With 258 buses in its fleet, Interstate Bus Lines’ biggest focus is on customer service. Whether a bus in its fleet is transporting local commuters or has been hired by a private client, service delivery is paramount — from being on time to ensuring the safety and comfort of travellers.
As an RTMS (Road Transport Management System) accredited transport company, Interstate puts quality first.
“Our vehicles, drivers and workshops must be of the highest standard,” explains Robyn-Leigh Hudson, Planner at Interstate Bus Lines. “This covers everything from the training our employees receive to the overall quality of our customer experiences.”
To ensure service excellence, Interstate is always engaging with passengers to gauge their experiences on a commute.
For a company that goes above-and-beyond, technology and service providers who enhance their service offering are particularly important.
“It took us eight months to interview and consider which telematics company we wanted to work with,” says Robyn-Leigh. “Ultimately the choice was an easy one to make. TomTom Telematics was the only service provider that met all of our specific requirements.” These included accurate tracking, updated locations every minute, and a driver identification system that doesn’t rely on battery power.
“TomTom Telematics actually updates every 20 seconds, significantly beating our requirements, and the system uses a card identification system for drivers. Previously, we had a lot of problems with drivers telling us that the battery had died on their tracking devices, which is unacceptable for us. From a safety and service delivery perspective we need to know exactly who is in which vehicle and where they are at all times.”
Even more importantly, TomTom Telematics’ system is open API, which allows Interstate to integrate its telematics system with its fuel management system.
“Before we worked with TomTom, we didn’t have freedom to access our data. An open API system was therefore important to us.”
The whole package
As an added bonus, the ability to integrate TomTom with their existing fuel management system means Interstate is now paying the same for its telematics and fuel management systems together as it previously paid for just its telematics system.
“Not only are we receiving great value for money, but we’re getting exactly what we wanted,” says Robyn-Leigh.
In addition, TomTom Telematics’ team is focused on delivering on all of their clients’ needs, and if there are gaps, they work hard to close them. “We operate in some rural areas that TomTom hasn’t needed to map until this point. Government requires us to be able to account for every vehicle, proving it was at a specific location at a specific time, and therefore adhering to public transport schedules. These locations have historically been difficult to track and prove, but TomTom is working closely with us to get everything we need into the system to be compliant. It’s a real partnership in that regard.”
Working together to achieve results
“TomTom’s team has really taken the time to understand us and our needs,” continues Robyn-Leigh. “They did a full diagnosis, and then put a plan together. This is a collaborated effort to deliver on what we require. For example, TomTom isn’t restrictive in how the devices are installed either. We have our own workshop, and so our technicians need to understand how the system works. TomTom has done comprehensive training with us.
“They gave us the hardware we needed to manage our business, and then the administrative passwords to access the system from our side. This means we can fix any problems, minimising and even completely avoiding delays. This is essential to our operations.”
TomTom Telematics is a business unit of TomTom dedicated to fleet management, vehicle telematics and connected car services. WEBFLEET is a Software-as-a-Service solution, used by small to large businesses to improve vehicle performance, save fuel, support drivers and increase overall fleet efficiency. TomTom Telematics is one of the world’s leading telematics solution providers with more than 785 000 subscriptions worldwide, servicing drivers in more than 60 countries.
Visit telematics.tomtom.com/tellmemore and call us on +27 (0)12 003 0745
Set Up Your SME For Success With Fibre
Boost your business potential when you plug into fibre. It offers unprecedented benefits, taking your business to the next level of connectivity.
More South Africans are turning to fibre for fast Internet access. We’re witnessing a boom in fibre expansion and as a result, it’s becoming a more affordable option for SMEs. Once businesses connect to fibre, they can access a reliable, ultra high-speed connection that unlocks the full advantage of cloud-based processing.
Cater to usage demands
A slow Internet connection can derail your business. It’s imperative for business owners to prepare their networks to handle additional usage requirements. Failing to do this might lead to interruptions, slowdowns and a potential impact on your bottom line. An Internet connection should be a tool that supports innovation and uninterrupted productivity.
Shift to the cloud
More businesses are accessing cloud-hosted information via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools and other platforms. In 2018, nine out of 10 companies in South Africa said they had increased spending on cloud computing, according to a report by World Wide Worx and F5 Networks. Running your day-to-day business on the cloud requires you to have a more powerful Internet connection.
Support video and VoIP
Some businesses make use of video capabilities for training and meetings, and VoIP for sales and marketing. On a fibre line, businesses can ensure they meet these demands without putting a strain on the network. With fibre, business owners can run voice and Internet data on the same line but may look at installing a second data connection for redundancy.
Get what you pay for
There’s no denying it, fibre provides exceptional speeds and offers a brilliant price-to-performance ratio. You won’t receive the same contention ratio as other connection mediums – you will get what you pay for. Bandwidth caps are less of an issue with fibre because there’s a choice of affordable uncapped deals on offer.
Make the right choice
- Before you decide on your fibre deal, ask the right questions, understand exactly what you’re paying for and match your business requirements with the right amount of bandwidth.
- Choose a provider that allows you to manage growth for the long term – one that allows you to choose your deal, scale when necessary and not throttle your fibre line.
- You’ll also want an ISP to have your back further down the line. Insist on obtaining a comprehensive list of services along with the monthly fee. Ensure you are provided with a full service including all necessary support and equipment to deliver optimal fibre performance.
Ignite’s drive and purpose is to be the spark that inspires SMEs, which is why the Ignite Fibre service is structured to put you in control. Ignite offers you tailored packages that take into account your daily Internet and business startup needs.
Designing Her Destiny
Oh Yay! owner, Emmerentia van den Hoven does business her way.
In 2011, Emmerentia van den Hoven took a leap of faith when she decided to leave her graphic design job at an agency and pursue her real passion – and it has paid off tenfold. Here’s her story.
“When I started planning my own wedding eight years ago, I fell in love with wedding design and wanted to do that for the rest of my life. Designing for brands had become a set of rules rather than being creative, and I’d always wanted to work for myself. So, in September 2011, I turned my seven-month-old side gig into a fully-fledged business and launched Oh Yay!
I have to hustle every month to get new clients because every client will use my services maximum twice – first for the wedding invitations and then for the stationery on the day – so I don’t normally have returning clients.
Because my main business is seasonal and usually once-off per customer, I have branched out into branding for small businesses in the beauty and lifestyle industry. I also earn a passive income through the Oh Yay! online shop where I sell wedding décor items. Oh Yay Kids – my other online store – is my passion project. I launched it just before my second child was born, adding items to the store that I made for my two boys when I saw a need for it. I then expanded into prints for nurseries and kids’ party stationery.
I work for myself and have no employees, so the fact that QuickBooks lets me load all my services, products and prices in one place makes running my business so much easier. Being an entrepreneur is difficult because you don’t know if you’ll be successful or not. But if you believe in and love what you’re doing, it reflects in your work and the service you give.”
Less admin, more of what you love
When Oh Yay! was launched, along with her dream of being an entrepreneur, came the nightmare of other administrative tasks. But that changed in 2018 when Emmerentia started using QuickBooks.
“When I was using spreadsheets to balance my books, I was spending 80% of my time on admin, which left very little time to tend to customers’ orders. I now spend no more than 25% of my time on admin, which is important, especially when it comes to the speed at which I send quotes. You don’t get any work if you don’t send out quotes and it’s tough to juggle the admin with your actual job of running the business.
Numbers were never really my strong point, so having a professional quote done in record time not only projects professionalism, but the format also changes the way new clients see me. In my industry, the quicker you can send a quote out, the likelier you’ll get the clients’ business. It gives legitimacy to my business. The QuickBooks system operates so seamlessly that clients communicate with me differently, like I have my own accounting department, when in fact, I’m a one-woman-show.
I used to dread doing admin, but now it’s so easy and quick. I’m not just saying this – QuickBooks changed my life.”
The Future Of Fleet Management Is Now
Power up your fleet management and make even smarter business decisions with the new WEBFLEET. WEBFLEET is the award-winning Software-as-a-Service fleet management solution from TomTom Telematics, designed to provide you with the data needed to help your field operations become more efficient, more productive, safer and more profitable.
An improved interface and enhanced features mean WEBFLEET is now more powerful than ever before, and can be accessed anytime, anywhere on any screen. Find everything you need to help save on fuel, maintenance and administration costs, while delivering the quality service your customers demand.
It has already delivered proven results for customers across the globe and is powered by continuous innovation, meaning it is ready to grow with you and your organisation as goals and challenges change. Discover the future of fleet management now and help give your business an edge on the competition. Request a demo and find out more at telematics.tomtom.com/webfleet/landingpages/launching-the-new-webfleet.
Women Entrepreneur Successes2 weeks ago
Watch List: 50 Black African Women Entrepreneurs To Watch
Support for Women Entrepreneurs2 weeks ago
Funding And Financial Assistance For SA Women Entrepreneurs
Accounting & Payroll2 weeks ago
Wilting Away – How To Boost Your Financial Management Team After The Big Financial Year-End
Snapshots6 days ago
How Pepe Marais Went From Bankruptcy To Founding Joe Public And Becoming An Entrepreneurial Success
Snapshots5 days ago
Ian Fuhr Explains Why He Likes To Launch Businesses In Unfamiliar Industries And How He Made Sorbet A Success
Company Posts2 weeks ago
The Future Of Fleet Management Is Now
Support for Women Entrepreneurs2 weeks ago
Too Few South African Women Become Entrepreneurs, But This Can Change
Company Posts2 days ago
Designing Her Destiny