"Have the Courage to Fail, and the Faith to Succeed"

The Blog of Brendan P. Keegan

Merchants Fleet is Leading the Charge

Two of my favorite books of all time are The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore.  The Tipping Point talks about how little things lead to big things. The best way I can describe an actual tipping point is it’s like magic – when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a point and becomes mainstream.  In Crossing the Chasm, which I read in 1998 as I embarked on my journey through Silicon Valley during the dot.com era, I learned about marketing high-tech products during the early startup period.  Crossing the Chasm aligns with the 5-stage technology adoption lifecycle – innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards.

We are fast approaching a tipping point in the Fleet industry with electric vehicles (EVs) and we will accelerate through the first two phases of the technology adoption life cycle like a GM 1000 horsepower Hummer EV. We will cross the chasm…and fast.

As automakers worldwide plan to spend $185 billion on developing new EVs and advancements in battery technology continue to drive prices down, EVs are finally becoming a viable and sustainable alternative to their gas-powered counterparts. At the same time, corporations are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and do their part to reduce the impact of transportation on our environment. And, most recently, the US government has made their electric commitment, too.

At the current moment Merchants is the fastest-growing fleet management company in the industry, and I am pleased to announce our biggest and boldest new initiative ever undertaken – ELECTRIFY FLEET – which is our bold, brave and smart commitment to the future of electrification across the fleet industry and to lead our clients into this new era. We are dedicated to educating, deploying and infusing the fleet industry with EVs.  Our commitment is to have 50% of our Mobility fleet electric by 2025, and 50% of our managed clients’ fleets by 2030.

Merchants is committed to being the most electric fleet management company on the planet, and to put each of our clients in a strategically advantaged position to reap the benefits of this transformational technology. It’s our job to find the right EV fleet application for you. EVs may not be a fit for all your current or future fleet applications, but there’s a great chance that EVs can be a solution to achieve your objectives—current and future. Merchants is ready to help.

Welcome to Electrify Fleet.

Brendan P. Keegan
Chief Executive Officer


The Dos and Don'ts of Strategic Planning

If you wanted to get to the top of a mountain, my guess is you’d plan ahead. You’d make sure to look at the weather, pack the right supplies and wear the appropriate gear.

It’s the same concept when you compete in business. It’s difficult to get to the top of your industry without preparation. It takes strategic thinking and planning. To get ahead of everyone in your industry, if they’re pushing 10% growth, you have to figure out exactly what you’re going to do to push 20%.

Failing to strategically plan should be the exception under this mindset, especially since having a business plan can increase your odds of success. Unfortunately, it’s the norm. Research from HLB Mann Judd found that even though 98% of surveyed businesses said they have opportunities for growth and ideas about how to achieve it, just 20% of business owners have a formal plan. They may not know how to put truly workable and meaningful steps together. Awareness of a few dos and don’ts should help get you past this roadblock and ensure you don’t fall behind.


Flexing Your Mental Strength

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. During this time millions of people, from around the world, will be fighting the stigma against mental illness, educating the public, and sharing their stories.

As a leader, it is important to recognize and understand mental health and the impact it has on your team. I have found that offering health & wellness programs to employees is extremely successful and if you can include an incentive that is a plus. Everyone likes to work a little harder if they get to win something. Whether it be group exercise classes, a nutritionist, or healthy living tips, people appreciate having it at their fingertips. Healthy & happy employees lead to successful organizations.

But what can you do to improve your mental strength daily? We can’t predict the future, so how can we best prepare ourselves to face challenges as they come our way? There are so many ways to build mental strength but let me give you a few ideas that work for me and I have seen work for others.