Counter Punch

Posted on April 16, 2015 by Tom Halligan - Also by this author

Good Vibrations: Packed sessions were part of the positive vibe during last month’s International LCT Show in Las Vegas.
Good Vibrations: Packed sessions were part of the positive vibe during last month’s International LCT Show in Las Vegas.

Good to see a very strong contingent of East Coast operators at last month’s LCT International Show in Las Vegas. Aside from the backdrop of continued angst over TNCs, operators were upbeat on the industry and there was a good vibe at the sessions, events and show floor about the positive viability of the industry going forward.

 I felt the same energy in conversations with operators across the globe and at the packed sessions and networking events.  I think the main reason is that the industry has comes to realize that TNCs are not going away, and win, or lose on the legislative regulatory front, operators are not standing still gazing at the sky looking at the TNC meteors bearing down on them. They’re taking action

Many operators that I spoke are focused on what strategies and tactics they can implement to differentiate their business, go after new business, and run their business better to compete at the highest level of the private transportation industry. The three-days of packed sessions underscored the focus to deliver exceptional chauffeur and transportation services coupled with the willingness to seek out new business opportunities.

Of course, there was a bit of a buzz from some tech companies that promise to roll out a universal on-demand app for the industry. New York City-based Whisk was promoting its on-demand app service for the industry. Patrick Grady, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Deem, a “commerce-as-a-service” company, gave one of those spirited high-tech sermons that Silicon Valley evangelists do better than anyone. Call me skeptical, but I covered high-tech for many years and the digital super highway is littered with the carnage of thousands of lofty tech solutions that crashed and burned.

Basically, when some tech company—or someone within the industry—rolls out a universal mobile app system that can handle and manage all of the idiosyncrasies and nuances of the industry, and get fierce competitors to all play nice in the same sandbox—good luck with that—then I’ll be the first to herald the product. Sure, some operators are having some marginal success with their home-grown, or off-the-shelf, mobile app, but a full-blown on-demand mobile app system, and the subsequent marketing effort that will require serious investment, could be years away.

Until then, operators are counter punching by continuing the fight against illegal TNCs, and also doing everything they can to enhance their business and seek out new opportunities that require the professional chauffeur transportation services and experience that no TNC company or driver can match.

 P.S. … Hope you can attend the upcoming LCT Leadership Summit, May 17-19, at the Eden Roc resort in Miami Beach. After this past frigid and snowy winter, a trip to Miami for sun, fun, inspiring and informative sessions, and networking with the industry’s movers and shakers is the perfect venue to reenergize…




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