23 Jun

How to Create an Employee Transportation Solution that Delights Employees

3 Points that will affect employee satisfaction within an Employee Transportation Solution

  1. Manage commute time
  2. Flexibility in managing variable requests from employees
  3. Minimum deviations in the routing

3 Points that affect employee satisfaction within an Employee Transportation Solution

Manage Commute time

The single biggest complaint employees have about their transport is the commute time. Now in today’s cities commute times are long given the distances people travel and that the Business parks where the companies are located are usually some distance away from the city centre.

Long commute times lead to productivity loss and also in some cases lead to higher attrition rates. Any technology solution must ensure that there is parity in the commute times and that they are well within the SLAs as defined by the organization

Flexibility in managing demand

The transport is to work for the organization and not the other way around. This means that with the variability in demand especially due to inherent nature of work in organizations today.

Employee should not be worried about getting home after a hard days’ work. The solution must be able to optimize the routing and allocate vehicles with a very low lead time to allow for as many changes as possible.

The solution should also manage to change the schedules across intervals to ensure that capacity is not lost.

The solution should also manage to change the schedules across intervals to ensure that capacity is not lost.

Minimum deviations in routing

In addition to long commute times, one of the factors that affect employees, the transport team and the vendors is a vehicle criss crossing the city in picking up the employees.

This affects schedule adherence and leads to issues amongst employees on order of Pick-ups.

The routing algorithm should be able to efficiently manage this to ensure that the deviations are within the limits as specified by the organization and the organization’s contracting with the vendor

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Top 5 Reasons to Use an Employee Transportation Solution

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Be Safe With GPS Tracking Online

27 May

Top 5 Reasons to Use an Employee Transportation Solution

Safety and security are the primary concerns addressed through the use of an Employee Transportation Solution. Along with these, an organization also accrues multiple benefits through the usage of such software.

Here are the top 5 reasons why your organization should invest in an Employee Transportation Solution (ETS):

Employee Safety and Security:

A well-designed Employee Transportation Solution software ensures that employees are safe and “secure at source“.  This means that there is a built-in comprehensive mechanism in place to track which trips have female employees travelling alone on a vehicle for any length of time, arranging for them to have escorts. It also has an inbuilt Vehicle Tracking System, to track  vehicles online. An ETS may have a vehicle audit system, too, wherein all vehicles plying are checked at regular intervals for various compliance factors.

Employee Management, Rostering and Scheduling:

When managing the transport of a huge number of employees, across multiple locations, and multiple shifts, an Employee Transportation Solution is a complete boon.  One can carry out all transport related activities like making rosters and scheduling, from one location and then access it from anywhere.

Scheduling is completely flexible, can be made for various periods like a week, biweekly, monthly, etc.  This makes it possible for the software to cater the automatic routing to existing schedules, ensuring pickups are not missed.

Even ad-hoc, emergency or medical requirements can be met through the automatic routing system of an ETS.

Optimized Routing:

With the use of detailed maps, route optimization becomes easy and automated. An  Employee Transportation Solution software automates routing by utilizing the coordinates of different locations from where employees are picked up.  The shortest possible route is charted, including all the areas where pickups and drops are scheduled.

Vendor, Vehicle and Driver Management:

An ETS allows the organization to configure multiple vendors catering to a particular site. This data can then be used by the administrator to assign different vendors to different routes. Vehicle assignment can also be managed completely through the system. The ETS captures all data pertaining to every single trip, i.e., driver details, how many employees travelled on a vehicle, the vehicle number, the time of the trip, etc.  All this information is captured in an audit trail, thus keeping the system transparent and minimizing compliance issues.

Invoicing and Billing:

Complete, paperless billing is assured when you opt for an Employee Transportation Solution.  Every trip is billed automatically when it clears the approval levels put in place by the organization. Trip-sheets are electronically generated and stored in the database for later access and audit purposes.

To conclude, there are fewer reasons to avoid the use an Employee Transportation Solution if your organization is providing transportation to employees. You can stop struggling with the pains of creating schedules and routes, missing out employees, catering to ad-hoc requests and juggling vendors everyday!

22 May

Passenger Side View of a Vehicle Tracking System (VTS)

“I am a fleet operator, so I need to know where my vehicles are at any point of time.” -This is the traditional use of a Vehicle Tracking System.  How about turning it on its head and looking at the same thing from the passengers’ point of view?

What is Different?

Enter a brand new app which sits on a passenger’s Android device.  It allows the passenger to see exactly where the cab is located, in relation to the pickup point.

But first, what is a Vehicle Tracking System, popularly known as VTS, and what are its uses?

What is a Vehicle Tracking System?

Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) is the technology used to determine the location of a vehicle using different methods like GPS and other radio navigation systems operating through satellites and ground based stations.

A VTS consists of 3 different parts working in cohesion, namely:

  1. A tracking device located inside a vehicle
  2. A wireless network (fixed base station) to transmit the coordinates of areas visited
  3. A software and database to  capture and store location coordinates

VTSs are typically used in industries which need large fleets of vehicles, moving almost 24/7. The primary users of vehicle tracking systems in India are IT and ITES companies, emergency medical aid organizations, logistics companies and also owners of upmarket, exclusive cars.

Real time tracking of a vehicle, with the help of maps, software, databases and on-board devices, help owners monitor the location of vehicles for security purposes.  Historical data of visited areas is also available through a VTS.

How is the COMET Employee App different?

This app changes the perspective of the VTS, while essentially being the same technology.  An employee or passenger who is scheduled to board a vehicle might want to know certain details about it. Information about the vehicle, like its number, color, make etc., is easily made available through a messaging system.

However, imagine an application on your mobile device which allows you to track the movement of your vehicle real time!

No more fear of missing the driver’s calls for directions while getting ready.

No more panicking that you are left out of the route to work.  You can literally see your cab coming to pick you up.

One click and information about people aboard the vehicle is at your fingertips.

Ready to experience a whole new avataar of VTS?

Sources: http://www.slideshare.net/BharathChapala/vehicle-tracking-system-usicng-gps-and-gsm-techniques,

 

18 May

Be Safe With GPS Tracking Online

The other day while travelling from a client site, my colleague and I were stranded in the middle of nowhere.  Our vehicle had a flat tyre.  The Transport Administrator in our client’s office sent us a backup vehicle within 15 minutes.  No asking for directions, (I couldn’t have provided any, anyway) no lengthy phone calls. . . just “what is your cab number?”

Welcome to the GPS tracking online system.

online-gps-vehicle-tracking-system

What is GPS Tracking Online?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the earth. . . The system provides critical capabilities to military, civil, and commercial users around the world. The United States government created the system, maintains it, and makes it freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.

An essential part of the system is a GPS tracking device.  This device records the exact location of the person, vehicle or any other object to which it is attached, at a given frequency. Thereafter either the recorded data is transmitted or stored.  It can then be used to either track the asset realtime or to recreate the historical movement on a map-based backdrop.

How Can I Make GPS Online Tracking Work For Me?

All smartphones, being GPS-enabled devices, can be used to track movements real time, online. At an organizational level GPS tracking is used to manage fleets, employee transportation and employee safety.  Personal uses include monitoring and safety of children, elderly people and also expensive assets.

In an organizational scenario,  using a GPS enabled solution, like VTS (Vehicle Tracking System) ensures employee safety by –

  • Tracking each on-road vehicle minute by minute
  • Monitoring errant vehicles if they are off the assigned route
  • Enabling quick reaction time to emergency situations due to the knowledge of the exact vehicle location

The system also helps to calculate distances travelled, locations visited and trips recorded by a particular vehicle.  This data can be seamlessly merged with an Employee Transport Management System for automated billing.

The safety and security of your employees is non-negotiable. Use of technology is the best way to ensure it.

 

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Positioning_System,

Images:  en.wikipedia.orgwww.how2learn.in

11 May

Road Lag – Does Your Employee Transportation Process Address It?


Road lag! Yet another addition to the ever-expanding list of woes in modern urban life. Created by the scorching pace of growth in India’s IT/ITES sector, with addition of more and more employees, road lag is a reality today. But first, the questions:

  1. What is road lag?
  2. What is creating road lag?
  3. Is it a problem?
  4. Solvable?

PassengersWhat is Road Lag?

Consider road lag to be a newborn cousin of our familiar foe, jet-lag. Defined as,  “a temporary disruption of the body’s normal biological rhythms after high-speed air travel through several time zones”,  jet-lag is a necessary evil of modern urban life and has been around for a while. 

Road lag is similar in the effects, but with diametrically opposite causes. Remove the jet-set pace and replace it with ” 90 minutes to cover a 4 Km stretch”.  Crossing over timezones is not a factor here but stress sets in all the same. India’s growth-rate in the IT/ITES sector has created multiple issues for the organizations and the people working in them. Sitting in the same place, getting worried about reaching your workplace and kickstarting the day, or yearning to get back home to relax, is taking its toll.  In a scenario where people encounter this on a daily basis, the effect is multiplied and people begin to dread the commute to and from work.

What is Creating Road Lag?

Space is largely available on the outskirts of major cities and not in the central business district (CBD). Cost of space in the CBDs is formidable, along with a dearth of large spaces required by these companies.  For a workforce spread out across the city, organizations provide employee transport to ensure that employees are able to travel both comfortably as well as to be on time without having to depend on an unreliable public transport infrastructure.

As number of employees grows, the employee transport vehicles are getting bigger, in an attempt to accommodate more and more employees in each vehicle.  What this implies is that the distances travelled by vehicles increase as the geography required to be covered becomes much larger.  As a consequence, employees have to spend a considerable amount of time in travel, sometimes as much as 150 minutes one way, given that major cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Chennai have massive traffic during peak hours.

Is It a Problem?

To answer that question, we need to study the effects of long commutes. Road lag is similar to jet-lag only in the effect that it has on the human mind and body.Angry  According to The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, individuals who commute long distances for work everyday are less likely to fall into a routine of regular exercise and therefore, more prone to decreased CRF (cardio-respiratory fitness).  Commuting long distances leads to spike in blood pressure, overall higher blood pressure over time, increased anxiety and stress levels and, here’s the scary part, higher cholesterol levels. Due to the sedentary aspect of driving or commuting by any vehicle, the effects on the mind and body are similar to those of a sedentary lifestyle, or even, to an extent, jet-lag. It is natural to feel disoriented in these circumstances, with lesser and lesser balance between personal time and work.

Solvable?

Well, to an extent, yes. In a tongue-in-cheek take on the issue, the author of “Commuting” states that given a choice between a big house in the suburbs and a small or medium sized apartment in the heart of the city, for approximately the same budget, people most often prefer the former. They discount the daily commute as a collateral. This can have cumulative effects over time. While one is not likely to have guests all year round, the commute to work is a daily reality and should be given the attention it deserves as such.

Many organizations are also favoring telecommuting or work-from-home options. This may not be practicable for all jobs but the average percentage is on the rise.  According to  GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, telecommuting saw an increase of almost 80% between 2005 and 2012.  Organizations are beginning to realize the immense benefits of telecommuting employees, through direct cost-savings as well as indirect contribution to the society through reduction in greenhouse gas and emissions.

With that we come to the conclusion that road lag is no more a myth.  Given a choice, would you want to live closer to work, telecommute or ignore the drive?

Sources:

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/, http://www.bangaloremirror.com/bangalore/others/In-Whitefield-BMRCL-to-build-road-before-rail/articleshow/42198682.cms,  http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2010/03/30/commuting/,  http://time.com/9912/10-things-your-commute-does-to-your-body/

Images Sources: www.picturesof.net and www.dreamstime.com

 

08 May

To Automate or Not? Why Using a Software for Managing Employee Transport is the Right Answer

Are you still wondering whether any of the problems your organization is facing will actually be solved by an Employee Transport Management System? Congratulations! You are at the right place.

This article will list out a few areas in which an Employee Transport Management System is proven to be an effective solution.

Safety and Security of Employees

“Safety at source” a unique concept pioneered by Agiledge, ensures that only vetted vehicles and drivers are available for allocation, thereby reducing risk of error.  
  • An integrated device based solution ensures that all employees are mapped onto respective vehicles. This information is projected in real time to employees as well as administrative staff and drivers, therefore creating a closed loop which ensures a secure environment for travel.
  • Complete compliance is maintained within the software for multiple entities.
  • A vehicle is live and available only during a trip which in turn ensures that the employee cannot board a wrong cab with a wrong driver.
  • Last minute changes are all projected onto the electronic trip-sheet along with real time communication with employees, drivers and admin personnel.

 Route Optimization

RoutesEmployee Transport Management becomes easy when routing is automated. In a scenario where several hundred employees are logging in or logging out simultaneously, pickup and drop routing can be nightmarish if done manually. With an Employee Transportation Solution software, all that needs to be done is to feed in the details of employees, along with their shift timings. These details get captured in a database. Thereafter, the locations which comprise of a  particular route have to be selected and, viola! You have all the routes mapped out for you.  Once done, it is just a matter of replication or minor modifications. Automatic routing also makes it easy to accommodate ad-hoc cab requirements.

Automated routing can ensure that –
  • No seats are wasted
  • Travel time is reduced
  • Accurate routes for pickup and drop are created
  • Insights to achieve significant cost reduction are available

Thus automated routing optimizes the organization’s spend on transport while ensuring that employee satisfaction is sustained.

Billing

One of the primary value-adding features of an Employee Transport Management System is to make the entire process of billing smooth, transparent and free of ambiguity. Billing completes the transportation cycle for the organization, vendor and, in some cases, employees.

  • Different types of billing including Kilometer based billing, slab based billing, trip based billing, etc., can be configured within the ATOm
  • Since the billing is an integrated solution linked to both map based distance as well as allocation at source, it becomes virtually tamper proof
  • The real time architecture of the software allows visibility into billing information for all entities including vendors, drivers, admin staff and management

All of this gives a huge advantage in allowing organizations to manage their billing processes as well as their budgets in an effective manner.  PaperlessLogo400LightBGAlong with this, the software also ensures that the entire supply chain from end to end is paperless and green.

Scheduling and booking

By definition, a schedule “as a basic time-management tool, consists of a list of times at which possible tasks, events, or actions are intended to take place, or of a sequence of events in the chronological order in which such things are intended to take place. The process of creating a schedule – deciding how to order these tasks and how to commit resources between the variety of possible tasks – is called scheduling“.

With an Employee Transport Management System, daily, weekly and even monthly scheduling is an automated process. It saves time spent on planning and execution of what is, essentially, a daily exercise. Employee Transport Management Systems are also more efficient when large numbers of employees and vehicles are involved, minimising chances of human error. Employee Transport Management System based scheduling includes:

  1.  Different types of transport e.g. Shift transport, ad-hoc transport medical cabs
  2. Customized workflow for each type of transport, configured to the organization’s requirement
  3. Effective usability of the tool across multiple types of transport provided to employees.

The cumulative advantage of automating the employee transportation process cannot be ignored. It is an investment that pays for itself within a few months of implementation, in terms of cutting down wastage, increased efficiency, enhanced safety and security.  Improved employee satisfaction is the icing on the cake.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schedule,

Images: www.paperlesslogo.com, pixabay.com

04 May

To Cool or Not To Cool? – That is the question

Air-conditioned vehicles consume more fuel in typical city traffic conditions. Result. . . higher costs incurred for employee transportation. So why would any organization opt to provide air-conditioned vehicles for employee transportation?

Case in point – even as this post is being written, ground weather conditions in various Indian cities are as follows:

  • Bangalore – 33° Centigrade with 83% humidity
  • Chennai – 34° Centigrade with 59% humidity
  • Delhi – 36° Centigrade with 34% humidity
  • Kolkata – 32° Centigrade with 58% humidity
  • Mumbai – 34° Centigrade with 71% humidity

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Now imagine an average forty minute commute (often this figure is higher), under any of the above weather conditions. Throw in a sizable dose of blaring horns, exhaust fumes and high tempers. Predictably, employees will not be walking into their swanky offices feeling “cool”.

The primary temperature regulation mechanism of the human body is evaporative cooling. Therefore the human body is sensitive to high humidity conditions. Typically, heat and humidity together create a sauna like environment, which is less than ideal while heading for a workday. Along with these factors, noisy traffic jams and high pollution levels add to stress levels significantly.

Therefore, inspite of added costs, many organizations are considering air-conditioned transportation for their employees. Apart from relieving travelling employees from constantly oppressive, hot and humid conditions, an air-conditioned vehicle aids in stress reduction by cutting out noise and pollution.

Sources: http://www.weatherforecastmap.com/india, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humidity

 

27 Apr

Reduce Commute Time – Boost Employee Morale

Lengthy commute time is a dreaded phenomenon across the world today. Frowns, irritation, blaring horns, exhaust fumes, potholes, traffic snarls… Sounds familiar? It is the just the scene from a working individual’s typical week-day!

While some people are lucky to be spared the ordeal, living close to their workplaces, this is the reality of how working days begin and end for most of us.

According to Worldmapper,  the world’s average commute time is 40 minutes one way. This translates into almost an hour-and-a-half of commute every single working day. The average commute time in Indian cities is higher. Mumbai records an average of 47.26 minutes and Delhi is at 42.96 minutes. Bangalore, standing at 37.91 minutes apparently beats this average. Sometimes, reaching the workplace can take well over 2 hours. No wonder, then, that by the time people reach office or home, they are at the end of their mental and physical resources. This has an adverse impact on people, both in their professional and personal lives. It causes stress, exhaustion and leads to lack of productivity through dipping morale.

Transportation Solutions

Organizations can benefit immensely in terms of employee morale, productivity and, therefore, overall well-being by bringing commute time to a minimum. An intelligent Transport Solution System is a sound investment towards convert what can be a perpetual horror into a smooth and easy exercise.

The most effective way to cut down commute time is through an efficient routing system. Manual route-planning is a tedious and time consuming activity. It engages precious manpower and involves day-to-day planning to incorporate changes. Very often this can lead to detours from the usual route to accommodate ad-hoc or new requests for transport. It may also cause employees to be missed out. Thus, the manual routing process is not just inefficient, but can have a ripple effect on the productivity and SLAs for large organizations. A smart Transportation Solution software, like ATOm, brought to you by Agiledge Solutions, can effectively remove this inconvenience of manual routing and calculations.

In order to increase the utilization of vehicles, manual routing and scheduling processes often resort to packing too many employees into each vehicle.  While this might result in some cost-benefit for the organization, employees have to endure arduous routes, multiple pickups and claustrophobic travel. This leaves them feeling resentful rather than privileged and totally negates whatever cost advantage the organization accrues from these exercises in economy. If bigger vehicles are brought into the picture, with typical seating capacities of 12 to 19, commute time can be nightmarish.

This is where an intelligent Transportation Solution package like ATOm comes into the picture. A tool which can result in cost-savings of 15 per cent or more while ensuring around 99 per cent of timely arrivals of employees. An effective Transportation Solution package –

  • Takes inputs from all levels of users
  • Intelligently integrates requirements with efficiency and cost
  • Provides real time data and insightful reports
  • Makes the Transportation process fully automated and totally paperless

Spare your employees the horror.  Invest in an intelligent Transportation Solution System. Contact Us

Sources: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/Is-commute-time-taking-over-your-life/articleshow/3508745.cms?curpg=2

Image Source: www.clipartpanda.com

23 Apr

Higher Employee Satisfaction with Transport Management Systems

With 24/7 working hours becoming the norm rather than the exception, travelling to and from the workplace at odd hours is a perpetual cause for concern among employees.  This can eventually become a concern for the organization as well, if not managed efficiently and effectively. Timeliness of logging in and out is critical to the efficient management of processes and customers. Therefore, investing in a Transport Management System which assures an organization’s employees of safety, timely departures and arrivals, automatic scheduling and a comfortable, hassle-free commute can truly reap immense benefits in the long run. Employee Transport Management Systems can improve Employee Satisfaction levels by eradicating issues related to:

  1. Multiple shift timings
  2. Traffic negotiation
  3. Commuting in a city new to employees
  4. Timely attendance
  5. Safety & Security

Imagine employees logging out at 02:00 hours.  After working an entire shift, the last thing you want them to be worried about is how they are going to reach home and when. An end-to-end Transportation Management System would ensure that each employee knows exactly which cab to board. He or she would be aware of the driver’s details, just as much as the driver would know which location he has to drive to and how many employees will be on-board his cab.

Similarly, an employee who is supposed to log-in at 18:00 hours would be immensely concerned about the normal office rush hour traffic. If a vehicle were to pick him or her up at the right time, with the possibility of traffic jams being worked into the schedule, this can be a total non-issue.

Many youngsters now take up jobs in cities away from home. Ensuring that they come to work on time without having to know the entire city’s lanes and bye-lanes can go a long way to make them feel assured of the organization’s concern for their safety, security and comfort.

An Employee Transport Management System is designed to ensure optimum utilization of available resources. Overall, the cost of providing and availing transport comes down for both the organization and the employee through the economies of scale.

Many operations are time critical and in such environments it is crucial to have the scheduled workforce on time. Any time lag can lead to severe repercussions which can be minimized through the deployment of a Transport Management System – a system which takes into account not only the distance from pickup to drop locations but also includes realistic time estimates.

Overall, employee satisfaction rates are bound to be higher when the regular commuting to and from work is not a worrisome chore.  Many organizations set up offices in distant, difficult-to-reach industrial zones or isolated areas.  If they assure their employees of safe, secure and hassle-free travel everyday, they can themselves be assured of higher employee motivation and efficient operations. Therefore, the cumulative gains to be accrued far outweigh the initial investment in an Employee Transport Management System.

 

03 Apr

Top 5 Performance Metrics for Employee Transportation Solution Tools

employee transportation solutions

Employee transportation solution has evolved from being an ad-hoc system catering to random requests from employees, a-la, “Which cab is going to Hebbal?”, “Can I get a cab now? I had to stay back!” to “My cab is coming in 10 minutes”. This evolution, while making the process extremely streamlined and requiring discipline from employees and supervisors alike, brings innumerable benefits to the organizations implementing currently available solutions.

 We now have various applications providing end-to-end transportation solutions for organizations. What is it that an organization contemplating the purchase of a new transportation tool should look for? 

Top 5 Performance Metrics for employee transportation solutions Tools

  1. Security: Does the application let you track where your employees are, real time? Are the employees secure in the cab, particularly female employees? Is the transport desk equipped with contact numbers of all employees in a cab? With instances of security lapses leading to higher crime rates, ensuring the security of employees travelling to and from work is critical to the overall health of an organization’s workforce.
employee transportation solutions

employee transportation solutions

 

  1. Safety: The Transportation Solution tool should be able to ensure employee safety by identifying which trips need escorts, allocating escorts to specific trips and ensuring that all employees, especially women, reach their destination safely.
  2. Functionality and flexibility: Every single employee who opts for company provided transport should have the confidence and ability to access the system and  be aware of their schedules. They need to be provided with timely information about their transport to and from work and also the flexibility to alter schedules if required to stay back and leave early.
  3. Paperless operation: With the world going green, the last thing anyone can wish for is cumbersome paperwork and filing systems. The application should have an integrated filing system, giving you access to data pertaining to any trip made using your transportation solution application.
  4. Compliance and cost: The tool should be cost-effective, i.e., the return on the initial investment should be evident within a couple of months of implementation. Automatic billing, while complying with the current financial norms is an additional benefit.