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Release date: 11/26/2019
Meet NAFA Associate Member Ingrid Cook, Founder, SHzoom
BY DONALD W. DUNPHY
“My expertise is in insurance, having spent more than 25 years in the automotive insurance industry,” said NAFA Associate Member Ingrid Cook, entrepreneur and Founder of SHzoom, a tech company offering a fleet-oriented platform designed to streamline crash paperwork processing and rectification.
“In speaking with a local fleet company, I realized there are large fleets with self-insured retention programs, or they handle their crash losses internally. Because of this, there’s a huge disconnect between the organization’s fleet and risk management departments.”
Based on SHzoom’s patented proprietary “Snap A Pic, Get A Quote” system, SHzoom Fleet offers the ability to download securely everything an organization needs from a crash scene to produce valuable reports and predictive analytics.
The solution, said Cook, is designed to minimize the paperwork time that aggravates actual vehicle downtime. “Once a fleet vehicle is involved in a crash, it’s gone from use. The fleet manager can only estimate when it is going back into utility.”
Further, a vehicle — or a large segment of the fleet — can be sidelined when an OEM recall is issued. “In many cases, the parts required to fulfill a recall are on backorder. By being able to bring all the individual stakeholders and their necessary information together in the ‘cloud,’ our service can decrease the cycle time and reduce that vehicle’s downtime, which is so important for a fleet, especially when a large volume of vehicles is involved at the same time.”Cook also sees value in their offering for the public safety segment. “In areas where you need most of your vehicles to be consistently viable, we feel we have a solution that could be of great service. That has a huge effect, especially for county and government fleets.”
Still, the whirlwind of activity her company has experienced seems far removed from SHzoom’s business-to-consumer origins with the “Snap A Pic. Get A Quote” photo estimating IP, now licensed to several companies. The foundation of the technology allows consumers the ability to snap a picture of a minor fender-bender, send it out to all repair shops within a 20-mile radius, and receive quotes by phone to compare.“We filed the patent on it back in 2010, but it did not formally issue until 2017. For a while, we thought we were only going to be able to profit from the licensing deals.”
Instead, the initial apps became cornerstones for more complex, cloud-based solutions and more patents.
Realizing that the company had a worthwhile product that could help fleets, Cook’s team started reaching out to people in what was deemed the most direct way they knew how. “This is our first time in the business-to-business sector. We were reaching out to fleet managers — one by one — by phone. It was a slow and tedious process, as you can imagine, and we thought there had to be a better way to communicate with those who might benefit most from our work.”
After researching fleet management organizations, SHzoom determined that NAFA was exactly the community they were looking for. “By far, NAFA’s online presence was outstanding, and the people I’ve spoken to within the fleet industry all hold the association in the highest regard.”Cook was particularly impressed by NAFA’s annual conference, Institute & Expo (I&E), which took place in Louisville, Kentucky, this year.
“We attended the show and knew immediately that it hit all of our requirements, and we were able to talk to so many people at once. Going to I&E was the best decision our company has made.
“I’ve become one of NAFA’s biggest cheerleaders,” Cook concluded.