Technology Drives Oregon Town Car Services Forward

Posted on May 15, 2009 by Thi Dao

Like many chauffeured transportation company owners, Ali Al-Abbas started small, driving one town car part-time.

However, Al-Abbas faced more hurdles than most: He was new to the U.S., and previously had been working on an assembly line while studying English.

It's a testament to hard work that Al-Abbas' Oregon Town Car Services, which started in 1999, has grown into a half-million dollar company that farms out work to fleets across the nation. Abbas credits his investment in technology for growing his company and keeping it ahead of the game.

Al-Abbas began working with a computer programmer to build his ideas. "Because I was a small operator, I wanted to manage my business wherever I was," he says. He wanted clients to work for him by scheduling their own reservations. The solution was the Internet. The launch of the company's online reservation system six months after its inception led to a significant increase in business.

When a customer makes a reservation, it is sent to the dispatch center before being transmitted to the phones of individual chauffeurs. The system is paperless, and the chauffeur hardly ever collects any money since payment is done online. Al-Abbas says the paperless system significantly eliminates the chance of human error. He adds that the company has not made a mistake in the 10 years it has been in service.

In addition, the system saves the company thousands every month on labor costs. Al-Abbas says that with 85% of customers completing their reservations online and never having to call a representative, it eliminates the need for an extensive phone staff. "I'm sitting in the office just watching the system getting jobs," he says.

The Web site's copyrighted online price calculator allows clients to get an estimate of how much the service will cost. A new, extensive online reservation system is in the works, scheduled to start in May. Affiliates input their company's information and pricing.

Clients then can use the fare calculator, view company reviews and available dates, make the reservation, and receive email confirmation within minutes. The website will charge affiliates 5% to 10% of the fare of each job matched. In return, it also handles billing for all affiliates, which allows large corporations to simply deal with one bill for their transportation needs.

"We are not creating a directory - we are creating a full reservation system," Al-Abbas stresses. He estimates the project's cost as nearly $1 million, paid for by investors and himself.

Oregon Town Car Services has 14 vehicles. Last year, it farmed out more than $380,000 of work nationwide. Fifty-five percent of its clients are corporate clients, but it services events, tours, and wine tastings as well. It has its own professional team trained in Portland wine and has a van specifically designed for it.

Another unique element of Al-Abbas' company is the family loyalty. He employs nine family members, including brothers, his wife, brother-in-law, and cousins. They do everything from chauffeuring to accounting. Al-Abbas says he works well with them because of set rules everyone must follow, including himself. These work rules ensure no one receives special treatment.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Zipwhip Designs An Easy Way To Reach Clients

eNews Exclusive: Everybody texts…so why don’t you allow your customers to?

TomTom Flows Driving Data To Verisk Data Exchange

Alliance offers WEBFLEET subscribers new opportunity to use telematics data for insurance services related to fleet safety.

Meet The Suitcase Chauffeur Who Can Drive Your Car

If this latest self-driving technology takes off, it can solve the chronic driver recruitment problem.

AUTOsist Launches Fleet Maintenance App

The software includes dedicated areas to track repairs, fuel, custom notes, and more.

Driverless Vehicles Will Alter How We Buy, Own, Insure Cars

Automakers are not only unprepared for the change -- they’re not even trying.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - September 2017 $12.95 MOTORCOACH / BUS ISSUE COVER STORY: * Irizar Racks Up A Good Rookie Year * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close