Using new stuff can be hard - like when you switch to a new phone and wish everything was in the same place as your old one. It gets even more daunting when it comes to your taxi dispatch system, which your taxi company may have been using for many years.
My job is all about talking to taxi fleet owners about moving from one software platform to another. I’ve learned a thing or two about the anxieties that precede making the switch, and better still, about how to position your mindset to make the transition as smooth as possible. In this article, I’m going to share these with you. Let’s crack on!
Forget Like for like
The biggest challenge when undergoing tech change is to reprogram the way you work. A new tool will often mean a change in process, a change in process that once it is fully embraced means a more efficient way of working. I often have conversations where the client is trying to use the new tool or software in the same way they used the old one.
For example, a client trying to compare like for like their existing application against an upgrade.
Client: Can your dispatch software run X report?
Me: No, we do not have that feature.
The perception here is that the new product is inferior to the existing. But looking beyond the ‘like for like’ can uncover superior functionality and insight.
Me: It’s because we perform x, y and z reporting instead, which gives a better understanding of your passenger booking trends.
Don’t be defensive about your working methods
Switching any major technology or software that powers your business will throw up questions about how you operate. Think about changing your account invoicing software or your email provider. You may find that you were doing certain things in your business, not because you dictate them to be that way, but because your tech solution did.
When changing your taxi dispatch software, or other ancillary taxi tech products, you’ll shed light on areas of your business that are being directed by your previous taxi dispatch provider or add-on taxi tech solution rather than by your specific needs and control. Rather than being defensive of the old way of operating ask yourself, “why are we currently working this way”? With greater flexibility what would you change?
Understand & Embrace New Methods
So, you find a particular job or cost is required purely down to a lack of functionality within your existing taxi dispatch technology. Take the need to have the dispatch provider set your dispatch zones and fixed rates and tariffs for you. Switching to an alternative taxi dispatch system can remove this requirement - but you need to be ready to embrace new ways of doing things.
Let’s take this out of the context of the taxi industry for a moment.
A wood chopping company has been employing people to chop wood using axes since its creation. The staff are very efficient at swinging axes. The business upgrades all its staff to chainsaw’s allowing them to cut wood 10x faster. If the staff attempt to swing a chainsaw the same way you would swing an axe then you’re guaranteed to see a reduction in production - and probably a lot of broken chain saws!
Going back to your new taxi dispatch software, embracing new methods will mean learning how to use DIY customization within the dispatch software to allocate zones and set fixed rates and tariffs. It’s a new way of doing things, for sure, but a better one.
Engage employees in making the switch
You’re not going to be the only person operating your new taxi dispatch system. Your employees are likely to feel just as apprehensive as you do, so it’s important to address their concerns.
Explain the reasons you are choosing to switch your taxi dispatch software provider - they’ll probably agree with you or have more bugbears to add to your list. Talk through the transition process, the benefits to your taxi company and to them personally in their roles as operators, call-takers, admin staff and drivers. Change is easy when everyone gets behind it.
Keep the changing mindset
Change should not just be a one-time occurrence. Yes, making the switch to a new taxi dispatch provider is a big deal. No doubt your business will thank you for it. But what else can you change?
Advancements in technology are happening all the time, and new business models, integrations and opportunities are always on the horizon. Be active about testing new add-ons to your taxi dispatch system, new marketing methods, ways of working and new economies in the taxi industry. The iCabbi Marketplace is a great place to start looking. If they don’t work fine, at least you tried. But what if they do and you’re one of the first to change?
Ready to change to iCabbi?