(left) and Michael Yingling
in 2014. Norman has a technology background. His family ran an interstate railroad freight company. Yingling is the CTO who oversees coding and product architecture.
ArtusMode originated in 2006 when Andy Norman started a party bus company in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The full-time student was short on time and employees, so he created a website to ease the online booking process. Once he got clients, it was time to create a back-office software to streamline operations and keep things in order. He brought his friend Michael Yingling on to further the tech development.
Fast forward to 2015 and ArtusMode has created a robust management software that helps limo operators with a number of tasks, including Department of Transportation compliance, customer retention tools, and a host of analytical data that gives smaller-scaled limo companies a large-scale advantage. ArtusMode was developed along with the party bus company, which is now an 18-vehicle operation.
phone companion interface will look up the calling number and display the customer’s information, so customer service representatives can answer and service the call as needed.
“We eat our own dogfood,” says Norman, using a common term in the tech industry that refers to a software company using its products internally. “We’ve built ArtusMode along with the party bus company, but we went back and refined it to make it applicable to the limo industry as a whole. I think this market has been traditionally underserved. It went from the renaissance of Microsoft Access in the 1990s, to becoming an always-connected customer experience using cloud-based technology, and that’s where we are coming in now.”
ArtusMode officially launched to market in early 2014. This year, it is promoting the software’s ability to improve employee performance, such as helping users communicate quick and concise information. A reservationist, for example, can give dynamic price quotes because of an easy-to-use customer retention module that shows a client’s purchase history, while a salesperson can can cue up a list of leads and prospects.
ArtusMode Is Tailor Made For Operators
While ArtusMode can offer such things as dispatch management, it works best with preexisting reservation management software systems, Norman says. Its strength lies in delivering pertinent data quickly to employees so they can make good business decisions. For example, Norman cites ArtusMode’s telephony integration. If a client calls in, the receptionist will automatically get a pop-up window on the screen that shows the client’s history on past purchases and satisfaction. Another notable feature is the DOT dashboard, where each vehicle can be tagged with a timetable for required inspections and maintenance, and chauffeurs get reminders for drug and alcohol testing and many other requirements.
The Department of Transportation Hours of Service (HOS) portal lets drivers enter their DOT HOS data on a mobile device, which is then calculated to ensure the driver has not exceeded allotted hours.
“We’re all about data feeds,” Norman says. “The key is to condense it down and make it understandable. Big data is such a cliché word but there are actual patterns and behaviors to be derived that can help you make better business decisions, boiling it all down to something comprehensible for a C-level executive. Do I buy Ford or Chevy? Are my Fords booking better than Chevys? What am I making more money off of? All of these things were traditionally very difficult for the little guys to do. They didn’t have the statistical decision-making capability, and had to make choices anecdotally, which is dangerous. We want to give these limo operators solid data points that make sense.”
ArtusMode’s success can be seen in the revenue increases reported at the party bus company, says Norman. By running algorithms against the data compiled, Norman and Yingling have adjusted their models and kept profits up. “We’re in a low margin business, where a one percent uptick in revenue or savings in one vertical can have a 10% increase on the bottom line over the year,” Norman says.
ArtusMode is offered as a monthly service fee that includes a range of packages depending on which specific software functions the operator wants. The company works closely with each potential client during the onboarding phase so that the software suits their needs and they understand how to use each function.
The DOT pre-trip vehicle inspection mobile interface lets drivers note any safety defects on the vehicle during their pre-trip inspection process.
Location: Great Falls, Va.
Service: Fleet operations management software
Owners: Andrew Norman CEO, Michael Yingling CTO