Technology

Livery Coach Provides Solutions To Industry Tech Problem

Lexi Tucker
Posted on October 12, 2016

Passengers can see the location of their chauffeurs, much like apps used by TNCs
Passengers can see the location of their chauffeurs, much like apps used by TNCs
Founded in the mid-90s as the first windows-based limousine software, Livery Coach Solutions specializes in the tech needs of the luxury ground transportation industry, from back-office reservations and dispatch to chauffeur and customer apps. LCT spoke with President David Hirsch to discover what the company has been up to and what customers can expect from its services.

Constant Customer Service

Ever been in a situation where you couldn’t get ahold of customer support, or received a roundabout answer to your question? Livery Coach’s team of software support experts can answer calls and emails about their products. “Some of our team members have worked in management positions on the client side, so they can answer more than just technical questions,” Hirsch says.

Fast Facts

Location: West Chester, Penn. (Philadelphia metro area)

Service: Software and services to the chauffeured transportation industry

Founded: Mid-1990s — the first windows-based limousine software

Owners: An Vo, David Hirsch, and Chip Bowman

Employees: Eight in the U.S., plus a development office in Vietnam

Website: www.liverycoach.com

Contact: [email protected]

The company is independent and devoted to ensuring customers are pleased with their products. “We have no outside investors or any debt, and we don’t have any other businesses that can distract us or compete with our clients,” he says. In fact, customer feedback drives new innovations. “We don’t tell you how to run your business — you show us what is working for you, and we work to accommodate that within our software.”

The Best of Both Worlds

Hirsch describes two categories of traditional software models: Off-the-shelf software and custom software.

“Off-the-shelf software can be great, if you run your business exactly the way the program designers think you should run your business,” he says. While cost-effective, if you want to do things a bit differently, it’s often impossible — you are forced to change your processes to precisely match those of the software package.

On the other hand, custom software can be created specifically for your operation. This, of course, is pricier and can take a very long time to build. It also can be hard and expensive to maintain, as the expense isn’t spread across a customer base, and the developers may have moved on to other projects. “Additionally, customers don’t get the benefits of continuous improvement based on the suggestions of other customers, and bugs are often hard to find and fix,” Hirsch says.

Because there are benefits to both types of software. Livery Coach blends the favorable aspects of each. “We offer a multitude of settings and configurations to help our customers tweak their installation to best fit their businesses, rather than the other way around, within a standardized technology platform. Everyone benefits from our improvements, and from suggestions of other customers,” Hirsch says. The only downside is setup and initial configuration can get complicated, since it involves many choices and settings. However, the company doesn’t charge for its initial three-day, on-site setup and training visit.

In recent years, the company has seen increased use of its mobile products. Its customer app, which can be individually branded and distributed through Apple and Google app stores, resembles the interface of the Uber app. Customers can even take a “selfie” and put it on file so the chauffeur knows what they look like.

“We’ve also extended this functionality through our ‘iAffiliate’ app, which allows the affiliates of our customers, regardless of software (or even if they have no software at all) to provide the same information to the passenger for a seamless ride experience,” Hirsch says.

Fighting Into The Future

As for what the future holds, Hirsch says Livery Coach focuses on improving connectivity. “The TNCs have declared war on our industry, and depending on who you talk to, they are winning,” Hirsch says. “They are seemingly immune to the rules and regulations this industry spent years forming, and the playing field has shifted in their favor, all in the name of price and convenience.”

David Hirsch, president of Livery Coach Solutions
David Hirsch, president of Livery Coach Solutions
Good connectivity levels the playing field. With the right business strategy, it can favor fleet companies with the equal technology, duty of care, and customer service lacking in the digital hitchhiking world, Hirsch says.

While some say the solution may be a single technology platform or even a single application, Hirsch disagrees. “Obviously this conflicts with our survival, but it doesn’t make business sense either. The customers we’ve talked to don’t want to hand over their customer lists to a third party and abandon relationships they spent years building. Many of the players in this industry have strong brands and own the relationship with their clients.”

No matter what happens, Hirsch says customers can count on Livery Coach to stand by them. “It’s impossible to predict exactly where the industry will go, but we can certainly promise we will continue to be there, delivering whatever solutions our customers require to keep their businesses successful.” 

Related Topics: computer software, David Hirsch, industry vendors, Livery Coach Software, mobile applications, reservation management software

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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