Don't Let Technology Pass You By Again

Jim Luff
Posted on May 2, 2018

A group of operators enjoy lunch with speaker Shep Hyken, who spoke about customer service in the age of AI.
A group of operators enjoy lunch with speaker Shep Hyken, who spoke about customer service in the age of AI.
As the LCT Technology Summit comes to a close, I have to reflect back on how much technology has changed since I entered the business in 1990.

We no longer use paper maps such as the Thomas Guide series. We don’t search for payphones anymore to call dispatch and let them know we have arrived at the airport. We don’t even hold paper greeting signs written with a Sharpie anymore. Instead, we use fancy electronic tablets. I would be remiss if I failed to mention what TNCs have done to our industry by embracing technology faster than we did. Look what it did to our industry.

The Technology Summit provided a glimpse into the future and how our industry needs to embrace such things as Artificial Intelligence. Technology plays a very big role in the industry. Back in the day, we would leave the office and diligently use
Sam Mallikarjunan gave a presentation on how to stay relevant to your clients in the 21st century amid disruption.
Sam Mallikarjunan gave a presentation on how to stay relevant to your clients in the 21st century amid disruption.
call-forwarding to forward the incoming calls to our homes. We drove like a bat out of hell hoping we didn’t miss a call. Today, we use VoIP phones that can be programmed to automatically distribute incoming calls to the appropriate person based on the time of day and day of the week the call comes in.

We can “see” where our vehicles are on GPS and stop unauthorized use of our vehicles. We can unlock the doors if the chauffeur gets locked out. If the car is stolen, we cannot only “see” where the vehicle is, but we can enable a governor so the car won’t go more than 15 mph. Who wants a stolen car that won’t run?

Chris Jones told the audience what they needed to hear about autonomous vehicles.
Chris Jones told the audience what they needed to hear about autonomous vehicles.
These are just a few of the changes that have happened during my career. There are many more. I could write a book on how the reservations process has changed from handwritten sheets of paper to robust networks such as BostonCoach’s AFNET system that handles all aspects of farm-in and farm-out from dispatching to getting paid.

Probably the most exciting thing on our horizon is GRiDD Technologies, which has finally delivered a huge missing piece of our puzzle: It provides the ability to farm orders over multiple platforms such as Livery Coach, Limo Anywhere, and FASTTRAK. Operators using various systems can all “talk” to each other now.

If you missed the Technology Summit this year, start budgeting for next year. The investment you make into your company’s technology will truly determine your long term existence in the luxury ground transportation industry. We are truly heading toward a new era in technology. Embrace it or be left behind. To borrow a NASCAR term, you have to “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.”

Related Topics: GRiDD, Information Technology, Jim Luff, LCT Summit, networking, operations, technology

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Ian Rassman

     | about 6 months ago

    Awesome stuff Jim!

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