How a local companies group has created a network.
Alliances are not always simple to manage.
But if five companies, all leaders in the bus charter sector, succeed in uniting to give life to a common strategy, they will surely generate a new competitive capacity.
A project of this type needs a clear commercial policy, the willingness to present itself in the marketplace with a single brand and the wisdom to not work only for your own backyard. Meanwhile, the organizational solutions for the commercial office and the operations office are a challenge wholly entrusted to the software team and development team.
Some years ago, Vector One succeeded in doing this.
As the first and immediate advantage, the new alliance Vector One presented itself to its customers with the largest fleet in the market.
Its customers, starting with the schools, had more safety guarantees.
The local companies could organize meetings counting on the impressive fleet of Vector One.
All of the individual commercial offices became a single commercial team, incredibly improving the quality of the relationship with the customers.
We spoke with Alessandro Campanelli, technical coordinator of Vector One and experienced developer. One of those people who always writes the code in first person!
The union make the customers happier
We founded Vector One in 2013, as a union of the leading companies in our area, to reach a large critical mass of resources to offer: to have 10 buses on hand is not like having 100, which is the number that we have today.
Additionally, we are able to supply solutions for moving 8 people or 80, given the range of vehicles that we have on hand.
The competition among single companies disappears, to give life to a new project that supplies the best transportation solutions for the customers.
The companies conferred all their own resources to the consortium, therefore Vector One is the only interface for the customers.
The organizational challenge was faced, enhancing existing technology
Alessandro was looking for software that could work to make the commercial office of Vector One and the various operations offices of the individual companies as one team.
How to solve the problem?
Before turning elsewhere, we analyzed what we knew. Each company of the Vector One consortium used a different management software, and one of these was Sengerio, which won us over immediately for their unique Network management characteristic.
We wanted a web application, therefore without needing to invest in hardware or new machines, that in a consortium are difficult to manage.
We chose a no-frills web solution to best deal with the delicate phases of the launch of Vector One.
The software is crucial to the creation of a Network
In a consortium of companies, the network structure is its characteristic, and the right software has to know how to exploit the structure, not make it a problem.
A series of initial tests of the software made clear how to configure the specific roles in the information system for Vector One and the connected companies.
We started with a simple model, typical for a single company. Then, when we were clear on the role that we had to carry out as Vector One, we adopted the model that we are using now.
This provides that in the same environment, you can access with two distinct roles: that of Vector One, who creates the quotation and manages the client, and that of the company that actually supplies the service.
In fact, Vector One takes complete care of the client; when the quotation is finalized with the booking, it is assigned to one of the companies whose operations office assigns the vehicle and the driver.
The implementation of Sengerio allowed the internal collaboration among Vector One and all of the connected offices.
It seemed to us that Sengerio implemented this model in the most efficient manner, because it allows a single company of the union to access its area of Sengerio and to see what trips were assigned to them.
Goodbye telephone. Goodbye misunderstandings.
The information is complete at every step of the process.
Sengerio put in place a network system that seems to us very close to the model that we had envisioned.
The organizational adjustments are necessary
In the launch phase of an organization such as Vector one, you must have the guarantee that the software could be adapted to the commercial strategies and operations that the connected companies want adopted.
One of the things that made us disposed to using Sengerio is exactly the attention demonstrated by the development team for our needs and the speed of the implementation of the new functions that we requested.
This speed to release updates is typical of the “Scrum” methodology adopted by the Sengerio management, that provides short contacts for the collection of our requests and rapid implementation.
As the project started, there were some things that weren’t very adherent to our model and we asked for modifications. These were put online in a very short time and we were able to test, appreciate, correct and make it work exactly as we had predefined.
Always more united to strengthen the market.
The process of integration, when it is based on loyalty and clear objectives, continues at all levels. In fact, after the first phase, Vector One also took over the process of invoicing and payments.
We started with only the model of management of quotations until the confirmation of the booking, but then we extended Sengerio to the invoicing because it seemed to us more functional than what we were doing.
Another thing that interests us in the system, but we are not yet using, is the App for the drivers. This part we have not yet activated, but we are thinking about selecting a small group of drivers to begin to experiment.