Increasingly large corporate taxi users are looking for integrated multi-vendor taxi booking platforms.
These types of system can (a) integrate multiple suppliers, (b) collate and standardise multiple invoicing – this will not only enhance the quality and uniformity management information but also increase visibility over spend and thereby increase economies of scale.
Therefore the wisdom and benefits of these systems are perhaps obvious however some difficulties can arise in choosing the right system.
Factors to consider are:
(1) Vendor-neutrality – this is obviously a key factor. If a corporate user chooses a vendor-led solution then there is a great danger of distortion of the market and unfair treatment of suppliers which in turn can lead to a failure of the systems (co-operation of the suppliers is vital) or at least a failure to optimise service Coach bus.
(2) Inter-operability – this is a vital consideration if the corporation wishes to integrate the taxi booking platform into other corporate booking tools (‘CBT’s’) such as ‘Click Book’, ‘Get There’, or Expedia Corporate’ etc. Some taxi booking platforms can also integrate directly into the Global Distribution Systems (‘GDS’s’) that are used to book airlines.
(3) International reach – clearly the ultimate goal of many corporations may be to standardise booking procedures and management information for taxi bookings worldwide. Many of the ground transport booking tools have a truly global reach and many others do not.
(4) Cost – this can be a very interesting feature of these platforms. Several of these solutions can be prohibitively expensive; however those that tend to innovate the pricing model and thereby compel the vendors to bear a share of the cost can dramatically reduce or even eliminate the cost of the system to the corporation.
(5) Vendor enthusiasm – there is no doubt that the corporation should dictate the terms of its contracts with its suppliers. However diplomacy can be the name of the game when it comes to these systems – clearly the corporation needs to ‘on-board’ all of its suppliers as well as the internal stakeholders. One way of doing this is to ensure that the platform provider is experienced and successful at making the value proposition to the various ground transport providers.
Given all of these factors and the myriad others that tend to arise, it is important to set the right criterion and also to have the confidence that all of the options have been fully and properly considered.