Paratransit agencies have some tough competition and challenges facing them going into 2017 and we are already seeing some agencies making a few common mistakes. With the need for paratransit growing, it will be important for these agencies to identify the gaffes that they are making and implement a plan of action to eliminate those errors moving forward. Below, we have outlined the 3 most common mistakes that we have seen so far.
Grant Application Mistakes
The grant application process can be very stressful and confusing if you don't do your due diligence. The most common mistake when going through the application process is not following the rules and guidelines that the funding source has set for grant approval. It is also the most common reason that applications get denied. One way to eliminate this mistake is to read through everything carefully and create a checklist that includes all steps of the application process. Another important thing to remember is to keep it short and simple when developing your plan of action and story. Be compelling and concise in order to make your point and create interest from the evaluator. Even though we have modern technology to process applications, it is still someone's job to read through thousands of applications to make the decision on who deserves the grant the most.
Technology Implementation Issues
Technology should be on every agency's mind for future planning. Those that have already implemented modern route scheduling software can tell you just how important training and implementation can be to ensuring the success of the new technology in your agency. That includes training drivers, office managers, administrative teams, and management teams on how to properly utilize the new software. By selecting the right software provider, specifically one that will work with you through the implementation process, you will be able to avoid a messy implementation and future issues with your software.
Software Utilization Mistakes
After implementation, it is important to ensure that you are still getting the most out of the new technology. Many paratransit agencies are adopting a 'set it and forget it' kind of approach when they should be constantly learning better ways to leverage the software to make day to day transit operations more efficient. By not looking into your software utilization you could be pigeonholing yourself into inefficient methods and creating operational issues down the road. Solving this problem is as simple as performing a software audit regularly to find different ways to increase operational efficiency while simultaneously increasing capacity and opening up internal resources. Some things to look for while performing a software audit are different ways to automate processes to reduce administrative roadblocks and various products and add-on. Identifying these new tools and processes can increase organizational versatility and efficiency.
As you can see, a lot of mistakes are made with regards to modern route scheduling software. Most of these mistakes can be avoided by having a good implementation strategy.