The benefits of transport software are often quite subtle. We all get used to the way we work and sometimes looking outside the box to what we’re used to can seem daunting, especially when it comes to technology! There are so many things to consider. In this article we explore the benefits of transport software but in a way that no one has before. You will see that not only can transport software benefit your organisation but your brain and general wellbeing benefits too!
Here’s a quick summary of the the benefits of transport software:
- Transport software will save you lots of time
- You will be able to perform complex tasks in a matter of seconds
- You wellbeing and body will be less tired at the end of the day
- You will be able to generate real-time reports to aid decision making
- You will always be able to do more with less as features get added
- You will be able to retrieve vital information at any moment
- You will be compliant with all data protection requirements (GDPR)
- You will be able to perform better as a team and work collaboratively
- You will be able to work from anywhere
- You will be able to provide a more personalised and tailored passenger experience
Do the Benefits of Transport Software Really Justify the Means?
If you are involved in running a transport service, then it is likely you will need to use a transport software to enable you to operate smoothly and in real-time. Of course, the benefits of this are down to the size of your operation. If you are only handling one journey a week, then you could likely get a away with running that service on paper. However, what would happen if there was an increased or sudden demand for your transport services? Could you quickly respond and scale up your services without interruption? Equally, are you going to manaully go back through your diary and count all the destinations you visited? This is where the hidden benefits of transport software reveal themselves.
Why Not Just Make My Own Transport Software?
You could mock together your own transport software or system. Using a paper diary to book in and allocate resources on a date is still a transport system. Using Drop Box to share files with drivers and find out their availability via online forms and email is still a system. But what happens if you quickly need to retrieve information about a passenger or lookup how far away a location is? You can use Google Maps of course, but already you are jumping about between programs and data is being shared around in an inefficient and potential non-compliant manner. Transport software brings it all together under one system and that’s one of the real benefits of transport software.
You could of course look to develop your own bespoke transport software. But this takes your focus away from the primary objective of serving your passengers. If you have the expertise in house then sure you could give it a go, but when there is secure transport software like Road XS available on the market, built upon a collective knowledge from a wide user base, you get the compound benefit of knowledge from outside your organisation and across the transport industry. The software is also ready to go, so why raise your stress levels needlessly?
The Hidden Benefits of Transport Software
It might not be until you start using a transport software that you begin to understand the benefits. But you still might not see the benefits until you have switched across to a new platform. This can make it difficult to know if you are making the right decision. For this reason, we have outlined some of the hidden benefits of transport software so that you don’t need to second guess yourself and make an uninformed decision without some valuable information first.
Time Benefits of Transport Software and Why Your Brain Will Thank You
There are only so many hours in the day. There are only so many tasks you and your team can perform in each day too. The more you can automate your work, the more you can spend time focusing on more pressing and important tasks which will literally lighten your workload. Transport software should save you time because it should work automatically to do your more tedious operations.
However, you need to ensure the transport software you use can either meet your requirements or be flexible enough to at least be setup to support your work. Too often organisations make do with software that has not been updated in a long time or get told ‘that’s just the way it is’. At the end of the day, it is your time you are wasting if your transport software is not allowing you to do more with less or is not full of features which make your life easier. Do not settle for a transport software or system with a poorly designed interface that looks like it came out of 1990 or that will not take you smoothly from start to finish. It might seem trivial, but this has a huge impact on your brain, day in, day out, relentlessly.
Reducing the cognitive load on your brain (which means reducing the decisions you must make every step and not having to remember every little thing) helps your brain so much that you will feel less tired at the end of the day, have less eye strain, and not get a headache. A clean user interface and experience will not only save you time, but it will also reduce your eye strain and prevent tired eyes. Even simplifying complex tasks, reducing unnecessary information, and ensuring we take less steps all have a dramatic impact on our wellbeing and ability to function throughout the day. You will find you have a more productive transport team and a happier one at that too!
Solving Complex Tasks in an Instant
As outlined above in the time benefits of using transport software, running a transport operation is complex. The reason for this is because people are complex. We all have different needs, different requirements, and different places we need to be. It is a lot for someone to take on.
It’s difficult to imagine a world now without tools such as Google Maps, but there was a time when everything was estimated. Not now. You can just look up a start point and an end point and know where someone has to be. This functionality will be built in as standard to all reputable transport software. Not only that, the best ones, will even calculate estimated arrival times and suggest in real-time appropriate nearest available drivers and vehicles. It will do all of this at a click of a button saving you all the manual thinking time. Again, if you handle a low number of journeys, you might be left thinking what the benefit of transport software is, but if you factor in needing to be somewhere on time and calculating passenger loading times, vehicle capacity and even the transit time of the vehicles, this all gets very complex, very quickly.
One of the main benefits of transport software is the ability to perform complex tasks in a matter of seconds not minutes.
Lets consider a demand responsive transport or dial a ride scenario. Without using a transport software like Road XS (which is one of the first to fully optimise routes in full), the amount of mathematical calculation you would need to perform every time you add a passenger to a journey is not only time consuming, it’s exhausting! A lot of transport software will allocate time slots for people, but Road XS went further than this and not only offers pickup windows but will set the dynamic route considering passenger transit times and loading times as well as the vehicle capacity at a given moment. This ensures no one is left on the bus longer than they need to be and that everyone’s individual needs are factored into the route. This raises your passenger’s wellbeing and confidence in your services as you are meeting their unique needs whilst staying sane at the same time!
Coffee can only get you so far, transport software takes you there faster!
Reducing the Workload of Your Transport Team
We have already discussed how you only have so much time in the day and the impact this has on your brain, but reducing your workload is a key component too. Very often transport software will get your transport team to do everything. Take phone calls. Create bookings. Allocate drivers. It’s relentless. With the right transport software, you can reduce this workflow considerably.
At Road XS we were able to identify that the majority of community transport journeys were being taken via the phone. This meant that transport teams were spending an awful long time on the phone speaking to passengers. This in itself is not a bad thing. It’s a way of providing a friendly service. The problem however, arrived when once they were off the phone, there was a string of voicemails and follow up calls that had to be made. This consistently put them behind and passengers and even drivers who needed to get through to the team couldn’t.
The solution was to provide a driver portal and passenger portal within Road XS which enabled those that were able, to book their own journeys and for drivers in the local area to allocate themselves to journeys too. The result, an 80% drop in phone calls and a much happier transport team!
You might be thinking well that’s not how we operate we need to talk to our passengers. Well, the good news is, the 20% that needed to get through could, and it freed up the team time to use our wellbeing module to follow up on calls with their passengers and drivers with a quick call. Implementing this solution was a win for not just for the transport software, but the operators too!
The Real-Time Benefits of Transport Software and How Data Changes Lives
Our world is always changing. On any given day your transport operations will change. It doesn’t matter how much planning, thought and idealism we put into our perfect day at work, life happens. People will cancel, drivers will get ill, vehicles will break down and appointments will run late. It’s important that you are able to adapt in a moment to any given situation.
It is also important to capture and learn what is happening to your transport services too. A lot of the small details get overlooked, when actually, they can sometimes help create efficiencies you might not have spotted.
In Oxford, a hospital was running close to full capacity, and this was pre-covid. What they hadn’t realised though was the impact this was having on their patients. It became apparent, thanks to the reporting capabilities of Road XS, that this hospital was repeatedly cancelling and reorganising appointments. Given the amount of transport journeys the service provider was performing it didn’t immediately stick out as a problem because it was so easy to quickly find and allocate the nearest available driver, but it did affect the wellbeing of the passenger. Upon looking at the data in Road XS, they approached the hospital and presented the data. This led to a restructuring of staff on the day and an additional clinic being introduced resulting in a much more consistent and reliable service at the hospital. That is the power of data and using it in a positive way.
The Ability To Grow and Expand
Your transport services will either be a commercial operation or reliant upon Government funding. Either way, you will need to always be on the look our for areas where you can expand your services and grow your journeys to not only benefit communities who need your services, but to satisfy your stakeholder needs too. This means it’s important that you can quickly enable new contracts to be implemented and switched on without disrupting your existing services. The ability to add different fees and fares per passengers is also important, especially when handling concessionary travel requirements.
What to Look Out for with Transport Software
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in knowing that you have to switch or adopt a transport software but then overlook some vital components of the system, reducing the benefits of the new transport software in the process. To avoid this, here’s some key things to look out for when you consider the best transport software for you:
Can You Work from Anywhere Securely?
The days of only working from the office are over. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we work and fast tracked remote working and technology in a way never seen before. A lot of the old systems out there still require a server to be on site. Sometimes this can be a key requirement if you handle extemely sensitive information but for managing transport services, cloud technology provides the much needed flexability to operate from anyway of your choosing in a secure way. with 4G and 5G technology you can now even work by the seaside and if you have an issue with your internet connection at the office or home, can pop out to connect at your nearest hotspot. Here at Road XS we were born in the cloud and from day one have taken cloud technology in our stride including all the security requirements to ensure you can work safely from anywhere antime you need to. You can even use Road XS to track your vehicles in real time along with GPS positioning so precise it’s just a matter of saying three magic words.
Is the Transport Software Updated and Maintained Frequently?
This is not always easy to spot, but you should try and find out how often the software is updated. No one likes using a software that is out of date and in the world of software as a service (SaaS) it’s easier than ever to release software updates without the need for continuous updating on the device itself. If the software is not maintained, then you will quickly find your productivity drops as technology moves on quickly. At Road XS we are constantly updating and improving the software which we publish for transparency at updates.roadxs.com.
Reliability of the Transport Software
Reliability is a key factor in choosing your transport software. You don’t want to choose a software that doesn’t work or goes down often. In the world of technology outages happen and they can occur when you least expect them. The best approach to this is to be ready and have a plan in place but also pick a software which is reliable. Again, for transparency, at Road XS we show our uptime to all our clients and customers which you can see here at status.roadxs.com. Not only does this instil confidence, but it can also show that the software is functional and that it might be the internet on site which is down, a computer issue or even a power outage that’s causing a problem, not the software directly. Equally, the benefits of a software as a service like Road XS reduce the issues of managing your own onsite services and data requirements. All of the IT hassle is taken care of for you with Road XS. It’s like having your own IT software department. All you need is an internet connection and a computer, mobile or tablet device.
There are times when systems have to be down for maintenance, but this should be minimal. At Road XS we aim to have an uptime of 99% and inform our clients of any major maintenance or upgrades in advance so that they can plan them in. At the time of writing this we are pleased to say that in the last 90 days our uptime is running at 100%. But what about maintenance? Well our throught out cloud refresh programme allows us to push updates out quicly so that we don’t need to take systems down or offline. Working in the cloud means you are always on the latest software.
Ease of Use
We have talked a lot in this article about the ease of use and the important role it plays on your wellbeing. If you find it difficult to use your transport software or things just feel clunky, this will be having a major impact on your wellbeing and productivity – even if it’s just subtle. Transport software should give you the feeling that you’re moving forwards, not backwards. If things are taking too long, or you are not being listened too, it’s time to look around. At Road XS we take feedback from all our users and ask the question ‘how can we make our life better?’. Whilst we can’t immediately release updates (we wish we could!), things need thinking through and planning, but we’re pleased to say it’s our user interface that enables anyone of any age to use Road XS no matter how comfortable they are at using computers. We spend a lot of time and energy on our interface to ensure you get the best workflow possible and only see the information you need when you need it.
Speed of Launch and Training
Very often learning a new system and launching software into your transport service’s orbit can be a stressful and time-consuming affair in itself. Indeed, getting a changeover wrong can stress everyone out before you’ve even begun. Fortunately, with our experience at Road XS, we have developed a transport software that can operate when and how you need it to. You simply access your sub domain and enable the services you wish to operate from. Everything is fully integrated. We have even imported passenger and driver data for clients so that they were up and running in no time at all. Also, because we offer the most user-friendly experience, we have timed how long it takes people to learn Road XS. Out of 18 test cases that we performed; it took on average 8-23 minutes for a user to grasp the software depending on their technical expertise. That’s not bad given that our competitors charge for days of training!
Intuitive and easy to use software does not need lots of training.
Bugs happen. There is not a software on the planet that won’t have a bug in it at some stage. Bugs can either be a minor inconvenience or a massive headache. That’s why it’s important to know how bugs are handled and how long you have to live with them. At Road XS we prioritise any bug and release fixes asap. Other software vendors don’t release updates for months. It’s just how we work because no one likes buggy software and to be honest, no one should have to put up with them. We squash them as soon as we find them! Just please don’t report us to the RSPCA!
Sometimes you just need some help. How easy can you get in touch or reach out to someone and get a reply? Whilst you might not get an immediate response you should hope for a reply within a few hours and at the very least within 24 hours. Customers who use Road XS for example for patient transport services received a response within 20 minutes at the latest. This was down to the nature of the job; however, we also make it easy to get in touch via our real time chat bot (which answers almost all cases) and connect to one of the team quickly. This can enable you to perform your job seamlessly while we take care of the technical side of life.
Are New Features Added to the Transport Software?
Do you get the chance to voice your thoughts and request new features? Admittedly, we all have our dream wishlists in life and not everything can be achieved based on resources available, but are you listened to as an end user? At Road XS we are grateful to our clients for raising their thoughts and requesting features as it helps us develop our software to the benefit of others too! We also collect knowledge together so that we can come up with solutions which benefit the transport industry as a whole! Our premium development programme is in place so that if you have bespoke requirements, we are able to tailor solutions so that they are more in tune with the organisation’s goals. This vastly reduces the cost of software development for the end user.
Closing Thoughts on the Benefits of Transport Software
No matter how large or small your transport operations are, a transport software that grows with you and evolves as you evolve is one of the best assets you can invest in. It will become the operating system to your day to day operations and enable you to grow your services with ease and confidence.
Want to know more, why not get in touch? We’d love to hear from you.