Luxury Coach & Transportation

March 2015

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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68 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR MARCH 2015 WWW.LCTMAG.COM ARTUSMODE ORIGINATED IN 2006 WHEN Andy Norman started a party bus com- pany in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The full-time student was short on time and employees, so he created a website to ease the online booking process. Once he got clients, it was time to create a back-offce soft- ware to streamline operations and keep things in order. He brought his friend Michael Yingling on to further the tech development. Fast forward to 2015 and ArtusMode has created a robust management soft- ware that helps limo operators with a number of tasks, including Department of Transportation compliance, customer retention tools, and a host of analytical data that gives smaller-scaled limo com- panies a large-scale advantage. ArtusMo- de was developed along with the party bus company, which is now an 18-ve- hicle operation. "We eat our own dogfood," says Nor- man, using a common term in the tech industry that refers to a software com- pany using its products internally. "We've built ArtusMode along with the party bus company, but we went back and refned it to make it applicable to the limo in- dustry as a whole. I think this market has been traditionally underserved. It went from the renaissance of Microsoft Access in the 1990s, to becoming an always-con- nected customer experience using cloud- based technology, and that's where we are coming in now." ArtusMode offcially launched to mar- ket in early 2014. This year, it is pro- moting the software's ability to improve employee performance, such as helping users communicate quick and concise in- formation. A reservationist, for example, can give dynamic price quotes because of an easy-to-use customer retention module that shows a client's purchase history, while a salesperson can can cue up a list of leads and prospects. ArtusMode Is Tailor Made For Operators While ArtusMode can offer such things as dispatch management, it works best with The software package was frst created to help run a party bus business, but after real-world trial and error, it does far more. ArtusMode Optimizes Customer Service Software for Limo Operators By Tim Crowley, LCT senior editor FASTFACTS ARTUSMODE LOCATION: Great Falls, Va. SERVICE: Fleet operations management software FOUNDED: 2014 WEBSITE: OWNERS: Andrew Norman CEO, Michael Yingling CTO CONTACT: (703)794-6100 preexisting reservation management soft- ware systems, Norman says. Its strength lies in delivering pertinent data quickly to employees so they can make good business decisions. For example, Norman cites ArtusMode's telephony integration. If a client calls in, the receptionist will automatically get a pop-up window on the screen that shows the client's history on past purchases and satisfaction. An- other notable feature is the DOT dash- board, where each vehicle can be tagged with a timetable for required inspections and maintenance, and chauffeurs get re- minders for drug and alcohol testing and many other requirements. "We're all about data feeds," Norman says. "The key is to condense it down and make it understandable. Big data is such a cliché word but there are actual patterns and behaviors to be derived that can help you make better business decisions, boiling it all down to some- thing comprehensible for a C-level ex- ecutive. Do I buy Ford or Chevy? Are my Fords booking better than Chevys? What am I making more money off of? All of these things were traditionally very dif- fcult for the little guys to do. They didn't have the statistical decision-making ca- pability, and had to make choices an- ecdotally, which is dangerous. We want to give these limo operators solid data points that make sense." ArtusMode's success can be seen in the revenue increases reported at the party bus company, says Norman. By running algorithms against the data compiled, Norman and Yingling have adjusted their models and kept profts up. "We're in a low margin business, where a one per- cent uptick in revenue or savings in one vertical can have a 10% increase on the bottom line over the year," Norman says. ArtusMode is offered as a monthly ser- vice fee that includes a range of packages depending on which specifc software functions the operator wants. The compa- ny works closely with each potential cli- ent during the onboarding phase so that the software suits their needs and they understand how to use each function. VENDOR MARKETPLACE I MARCH 2015 Andy Norman (above) and Michael Yingling started ArtusMode in 2014. Norman has a tech- nology background. His family ran an interstate railroad freight company. Yingling is the CTO who oversees coding and product architecture. The ArtusMode phone companion interface will look up the calling number and display the customer's information, so customer service representatives can answer and service the call as needed. The Department of Transportation Hours of Service (HOS) portal lets drivers enter their DOT HOS data on a mobile device, which is then calculated to ensure the driver has not exceeded allotted hours. The DOT pre-trip vehicle inspection mobile in- terface lets drivers note any safety defects on the vehicle during their pre-trip inspection process.

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