Two company owners and a vendor dish on the digital tools to help industry members run more efficient operations.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Alex Darbahani, owner and CEO of Los Angeles-based KLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services has shown that he knows how to think outside the box with innovative practices such as putting QR codes on vehicle parts so that if an issue arises, chauffeurs can scan the code and watch a video on how to fix the problem.
His most recent project at KLS was installing Samsung Galaxy tablets on 22 vehicles that include Town Cars, stretch limousines, a Mercedes S 550 and S 400 hybrid, and his new BMW 740Li. Each tablet creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that lets passengers connect up to five devices to the Internet, a service KLS offers for free.
The tablets also allow KLS to use the DriverAnywhere app which comes with LimoAnywhere software, and this app is what really reduces expenses and increases efficiency.
“We used to have GPS tracking system for our vehicles and Nextel radios for our chauffeurs, but now that we use DriverAnywhere, we can use the tablets to track the cars and keep in touch with chauffeurs,” Darbahani told LCT. “I was paying about $900 on GPS fleet tracking and another $1100 on the Nextel radios, and we didn’t even offer Internet in our cars. But with the new tablets, our passengers get Internet and KLS saves money, about $2000-$2100 a month.”
Each vehicle is assigned a tablet that stays with that vehicle at all times. KLS uses it as a digital logbook for chauffeurs. KLS sends trip alerts through LimoAnywhere and drivers view and accept the job through the DriverAnywhere app.
Darbahani said this ensures that chauffeurs won’t turn off the tablets to prevent tracking because if they do, they won’t see the trip requests pop up and won’t be able to accept the job. Not only does this hurt their income, they are also flagged each time they don’t accept a job, and after missing three jobs, they’re fired.
“DriverAnywhere is also great for payroll,” Darbahani said. “Chauffeurs use it to settle their jobs, and payroll automatically receives information like how much overtime the chauffeurs have and how many miles they drove.”
Although Darbahani has been with LimoAnywhere for three years, he only added the DriverAnywhere app about six months ago. He said he had to train the chauffeurs on how to use the system, and now “everybody got used to it, they cannot live without it.” The tablets also have a flight tracking app that gives drivers voice alerts about flight statuses, like delays and early arrivals.
The chauffeurs aren’t the only ones benefiting from the tablets, Darbahani said. “The people in the office love it because it cuts out all the unnecessary incoming calls from drivers asking permission to do something or change route because of a client request. Now they just input this into DriverAnywhere and the office responds back.”
Through his NLA membership, Darbahani receives a 19% discount on his Verizon Internet data plan every month.
“[The Galaxy tablets and DriverAnywhere app are] the best investments I’ve ever done for the company,” he said. “It makes things more efficient. I don’t need more dispatchers. It keeps track of when drivers accept and reject jobs. It helps enforce our policies and is great legal protection because drivers cannot lie and say they worked 20 hours overtime when they really didn’t.”
— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor
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