DEERFIELD BEACH, FL, June 19, 2015 (Press Release) – Driver’s Alert, a pioneer of the decal-based ‘How’s My Driving?’ behavioral observation program, today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Flexible Learning Solutions, Inc. (FLS), a Nashville-based eLearning company focused on technology-driven safety, risk management and compliance. The terms of the transaction are undisclosed. The acquisition gives Driver’s Alert a leading position in the market for driver, supervisor and fleet safety eLearning courses, and a state-of-the-art Content Management System (CMS).
“The fleet safety industry has changed significantly in the last few years,” remarked Mike Kroll, President and CEO of Driver’s Alert. “However, one area that has remained neglected is off-the-shelf driver training. According to Fleet Research Quarterly’s 2015 report, only 13 percent of fleets actually perform any type of driver safety training. What a huge opportunity for Driver’s Alert since we now own the latest technology, and the newest, most up-to-date driver and fleet safety content available.”
With more than 20 years of experience in the corporate safety industry, Mr. Kroll knows a few things about training. “I personally witnessed the training industry evolve over the years from videotape to laser disc, to CD-ROM and DVD, to the Internet, and now to mobile delivery devices. What has remained unchanged is the demand for high quality and relevant content, easy implementation, and a user-friendly interface. The FLS training solution meets these demands 100 percent.”
The power of FLS’ CMS is in its production and maintenance capacity, with a major bonus being its seamless interoperability with all current Learning Management Systems (LMS), Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and Talent Management Systems (TMS). “It used to be the norm for an eLearning company to take eight to twelve weeks to produce a course. The FLS engine enables us to more than cut that time in half.” Mr. Kroll was careful to point out what this capability means for Driver’s Alert, noting, “Whereas eLearning companies are infamous for building a library of courses and then leaving them to die on the vine, we now possess the technology to make building courses not a one-time event, but an enduring process that continuously brings new content to the market.”
FLS has spent the majority of the last two years focusing on developing brand new safety training content and building the infrastructure to house it. “Having built a development engine and an extensive library of courses, we were ready to go to market,” said David Gallagher, Co-Founder of FLS. “Following discussions with Mike Kroll, it was evident that Driver’s Alert has the strength and depth in sales and marketing to reach a broad base of customers and get this next-generation content to market right away. FLS is a natural fit for Driver’s Alert.”
One of the distinguishing features of the FLS training courses is that they are all built in HTML5, which beyond its general purpose of structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web, optimizes the display of content for all web-enabled devices, translating into a mobile-friendly experience. Driver’s Alert Vice President of Business Development, Ron Kirsch, PhD, emphasized, “It is well known that Flash-based video suffers from numerous web browser compatibility issues and according to a statement made by Adobe, no further development of the Flash plugin for mobile devices is being pursued. It’s as clear as ever. HTML5 is the new standard for playing content not just on mobile devices, but on anything connected to the web.”
Driver’s Alert believes offering the HTML5-based content appeals to Millennials and Gen Xers, as well as Baby Boomers, who now all frequently use mobile devices and generally prefer information in small chunks. In fact, recent research conducted by Annalect supports serving up information to Millennials in smaller doses. Frequently quoting terms from the study such as ‘micro-learning’ and ‘smart chaos’, Mr. Kroll asserted, “The evidence is mounting. HTML5 is the first step towards developing and offering training that complements these distinctive new learning behaviors.”
Beyond acquisitions, Mr. Kroll acknowledged that Driver’s Alert has quite a bit of organic work ahead of it before the new training model is fully realized. Putting it all in perspective, Mr. Kroll expounded, “eLearning is essentially in the very early stages of Phase 3. The first phase was all about just getting content delivered over the web. Phase 2 saw the conversion of streaming video to interactive training solutions. With Phase 3, we’re on the verge of a real game-changing eLearning model – mobile-ready training, Millennial-inspired instructional design and just-in-time course development. It’s another big step in eLearning and we’re very fortunate to be in a position to make a contribution to its future as well as those impacted by it.”
Driver’s Alert Co-Founder John DiPrato echoed Mr. Kroll’s enthusiasm about the FLS deal and his company’s current strategic plan, “From Day One 26 years ago we committed to adapt to evolving technologies and changing customer needs. This acquisition epitomizes everything we stand for. I’m very eager to introduce this new training solution to the fleet world as we continue our quest to improve driver safety.”
According to Driver’s Alert, the new eLearning courses will be available to the market in the coming weeks once the FLS assets are fully integrated.
To learn more about the FLS eLearning courses, visit www.driversalert.com/fleet-driver-safety-training.
About Flexible Learning Solutions, Inc.
Founded in 2013 by Alex Simpson and David Gallagher, the FLS team re-invented the content development process for online courseware. The company developed a proprietary, database-powered Content Management System for the ultimate in flexibility in course development. The FLS team of Instructional Designers, Subject Matter Experts and Graphics Developers utilized the CMS to produce an extensive library of multi-platform training courses for Safety, Transportation and Leadership Skills.
About Driver’s Alert
For 26 years Driver’s Alert has been serving the fleet management market with safety solutions that improve driver behavior and mitigate financial losses. In fact, M&H Automotive, its first customer back in 1989, is still a customer today.
Founded in South Florida as one of the first companies to offer a third-party, decal-based driver observation program, Driver’s Alert now offers technology-based solutions that include GPS and telematics tracking, Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) monitoring, and online training.
However, still at the core of the Driver’s Alert service offering is its ‘How am I driving?’ observation program. Having fielded more than 30 million calls and monitored over 500,000 service vehicles to date, Driver’s Alert has saved companies millions of dollars and prevented thousands of motor vehicle accidents since its founding. Along the way it also has assisted in stolen vehicle recoveries, a drug ring bust and even David Letterman’s comedy routine!
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