Technology

GETTING BIG BIZ: Limos.com Launches “For Business” Product

Posted on February 24, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

The new online product allows corporations to “go direct” to local operators while customizing their chauffeured transportation preferences, access, and spending limits.

SAN FRANCISCO — To help match business travelers with qualified operators, online booking service LIMOS.COM is launching LimosForBusiness to help companies manage their spending on chauffeured transportation.

Under the system, a company client can set up a free account on Limos.com that can be completely customized, both in terms of which employees access it, and the types of levels of service they can reserve among operator members of Limos.com.

The arrangement speeds up and simplifies reservations and confirmations for both companies and operators. Companies will also be able to choose exclusive operator-providers as well as establish lists of preferred ones in a consolidated, single-platform online environment.

“We are building a new functionality where companies of all sizes can upload a list into our system and use it as their controlled list that appropriates our services for all of their business needs,” said Doug Anderson, senior vice president of San Francisco-based Limos.com.

LIMOS.COM, which has more than 1,400 registered operator members worldwide who receive leads from the site, significantly restricts the number of operators eligible to receive business reservations based on their qualifications and service guarantees. Furthermore, they will divide operators in the largest metro areas into three service classes similar to hotel star-ratings. “People want to know if they are riding in a Marriott or a Ritz-Carlton,” Anderson said.

The mid-class for example includes those Limos.com operators with standard pricing and service and offer less expensive or even discounted arrangements. The upper classes will include operators who offer premium pricing and high-end luxury service — and are reserved for the “best of the best.”

Anderson pointed out that a growing percentage of the operators signed on to Limos.com are luxury-oriented, and do not compete on price. Most participate in other affiliate networks. The other half emphasizes value and competitive pricing.

“We want to help the buyer find the right pricing/quality level, so it will be a better experience for the buyer and better for the operator,” Anderson said. “For corporate buyers who want segmentation, the senior level manager can go to premium level and the mid-level manager can use the mid-level operators.”

A company with 10,000 employees, for example, can set up parameters for employee access to its Limos.com account and set limits on the service levels and pricing each employee is allowed when reserving chauffeured transportation. The LimosForBusiness system then provides real-time reporting of corporate clients’ travel spending, and detailed records of each employee’s reservations and spending.

Operators have the opportunity to be linked to corporations looking for chauffeured service, and can become the exclusive provider to a company if that company prefers what that operator has to offer. Limos.com will match a company requesting service with a list of potential providers that meet that company’s criteria, Anderson said.

“While we’re deploying this platform online, we’ve built the product and service around the local operators, as we want operators themselves to be our partners,” Anderson said. “We want to provide local providers a turn-key worldwide network and online booking solution using the local operator’s own brand, not Limos.com, so that businesses can rely upon the local operator to provide “whenever and wherever” service.”

To qualify for corporate bookings through Limos.com, operator members must be able to process confirmations on short notice, handle bookings and correspondence via e-mail, and demonstrate reliability based on referrals from other corporate accounts, operators and customers, Anderson said.

Limos.com also allows operators to post their vehicles, rates, and services similar to the format on Expedia, so corporate clients can browse and compare chauffeured transportation providers.

“The value to the corporate buyer is huge savings,” Anderson said. “They can buy direct, see who the end provider is, pick by name through our system, get 24/7 Internet-enabled convenience, world-class live support and be able to log-in and print out confirmations sent via e-mail.”

Limos.com is already working with several operators to help them sell new accounts or expand their current account spend. LimosForBusiness officially launched Feb. 1, and is now in beta with some Fortune 500 businesses.

Operators interested in partnering can contact Eric Schneider ([email protected]) or Carlos Matos ([email protected]) to learn more.

— Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine

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