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Scheduling Transport with SimplyBook.me

Amie Parnaby
13/05/2021
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Scheduling transport with SBM

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Much like any other service, transportation services require efficient scheduling. However, scheduling transport has never really taken off as an automatic booking process. That is until recently. Innovations in the personal and professional conveyance of people and goods have become more tailored to the specifics of people’s lives. From Same day delivery to super-short term rentals, there are new ways of securing transportation, and they need unique and automated methods to make it work efficiently.

Transport services can cover transporting children or medical supplies to segue and disability scooter hire. Moreover, every different mode of transport service requires varying features and functionality, depending on the use case. While some transportation services require advance notice or verification details before confirming the booking, others can be booked in an instant for immediate use or delivery. No two different transport businesses are the same; the difference could be scale or product, people or things, perhaps even people as “items” (funeral parlours, organ donation, blood etc.)

Scheduled Transport Types

When people have become used to fast and immediate service, tailored transport of people and things to reasonably nearby places has become expected. Consequently, people and businesses are filling that need with their particular version of person or product transportation services.

  • Short & Long term Car Rental
  • Trucking & Delivery Services 
  • Messenger Services
  • Bike, scooter, segue rental
  • Disability scooter hire
  • Taxis and airport shuttles
  • Child transport (school runs, day trips, etc.)
  • Horse and buggy (or just the horses)
  • Bus tours & excursions
  • Even cargo bikes

This list is far from exhaustive, but it does indicate the broad spectrum of transport scheduling requirements needed for different functionality and scheduling features.   

From the individual with some skill and speed on a bicycle to a company with a fleet of vehicles, it’s still necessary to schedule trips, personnel and resources.

Short and Fast Transport Scheduling

Whether it’s same-day delivery of purchased items, instant courier services or a personal conveyance, instant demand for delivery requires detailed schedules and availability. Your business can’t guarantee speedy A-to-B transport of people or goods without knowing precisely where your vehicles are, who is available to drive them and how long the journey will take (potentially in both directions).  

The number of services you can provide, the range you can cover and the speed at which you can provide the demanded transport will dictate how you set up your system. Waiting time, time to travel, distance to travel (because distance and time are two very different things in a busy city), and the size, weight, dimensions of the package to be delivered – even if that’s a family of four. These are all things to consider when setting up your online portal for quick and instant deliveries and transport services. 

Advance Bookings and Multi-drop Services

Of course, if you schedule collections and deliveries over 24-36 hours, you have greater flexibility. Increased flexibility allows you to offer cheaper courier and transport scheduling with multi-drop deliveries and even ride-sharing (okay, not so much right now).

Bookings made in advance allow you to coordinate collections and deliveries for the most economical and efficient routes between collections and deliveries.    

Rentals and Leases

One of the most straightforward transport scheduling business to automate is vehicle hire. Whether that’s mobility scooters for a day’s sightseeing or an hour’s car hire to pick up the heavy shopping. Maybe it’s a bicycle for the duration of a holiday. 

The fact is that short term and easy online rentals like this have become significantly more popular over the past few years, and the trend is set to continue. Do people really need a car 100% of the time when they perhaps only use it for commuting or family day trips?

Tours & Scheduled Transports

A super simple method of personal transportation is to make a regular schedule of journeys. In the same way as a public transport system, but with the option of greater customisation to the traveller’s needs. Some examples are small capacity minibuses that effectively act as a multi-drop taxi service between cities. That’s handy when you don’t drive and need to catch three different public transport routes to work in the next town. Scheduled tours around attractions and places of note, airport collection services, and the school run. They are all regular, scheduled, and convenient.

Scheduling Transport Services with SimplyBook.me

SimplyBook.me’s scheduling service has a vast array of customisable features to assist you in creating your best scheduling system. According to SoftwareAdvice.com, SimplyBook.me is one of the top three scheduling software systems for users in the transport industry. 

What does SimplyBook.me have that helps you to create an excellent booking and schedule management system for your transportation business?

The scheduling system lets you create and customise a website for your business with online automated scheduling as its core component. Everything that the SimplyBook.me system can do is an extra functionality to the system. Moreover, every additional feature works harmoniously with the scheduling engine because schedule management is the heart of the system.

It is possible to let the scheduling software run completely automatically if that is what you want. Alternatively, you can create checks and balances against predetermined requirements. Consequently allowing you to have the final say over the booking confirmation. You wouldn’t lend a car to someone without a driving license, would you?

Some of the most useful and common features beneficial to the transportation industry are below:

  • Booking Website / Website Integrated Widget
  • Automated Bookings / Bookings with confirmations
  • Intake forms – The details of the transport required
  • Ticketing – Events, tours
  • Any Employer – the next available
  • Related resources management – only ever promise with the resources you have available. 
  • Payment processing online at booking
  • PoS for payment on delivery (completion of journey)
  • Deposits – refundable or not as per your specific T&Cs
  • Email and SMS reminder system 
  • Pricing List
  • Customisable pages for additional information and services

For the transport business, it is quite reasonable that you might never stay still. A mobile admin app means that you can easily manage most of your business from the simplicity of a smartphone. With very little need of a PC on a fixed desk.

At the same time, regular clients and customers might appreciate the client app. Allowing easy access to your business and a simple way to keep track of their booking history. 

In Conclusion

Whether transport of goods or personnel is your company’s daily business or simply another cog in the big picture, keeping efficient and effective schedules for transport is crucial. Cutting down on the mundane and time-consuming aspects of scheduling transport will help your business in the long term.  

Online scheduling isn’t just about keeping good records and keeping strict timetables; it’s about lead generation and marketing. If your clients can make their booking online with you, but not with another company, the chances are they want to come back to you. If someone can check online for your prices and see how easy the booking process is, they will remember you the next time they want your services.

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