessary to achieve the desired result.
Because I have no vested interest in maximising spending with outside suppliers, and because the most effective interventions are often the simplest, much of my advice is likely to be directed towards internal actions. In such cases, I shall offer whatever assistance is appropriate to enable you to perform the tasks, such as training managers in particular skills.
Okay, you’ve got some idea of the sort of consulting I do, and I hope I’ve assured you that I’m genuinely impartial. So what might typical projects consist of?
*Please note that this applies to advice/consulting for which I’m paid directly. I do not expect you to pay twice (both openly and hidden). However, where I have invested a great deal of time and money in acquiring the knowledge that allows me to provide advice for which I make no charge, and which may include recommendations for products or services, it’s only fair that I sometimes get a commission. In such cases, I always make full disclosure of my relationship with the supplier.