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Select Transport reaps the customer service & cost benefits of implementing PODFather’s ePOD technology


Select Transport reaps the customer service & cost benefits of implementing PODFather’s ePOD technology.

Select Transport, the Manchester-based transport specialist, is reaping the benefit of introducing PODFather’s electronic proof of delivery technology into its international operation. Operating a fleet of 25-vehicles, making a mix of regular and ad hoc deliveries to customers located both in the UK and overseas, Select Transport needed a solution it could rely on to maximise efficiency and increase visibility across its business. The PODFather solution was selected and is now used daily to manage job bookings, plan vehicle routes, track truck movements, communicate with customers and is delivering huge benefits through the automation of both pricing and invoicing processes.

“Our customers are at the core of our business and ensuring they receive the best possible service was a key driver for selecting and implementing the PODFather system,” comments Marc Waterfield, Select Transport’s Managing Director. “Now that PODFather is up and running, not only have we been able to streamline operations, but our customers are seeing real benefit too. The solution has been a game changer for us.”

Select Transport is using a range of PODFather functionality. Job information is captured via phone or email and imported into the PODFather system. Optimised route plans are then produced with vehicle capacities, driving time and customer constraints automatically taken into consideration as part of the route planning process. Once jobs have been received and routed, Select Transport uses the PODFather system to monitor vehicles movements out on the road. In addition, Select can share delivery information with their customers via the PODFather portal; a change that has resulted in the number of customer calls received to be cut by half.

In additional to managing operational plans, the PODFather delivery management system has revolutionised Select’s pricing and invoicing processes. Pricing is now assigned automatically to each job; the job is carried out and then the PODFather system issues an invoice within 24 hours of job completion – a process which would have taken up to seven days under the old way of working. “In the past many of our processes were manual,” comments Steve Myall, Operations Director at Select Transport. “We had some system automation, but functionality was restricted. With PODFather we have a one stop shop solution that does everything from assist with job booking and route optimisation through to managing customer communications and invoicing. It really is an impressive piece of software that is supported by an extremely helpful and knowledgeable team.”

“Here at PODFather we do so much more than proof of delivery technology,” comments Colin McCreadie, Managing Director at PODFather. “Our pricing and invoicing features bring big benefits to users, as we’ve been able to demonstrate here at Select Transport. Having one, reliable software partner handling everything really helps companies to understand where revenue is coming from within their business. It’s this joined up thinking that makes the PODFather solution such a powerful piece of technology for today’s transport operators.”

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Open Transport now Open for Business


The First Open Standard for Transport Account Interoperability

Friday 3rd January 2020 sees The Open Transport Initiative launch Version 1 of the Open Transport Application Programming Interface (API) specifications and make them freely available for adoption. This is the first time an Open Standard for transport customer account interoperability has been designed and made available, an initiative that is long overdue.

Considerable effort from various transport and data specialists has gone into creating both the Customer Account and Centralised Operator Look-up Service API specifications. However, all the intellectual property created is being given away to the transportation industry, for the benefit of improving the customer experience.

If there is anyone out there who still doesn’t know what the Open Transport Initiative is?

The initiative was started early 2019 by Ideal Interface, a digital strategy, technology & marketing consultancy based in Glasgow, Scotland and The Open Transport Initiative then became official in October 2019. At the same time the draft Customer Account Specification was released for wider industry review. Since then there has been significant peer review, public workshops and presentations to ensure the standard has covered the interests of all relevant parties as much as possible.

The two specifications created & launched are:

1. Customer-account API
A standard way to facilitate peer-to-peer transport data sharing and account interoperability, allowing the customer to view all their transportation, mobility and associated data in one place. No more searching across various apps and websites to join-up journey, ticket and discount data.

2. Centralised Operator-info API
A centralised look-up for all transport operators and Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platforms. This first-of-a-kind transport directory service (similar to the sort code directory within the Financial Services Industry) will provide unique reference information about each mode of transport or mobility organisation, including any publicly available Customer-account API locations.

Although innovative for transport….

Similar vertical markets are also creating Open APIs and developing public technology standards. This is done to reduce duplication of effort, create consistency across different platforms and vendors, but also to foster innovation across a wider developer community. In making this innovation a completely open and free-to-use standard for the transport industry, it is hoped that this will increase its adoption in this important market too.

So what happens next for Open Transport?
It is now in the hands of 1) transport authorities to mandate its use; 2) transport providers to add it to their specifications and requirements 3) transport/mobility providers to include it as part of their offering; as swiftly as possible.
For more information or to download the specification visit: https://opentransport.co.uk

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Open Transport Initiative launches New Standard for Transport and Mobility Interoperability


“Open Transport aims to do for the transport sector what Open Banking has done for the Financial Services sector.”

Today, International Standards Day (14th October) sees the launch of a new standard in the transport and mobility sector. The publication of a draft Open Standard for Transport Account Interoperability by the Open Transport initiative, a team of transport and technology specialists who saw the need for transport accounts to work together.

Since early 2018 the Financial Services market across Europe has been adopting Open Banking. An approach that allows secure interoperability of personal accounts between banks, which puts the customer more in control of their finances. This new transport account standard has been created to achieve for Transport what Open Banking has achieved for Financial Services. It facilitates peer-to-peer transport account data sharing and interoperability, allowing the customer to view all their transportation, mobility and associated data in one place. No searching across various apps and websites to join-up journey, ticket and discount data. This collaborative account and data standardisation will produce the best experience for the travelling customer.

This initiative was started earlier in 2019 by Ideal Interface, a strategic and digital consultancy based in Glasgow Scotland. It has since been steadily gathering interest by mobility industry vendors, public transport authorities and operators around the UK and Europe, plus has had wider input from rail, ferry, subway, bus, parking, & taxi organisations, as well as academia. It is now ready for review and input by all transportation practitioners and observers.

“This is the right time to put the draft standard out to review. For us, this is the next step in getting the Open Transport accepted as a ratified standard. This is an enabler for true Mobility-As-A-Service (MaaS) schemes.” Hayden Sutherland, Ideal Interface
If you are interested in reading more or taking part in the review, contact the Open Standard Initiative https://opentransport.co.uk/

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Open Transport Initiative launches New Standard for Transport and Mobility Interoperability

“Open Transport aims to do for the transport sector what Open Banking has done for the Financial Services sector.”

Today, International Standards Day (14th October) sees the launch of a new standard in the transport and mobility sector. The publication of a draft Open Standard for Transport Account Interoperability by the Open Transport initiative, a team of transport and technology specialists who saw the need for transport accounts to work together.

Since early 2018 the Financial Services market across Europe has been adopting Open Banking. An approach that allows secure interoperability of personal accounts between banks, which puts the customer more in control of their finances. This new transport account standard has been created to achieve for Transport what Open Banking has achieved for Financial Services. It facilitates peer-to-peer transport account data sharing and interoperability, allowing the customer to view all their transportation, mobility and associated data in one place. No searching across various apps and websites to join-up journey, ticket and discount data. This collaborative account and data standardisation will produce the best experience for the travelling customer.

This initiative was started earlier in 2019 by Ideal Interface, a strategic and digital consultancy based in Glasgow Scotland. It has since been steadily gathering interest by mobility industry vendors, public transport authorities and operators around the UK and Europe, plus has had wider input from rail, ferry, subway, bus, parking, & taxi organisations, as well as academia. It is now ready for review and input by all transportation practitioners and observers.

“This is the right time to put the draft standard out to review. For us, this is the next step in getting the Open Transport accepted as a ratified standard. This is an enabler for true Mobility-As-A-Service (MaaS) schemes.” Hayden Sutherland, Ideal Interface
If you are interested in reading more or taking part in the review, contact the Open Standard Initiative https://opentransport.co.uk/

Original Source PRFire.com

Airline Creates First Ever In-Flight “Mood Food” Menu

An airline has become the first in the world to create an in-flight ‘mood food’ menu guaranteed to take the stress out of flying.

The cuisine is the brainchild of top food psychologist professor Charles Spence – the man behind Heston Blumenthal’s science-inspired dishes at The Fat Duck.

The vibrant selection of bites and brews, created for Monarch as part of their ‘Year of Nice’, begins prior to take off with black echinacea and liquorice ice cream

Echinacea fights the symptoms of coughs and colds while liquorice is known for its anti-inflammatory and boosting the immune system.

During the ascent green tea and lavender mochi rice cakes, which will help flyers relax, will be served.

Around 30 minutes into the flight, the experimental assortment will be washed down by a herbal tea blend of chamomile, fennel seed and kelp which accompanied by a crunchy, seaweed biscuit will help combat bloating and indigestion.

 

Finally, passengers will enjoy a sweet caramelised nut bar coated in umami rich mushroom and tomato powder just before they touch down.

Prof. Spence chose umami because it improves our perception of taste which can be affected by reduced air pressure dry cabin air and engine noise.

He said: “The black colour [ice cream] is certainly counter-intuitive – most passengers think of white or pale colours with the ice cream.

”This may also help to distracts passengers from their chaotic journey whilst also surprising them and playing into childlike nostalgia.

“Whilst flavour and ingredients are key, texture also plays a part in modifying mood states.

”The soft, chewy texture of the rice [mochi rice cake] encourages mastication which has proven anti-stress properties, reducing tension much chewing gum.

”The chewy rice snack has therefore been designed to help reduce passenger stress on aeroplanes.

“Reduced air pressure, dry cabin air, and engine noise all inhibit taste perception, but umami [nut bar] is the only one of the basic tastes that manages to cut through these barriers, which is why so many passengers order a tomato juice or Bloody Mary’s on-board.

‘’Using umami tastes alongside our other flavour combinations will be comforting and satisfying for passengers.”

The menu was created after a study of 2,000 Brits by the low-cost flight and holiday company revealed 72 per cent find holiday travelling stressful.

One third admitted they don’t relax until at least day three of their holiday.

And three out of five holiday-goers agreed good food is more likely to lift spirits when on annual leave with nearly one quarter agreeing that poor food can put a damper on a trip away.

The research also revealed the top ten holiday mood killers where the stress of travel appeared amongst bad weather, family arguments and a lack of food options at the airport.

Nils Christy, Chief Operating Officer at Monarch where the ‘less stress’ menu has taken flight, said: “We know how precious time on holiday is.

”So we are delighted to be able to listen to our customers’ needs and trial the Monarch ‘Mood Food’ box this summer enabling more people to relax, feel good and start enjoying their holiday from the moment they get to the gate.”

Richard Wood, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Alpha LSG, Monarch’s inflight catering provider, adds: “We’re always looking at ways to innovate and improve the service we provide.

”So it will be interesting to see how Monarch’s Mood Food Box is received.

“Airline food has progressed significantly over the last few years so there’s no reason why, in the future, airline menus can combine flavour with more scientific combinations of ingredients making passengers happier, healthier and more relaxed.”