The Driver Anywhere Network
gives operators standardized pricing across the 40 markets. It shows you the cost of the ride, available cars, and a breakdown on percentage to easily calculate markup.
A difficult challenge for small- and mid-size operators is establishing and maintaining a qualified affiliate network. The process of vetting limo companies in other markets and making sure the farm-out rides are handled consistently with a high level of service can take a lot of manpower and time.
To help remedy this, Limo Anywhere has come out with a new Driver Anywhere Network feature, that helps make it easier for operators to farm out rides, and saves them time and energy on affiliate management.
The process is simple. When a Limo Anywhere user wants to farm out a ride to a different market, the user goes into the Driver Anywhere Network and queries the availability of rides in the area to farm out to. The user is instantly given a quote that shows the pricing of the intended trip, and when accepted, the ride is scheduled.
Once it has been farmed out, the operator can track the execution of that ride by way of the Driver Anywhere App feature, which lets chauffeurs send instant updates on the status of rides. These notifications are statements like driver on-site, customer in car, customer dropped off, and ride completed, and it allows operators to track in real-time the rides they have farmed out.
general manager Mark Gentry (L) and CEO Max Paltsev (R) head up the operations at the company, which services more than 10 million rides a year.
Max Paltsev, CEO of Limo Anywhere, believes that with this new capability, operators around the country using Limo Anywhere software will be able to offer more service to their clients, with the assuredness that the affiliates are well managed and accountable for each ride.
“A lot of small- and mid-size operators are scared off by the amount of work it takes to form an affiliate network and farm out,” he says. “It requires a lot of legwork to look for qualified vendors in each market, and once you find a good one, you need to find at least one back up, and then you have to follow up on each ride to make sure it was on time and the customer was satisfied with the service. With the Driver Anywhere Network, we take care of all that for you.”
Affiliate Management & Ride Execution
Limo Anywhere has more than 3,500 hundred operators in 43 countries using its cloud-based reservation management software. In 2011, Limo Anywhere teamed up with GroundLink, and by doing so, incorporated GroundLink’s network of fully vetted affiliates in 40 locations nationwide. GroundLink, during the past two years, has been screening limo operators in these markets, qualifying them on things such as insurance, licensing, vehicle quality, efficiency of service, and more, to ensure their customers receive first-rate service. The background work that GroundLink has done with affiliates is now integrated into the Driver Anywhere Network, so that the affiliate management portion of the business is brought directly to the Limo Anywhere user at the click of a button.
Mark Hooper, CIO of Limo Anywhere, is in charge of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, product development and server maintenance. As a tech veteran of the transportation industry, he makes sure all sensitive data is securely stored. In the case of a server problem, backup systems are in place to keep the software running smoothly.
“The Driver Anywhere Network is different because we do all the legwork,” Paltsev says. “We pre-qualify the affiliates. We make sure they are who they say they are, and that drivers are background checked and using the Driver Anywhere App, which is important because it gives you real-time updates on the ride.”
The Driver Anywhere App is for chauffeurs. It is free to download and works on iOS and Android. It lets chauffeurs send the full range of ride status updates, and it has GPS tracking. With this feature, operators can see their farmed out ride being done, and receive updates on the ride directly from the chauffeur. “Everything is done in real-time,” Paltsev says. “It looks and feels like it’s a ride in your own market. With the GPS, you can actually track the ride and see it as a moving dot on the map, and receive all ride status updates directly and instantly.”
Customer Service & Industry Future
Limo Anywhere has many processes in place to make sure users are happy with the product, and this extends to the Driver Anywhere Network. Mark Gentry, general manager at Limo Anywhere, says that customer service is a big part of the business.
“We have an ongoing qualification process for all of our affiliates in the network, and every single week we rate them on two core metrics: technology compliance and on-time percentage,” he says. The technology lets them assess the quality of each ride in detail. Was the driver on time? Was the customer dropped off on time?
All of this is recorded and reviewed, and if there is an issue, it is addressed immediately, Gentry says. “We get fancy charts that show us every detail, and if something is amiss, that affiliate gets a phone call. And that’s something the smaller operators might not be able to do in-house because they don’t have the resources to do it.”
Limo Anywhere has taken note of the recent disruptive booking technologies making their way into the industry, and believes it important to stay forward thinking as an industry tech supplier. It has an open API to any third party vendor that is interested, and many limo app making companies already have used it so operators can have smooth integration between their Limo Anywhere software and branded mobile app.
The Limo Anywhere
team in Irving, Texas, where sales, customer support and product development all work together.
The focus of the company remains in providing its customers with the best cloud-based reservation management system possible, and by doing so, helping to strengthen the industry overall. “We’ve always been receptive to our customers’ requests and listened to what they are saying, and if you look at our number of customers, it has grown steadily every year, so we feel that small- and mid-size operators are continuing to thrive,” Paltsev says.
Paltsev hopes that with the new Driver Anywhere Network, these operators will be able to do even more for their businesses. “We have a lot of operators who have customers in their local markets who love them and are loyal to them,” Paltsev says. “But these customers fly someplace and this operator never sees the other leg of that trip. They don’t ask for the business and it’s just not something a small operator is accustomed to doing.”
The Driver Anywhere Network hopes to inspire operators to take advantage of this connectivity, and sell more rides to the customer. “We want the small- and mid-size operator to be able to focus on what they do best, selling rides, and we’ll do what we do best, which is reservation management and now affiliate management,” Paltsev says. “We’re going to make sure the vast majority of small- to mid-size operators become national operators.”