Driving Change in Fleet Safety: Michael Hatcher & Associates

March 11, 2024

Since opening their doors in 1986, Michael Hatcher & Associates has become one of the most respected names in the Memphis area landscape industry. If you take a drive around the Mid-South and see a beautifully maintained property, chances are that you’ll see one of their hard-working teams there. They have a Commercial Landscape division that specializes in landscape installation and maintenance, including irrigation, with a service portfolio that includes professional offices, medical facilities, retail centers, industrial complexes, multifamily developments, and retirement and homeowner association communities. The company’s Lawn Care division, Master Lawn, offers lawn care fertilization and weed control.

Now situated in Olive Branch, Mississippi, with a workforce exceeding 200 and a fleet of over 70 vehicles on the road every day, Michael Hatcher & Associates is deeply invested in maintaining the highest standards of safety and operational efficiency.

Amerisure’s partnership and safety journey with agency, Insight Risk Management, started with Michael Hatcher & Associates in 2010. Initially, the service delivery was focused on improving the overall safety culture and safety procedures for their employees. After making great strides in reducing the frequency and severity of worker’s compensation claims, the next step switched to improving key leading indicators in their fleet safety program.

In 2020, a strategic initiative was launched in collaboration with Josh Wilder, Safety Manager at Michael Hatcher & Associates. This initiative aimed to fortify driver selection procedures and leverage cutting-edge fleet technology solutions. Measures included the implementation of annual Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) reviews and the integration of advanced telematics controls.

Wilder expressed the impact of the partnership:

Working with the Amerisure and Insight team has been great. By implementing both MVR & telematics, we have been able to get in front of potential driver issues. Anytime I need help, they are quick to respond and provide feedback too. Our team has bought into the process, and we are reaping the benefits.

A critical aspect of this improvement strategy was the introduction of a third-party vendor, iiX, recommended by Amerisure. This partnership allowed for comprehensive MVR checks on all company drivers, benefiting from preferred pricing arrangements with iiX. In 2021, Michael Hatcher & Associates fully institutionalized an annual MVR check for all company drivers, adhering to meticulously defined criteria to ensure the safest drivers were operating company vehicles. 

Building on this foundation, Amerisure Risk Management teams collaborated with Michael Hatcher & Associates to enhance the utilization of existing telematics systems. This involved monitoring driver speed, aggressive driving behaviors (such as hard braking, turning, and acceleration), and seatbelt usage. The resulting data facilitated the creation of weekly driver reports by Wilder, enabling company managers to instill accountability and find opportunities to address at-risk behaviors by immediately coaching the driver.

Pat Siano, agency producer and Insight Risk Management Vice President, highlighted the longstanding commitment to safety:

Michael Hatcher & Associates has been a long-time Amerisure policyholder, and their commitment to safety is second to none. They are proactive in their relationship with their Amerisure Risk Management Consultant, Jeremy Biggs, whether it is including him in safety discussions or putting in place any recommendations that he makes to help them improve their safety culture.

The outcomes of these strategic enhancements are more than noteworthy. Michael Hatcher & Associates has achieved an average annual reduction of 95% in the cost of auto claims, coupled with an 87% reduction in the frequency of auto claims. This success underscores their unwavering commitment to safety, operational excellence, and continuous improvement, positioning them as a benchmark in the industry.

If you are interested in implementing an MVR program or utilizing telematics to improve your company’s overall fleet risk, please contact your Amerisure Risk Management consultant. If you are interested in coverage and our risk management services, find an agency here and one of our partners will assist you.