Luxury Coach & Transportation

March 2016

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 57 of 90

LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR MARCH 2016 53 ceptable, but not necessary. However, making the phone call lets the affliate manager know that your relationship is a two-way partnership and you not only perform work for the network, but also give back to the network when the need arises. About Rates & Discounts Networks always ask their affliates to provide a discount below local market rates since they make their money by marking up the price charged by their af- fliates. It's only fair they do the same. Saccoccio recommends negotiating rates and discounts in advance and not as you are trying to book a ride for tomorrow. "The standard discount is 10% de- pending on the volume (of business) you have in that market," Saccoccio says. "The best way to negotiate rates is to ask for a rate sheet from the network, and if the 10% discount isn't suffcient for you, then speak with the affliate manager to negotiate a better rate with- out a discount. Big corporate accounts negotiate with networks all the time and affliates, as business partners, shouldn't be afraid to ask for the same consider- ation. The relationship has to be benef- cial for both parties." — and work with the affliate man- ager. That puts you in a better position to ask for the same consideration. Who Do I Call With Orders? Each network has its own protocol for placing orders. FlyteTyme, Mu- sic Express and Commonwealth affliate manag- ers say their res- ervationists are all properly trained to accept affliate orders and none require affliate-based orders to go directly through the affli- ate manager. "When an affliate calls our main phone line and identifes themselves as an affliate, their billing information is readily available once they have be- come an affliate for us," Barin says. Since most of us want to have that per- sonal touch, a phone call to the affli- ate manager to review an order is ac- ror," she says. Barin also advises against double farming for the same reasons, where an affliate accepts your farm-in order and farms the order out to another one of their affliates. There are many net- works with offces in large markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago and San Fran- cisco offering multiple choices of which network to use. In San Francisco alone, Black Tie Transportation, Mosaic Global and Music Express all maintain offces in the area. "Do your research by going to all the (limo) shows and interviewing (them) and get word of mouth referrals to fnd the great ones," Saccoccio recommends. Another consideration is the reservations system used by the network. The process of sending the farm order to a network from livery system to livery system with- out involving human interaction is much more reliable since everything is in writ- ing with less possibilities of a piece of data being omitted. Saccoccio recommends asking po- tential networks to complete an appli- cation similar to an RFP to determine what software systems they use, and learn more about operational expecta- tions ahead of time. Develop Affliate Manager Relationships As Saccoccio recommends, attending in- dustry trade shows allows you to meet face-to-face with affliate managers. Be sure to mingle at networking events as this is where relationships are born. Af- fliate managers are always on the look- out for quality affliates. Barin points out that Music Express maintains affliates in little towns such as Kalispell, Montana through connections with Show partici- pants and word-of-mouth referrals from operators they interact with. Develop- ing relationships with affliate manag- ers promotes two-way communication and can help with negotiating prices, instead of calling cold and asking an affliate manager you've never met to drop their rates for you. Spend time with the managers and learn where they maintain offces and whether or not they encourage affliates to submit orders that will inevitably be double farmed to get the job done, or if they are only willing to provide services in markets where they maintain their feets. In developing the relationship, remember you may be asked to adjust your rate on a one-time job in your city that might be part of a much larger road show requiring the network to adjust its price to land the job. You must be willing to give and take THE NETWORK FILE Maintaining a file with each network you serve can help guide your employees through the process of farming an order out to a network pipeline. Make sure you have the following information in the file: • An affiliate contract or application completed by the network • A current rate sheet updated annually • W9 Tax ID information • Fleet information • Auto Liability Accord Certificate naming you as additionally insured • Worker's Comp Accord Certificate • Agreed cancellation policy • Airport meet policy Tami Saccaccio, national affliate director for Commonwealth World- wide Chauffeured Trans- portation in Boston.

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