Technology

Must-Have Tech To Guide Your Company

Lexi Tucker
Posted on October 3, 2018

Anuj Patel, director of strategic development at Pontarelli Worldwide Ground Transportation in Chicago, Ill.
Anuj Patel, director of strategic development at Pontarelli Worldwide Ground Transportation in Chicago, Ill.
We often hear about how the luxury transportation industry needs to catch up to the likes of other tech-forward companies and industries, but this is easier said than done.

However, as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. LCT has collected some advice and other words of wisdom from operators who have taken one or more single steps and found themselves much better for it.

How To Enhance Operations With The Right Tools

Anuj Patel, director of strategic development at Pontarelli Worldwide Ground Transportation in Chicago, Ill., says there are two pieces of tech that have helped improve operations. The robustness and customization of Livery Coach and Drive Profit’s online quoting tool.

“I’ve worked with three different software providers, and so far Livery Coach is the only one I’ve experienced that’s essentially a living, breathing software,” he says. “The customer service is excellent, often ending in the representative fixing any issues on the spot. They cater to your needs and will work on developing solutions just for you. Different versions and updates assure it evolves along with the times.”

Investing in updated tech and software that’s right for your company’s size can help eliminate small tasks. “Each software provider has so much to offer; but it’s not about what everyone else wants, it’s about what your company needs. Don’t spend money just to spend money, but don’t be cheap,” he explains. The specific size of your business and the amount of detail you need to keep track of are factors to consider when choosing software. “These software systems offer so much more than just dispatch and reservations now.”

Pontarelli has also been a guinea pig of sorts for Drive Profit’s online quoting tool. Essentially a lead generator that can integrate with your CRM and email, it has improved the company’s ability to follow up with promising clients. “It’s changed everything for us as far as incoming and outgoing quotes. We can see if someone else has already started working on a quote, where they are at in the negotiation process and so much more. However, for it to work properly, you can’t just buy it — you have to know how to implement and make it work for you. You need the right people and a plan.”

Mike Barreto, COO of Eagle Chauffeured Services in Brookhaven, Pa.
Mike Barreto, COO of Eagle Chauffeured Services in Brookhaven, Pa.
Mike Barreto, COO of Eagle Chauffeured Services in Brookhaven, Pa., suggests an app called Typeform to help you create customized online forms for your clients and migrate their answers to your email or CRM. “You can use it for checklists for clients for events like weddings, to create surveys and questionnaires, and the like. It helps to streamline data and provides us with the details we need before we reach out in person,” he says.

He also recommends Adobe Sign, software that makes it easy to prepare and send documents for signatures. Barreto is converting all his forms and migrating them so he can email them directly to clients to fill out and return. “It’s just one more tool that increases the ease of use of our service,” he says. The service helps send and track the documents and sends you email notifications every step of the way.

Mark Kini, founder and CEO of Boston Chauffeur in Beverly, Mass.
Mark Kini, founder and CEO of Boston Chauffeur in Beverly, Mass.
Mark Kini, founder and CEO of Boston Chauffeur in Beverly, Mass., says GNet has completely changed the way he works with affiliates. “We make very few calls and get all the chauffeur details, status updates, pick up and drop off times, and more. It’s normally so much more labor intensive for us to do all of the confirmation calls because we manage each booking in depth. GNet eliminates many of the headaches involved,” he says. He also uses cloud-based Google Docs, which has increased accountability and productivity among his staff. “You can easily create notes and assign certain tasks and projects. Each becomes a living document that multiple people can work on.”

Add To Wishlist

Robert Gaskill, CEO and cofounder of MOTEV in Los Angeles, Calif.
Robert Gaskill, CEO and cofounder of MOTEV in Los Angeles, Calif.
Robert Gaskill, CEO and cofounder of MOTEV in Los Angeles, Calif., would love to see virtual reality technology become a part of training processes. Think chauffeur training without the risk of upsetting a real client or damaging a real vehicle. He would like to remind operators, however, that they shouldn’t be dazzled by the newest advancements and make purchases without thinking…or understanding.

“The latest tech will do absolutely nothing for you if you don’t know how to do simple tasks like reply to an email,” he says. “‘New’ isn’t as important as understanding how to use it.” He stresses the importance of helping those on your team who may not be as willing to adapt to new processes and software. “You have to explain how tech is going to help your company — the source of their livelihoods — remain relevant in this age. We’re going to lose the next generation as clients if we can’t communicate in their language.”

Nick Kokas, VP of global operations for Brentwood’s Distinguished Executive Transportation in Macomb, Mich.
Nick Kokas, VP of global operations for Brentwood’s Distinguished Executive Transportation in Macomb, Mich.
Nick Kokas, VP of global operations for Brentwood’s Distinguished Executive Transportation in Macomb, Mich., would like to see a neural cloud-based supply chain network created that would interact with the industry’s major software conglomerates. “This would bring more than 85% of the chauffeured car industry’s supply and capacity into one organized place,” he explains.

“Once we can collectively agree to upload our vehicle and chauffeur supply into the ‘neural cloud supply chain’ (in real time using our vehicles’ GPS solutions), we can then truly compete in an on-demand and/or near-demand world by offering a white label solution, regardless of what back office system you are using. The best part about this idea is that it’d be 100% automated.” 

Limo Growth Facebook Group Shares Tech Secrets

Here are some more hidden technology gems to help you succeed.

  • Patrick Mulvihill, Dashride, New York, N.Y. — A customer app that allows customers to track drivers and manage own reservations.
  • Brent Abruzese, Red Bank Limo, Red Bank, N.J. — I’ve been using CallRail to track the effectiveness of my offline advertising. For example, if I’m printing out business cards, I’d go into CallRail, generate a tracking number and call it “business card.” The software will track all inbound calls to the number and I’d be able to see how much volume those cards get compared to my other forms of advertising.
  • Dave Uziel, UrbanBCN Worldwide, San Francisco, Calif. — Slack for internal communications. We also use Front. It’s an email system that works amazing in a team environment. We have 10 people looking at the same email box, which makes ensuring things don’t slip through the cracks simple.
  • Michael Lindsey, Lindsey Limousine, Hartford, Conn. — DriverSchedule.com, a full driver and office staff management tool. Saves time and money by streamlining driver availability, managing time-off requests, organizing vehicle maintenance, training both drivers and office staff, and much more. (Lindsey is owner of DriverSchedule.com)

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Related Topics: business growth, business management, employee management, management, staff management, technology

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • john michael

     | about 2 months ago

    Just printed this article to share with others. Outstanding writing!

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