There is something to say about a great relationship between customers and vendors. Looking back on all of the amazing projects that we have been working on over the years, it is clear to see that a partnership can have greater results than just simply doing business with one another. When both parties have the other’s best interest in mind the sky is the limit when it comes to growth and effectiveness. We looked at our great partnerships and the exciting projects that we have been a part of and realized that we have received as much from our customers as we have given. The following is a summary of the top 4 most important lessons that we have learned from our customers.
Outdated Scheduling and Dispatch Systems Cause Major Inefficiencies
Many of our customers come to us speaking of pain points from using archaic scheduling and dispatching software for many years. Being inaccurate with on-time-percentage and not having reliable driver tracking has really hindered many agencies. Arlington Handitran, in particular, felt these effects in a major way. They sought an upgrade in technology to combat these challenges and our partnership helped them to increase their number of rides per hour, collect more meaningful data, and create more dynamic reports.
Pains with Implementation Eliminate Software Effectiveness
Several software providers work as hard as they possibly can in order to make the sale. Unfortunately, not all of these companies can offer that same kind of effort when it comes to ensuring a smooth implementation process that will set you and your business up for success with the new technology. Some of our customers have told us nightmare stories of being left to fend for themselves after initial implementation. Guy LeBar of Monroe County Transit Authority stated, “We had an unbelievable transformation. We had no glitches the first day. It was like we just switched a switch and it was all there,” when speaking about his implementation process when switching to Ecolane route scheduling and dispatch software.
Financial Barriers Don’t Have to Limit Your Software Capabilities
Funding and budget issues often keep smaller agencies from being able to get the most out of their current mass transit software. Countless providers offer quality features and add-ons, but they all come at an additional cost and not having the capacity to handle the budget increase from these add-ons causes gaps in software capabilities and operational inefficiencies. Alan Blahovec of Westmoreland Transit Authority spoke about some financial challenges that he noticed with Westmoreland’s previous software and how they were overcome by implementing modern mass transit software. He said, “In the last three years we’ve gone form a deficit of 1.2 million dollars to breaking even today and that was because of the data that we got back from Ecolane.”
Automation is King
The biggest complaint from our customers about their previous software is the laborious manual entry that is required for most archaic software systems. Estuary Transit District was looking for a solution that could handle both on demand and route deviation vehicle scheduling software under one system. Ecolane’s fully-automated DRT scheduling and dispatching software was the right fit. They were able to increase ridership without adding vehicles to their fleet by implementing the new software.
Understanding the needs for Estuary Transit District, Monroe County Transit Authority, Westmorland Transit Authority, Arlington Handitran, and many other great customers has helped us get a better understanding of what is going on in the public transit and paratransit industries which, in turn, helps us to develop better and more efficient products to meet those needs.
To learn more about how our partnerships have made a difference, take a look at the Shoreline Metro Case Study below.
About the Author
Read Ecolane's blog articles for perspective, opinion and information on transit and paratransit issues.