Technology

GNet Tests, Refines Affiliate Rate Sharing Tool

Martin Romjue
Posted on February 27, 2019
Amir and Yasmin Zafar of GRiDD Technologies will be on hand at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas March 24-27 to educate more operators about the  GNet system. (LCT file photo)

Amir and Yasmin Zafar of GRiDD Technologies will be on hand at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas March 24-27 to educate more operators about the  GNet system. (LCT file photo)

Luxury transportation operations spend plenty of valuable time calling, emailing, and waiting for word on affiliate rates as they arrange reservations in cities around the world. Some even scramble on Facebook to find fast affiliates.

Virginia operator Randy Allen is testing a rate sharing network that could literally cut hours from finding and verifying affiliate rates the traditional ways.

Rate Swappers

As a member of the GRiDD Technologies GNet platform, Allen’s software system can swap rate information with operators on other systems connected to GNet.

“We do not have to maintain a separate database of rates or email rate sheets for all affiliates,” said Allen, the owner and president of James Limousine in Richmond, Va. “Any changes to rates update immediately. Any affiliate connected to GNet can put in a transfer or hourly trip in the GNet ‘get quotation' page and receive an immediate price.”

The rates quotation service, formally called Quotation Tool (QT), has always been a part of the GNet platform, now considered the industry’s most viable neutral integration technology that enables various leading transportation software systems to share APIs and connect in real time while preserving data privacy and integrity.

“It’s nothing new. The rates already sat in a system, but have never been exposed in a way to share it with your partners,” said Amir Zafar, the founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based GRiDD Technologies. “It allows for one-to-one relationships, partner to partner.”

The idea is to shorten the time it takes for an affiliate manager to strategize on their next ride distribution, Zafar said. Users can customize rates for different affiliates so partners can get accurate quotes and choose providers when trying to book a client.

“Instead of me calling five San Diego partners, for example, all I have to do is to go into the rate system and see how much it costs to give partner A, B, etc. my business,” Zafar said.

Each affiliate rate quotation can take a few minutes to longer depending on the length of phone calls and/or email wait times, Zafar said. “Generally speaking, it is saving hours of work by affiliate managers.”

Virginia operator Randy Allen is saving time and hassles by using an integrated rate quote system affiliates can access in real time via GNet. (LCT file photo)

Virginia operator Randy Allen is saving time and hassles by using an integrated rate quote system affiliates can access in real time via GNet. (LCT file photo)

What Is The Price Of A Trip?

Allen went live with the GNet rate quotes on Feb. 17 and so far has 50 affiliates that can retrieve his rates. Operators waste too much time collecting or maintaining rate information for companies they farm out work to and ask, “What is the price of a trip?” he said.

“This is state of the art for the industry,” Allen said. “You are pulling that information out in real time on a per trip basis.”

Allen, whose company uses the FASTTRAK Cloud Livery Systems, said GNet makes his rate interactions compatible with Limo Anywhere users and all other systems connected to GNet, such as Livery Coach and Hudson Group.

“It’s still early in the process to quantify all [the savings],” Allen said. “But you can miss opportunities if you cannot provide a direct quote to clients on the phone. You may not get the trips. This will now make it instantly available.”

Zafar emphasized rate accesses are strictly voluntarily and highly customized, with operator users of GNet retaining complete control of what rate schedules they publicize when and to whom. Varying rate schedules can be opened up to individual affiliates, layers or groups of them, and/or an entire affiliate network.

“Most operators have not created rates for their partners,” he said. “Now, you can create a rate table for your partners and for your town. You customize who sees your rates. All reservation systems are capable of doing this.”

Bigger Toolbox

Building on the GNet tools, GRiDD Technologies plans to build quotation widgets that can run on desktop computers that do not have to be plugged into the live G-Net QT network, Zafar said.

Zafar anticipates wrapping up the tests this quarter and then gradually rolling out the awareness of it to GNet members. He plans to highlight the QT service while attending the International LCT Show in Las Vegas March 24-27.

“The whole industry has been challenged to advertise rates on demand to the business travel [sector]. If customers wanted to know how much limo rates will be, they mostly had to deal with a human. Now they don’t have to call. We think this is just the tip of the iceberg for features and uses.”

Related Topics: affiliate networks, Amir Zafar, GRiDD, industry vendors, online reservations, Randy Allen, reservation management software, Virginia operators

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