"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
Chairman, CEO & President


The hybrid model is the future: Here’s how to make it work

Ever since the pandemic forced millions of workers to go remote, the speculation has been that remote work is going to kill the traditional office. A compromise is more likely: A McKinsey survey revealed that 75% of workers said they prefer a hybrid model, and more than two out of three employees who prefer hybrid models say they’d look for other opportunities if their company asked them to return to the office full-time with no exceptions. Bringing people back to the office to create this type of model takes care, but it brings benefits for everybody.


How to Build a Top-Notch Team

Collaboration is reciprocal. It requires a continuous and conscious effort to open yourself to the views and ideas of others different from yours. That difference may be related to culture, work/life experience, age, gender, and the conversations that come from those differences hold the promise of creative and imaginative dialogue that results in innovative ideas and actions.

Generating innovative ideas is at the top of my list and should be for every leader. How can you inspire the ideas that will propel your company forward? Cultivate a collaborative environment, that’s how.

My first collaborative aha moment was when I was a young sales executive who had the good fortune to have access to an executive coach. He told me that the people who worked for me enjoyed doing so, but the teams in other departments not so much. Why? Because here I was head of sales, and I had yet to make any efforts to collaborate with marketing and strategy. Today, the connection is immediate. I would throw operations and customer service into the collaborative mix, as well as finance and human resources. They all play a role in achieving the end game and they all come with a different perspective of how to make that happen.

Now, I’m not suggesting we just throw everyone together and have an endless exchange of ideas because nothing else would get done. Collaboration must be intentional, and two key elements to focus on are relationships and communication.

Like collaboration, relationships and communication are only effective and impactful if they are reciprocal. You can’t have either without a healthy exchange: a willingness to give and receive. So, what does that look like?