Money (11)

Historically, ground transport has always been perceived as a small travel expense, especially when compared with airline or hotel costs. But, in the last two years, and with the increased use of booking apps, businesses have started to focus more on how to minimise spending on taxis and private hire journeys to help keep their overall travel costs down.

The ad-hoc nature of individual app bookings and kerbside hailing make it virtually impossible for companies to effectively manage their ground transport costs. It becomes an unpredictable expense, and a difficult beast to manage. While it may seem cheaper to an individual employee, across the business and over time, the administrative burden and costs will - naturally - add up.

Companies that do try to manage their own ground transport will be faced with hundreds of different invoices, rates and payment terms, making it difficult to gain an accurate picture of how much they are spending each month, as well as creating a huge administrative burden. Using a fully-managed service provider not only makes the process easier, but can save valuable time and money.

As with any outsourcing partner, it is essential that businesses choose the right managed service provider for their ground transport – one with a strong network, that knows the industry, how to buy transport, and how to buy it as cost effectively as possible.

To obtain the best and most cost effective service, businesses should keep the following in mind where selecting - and working with - a ground transport managed service provider:

  1. Transparency: the journey price quoted should be the price paid. Make sure that business rules are put into place, to ensure that this is the case for every journey. There should be no surprises.
  2. Keep tracking and safety top of mind: remember, businesses have a duty of care to their employees, so ensure you work with a service provider that puts safety first. Make sure all of the drivers in their network are licensed and have vehicle tracking so you always know where your car - and your employees - are. Not only will this give you peace of mind, but it will help you save money by reducing waiting times.
  3. Always use the right vehicle for the right journey: businesses often mistakenly believe that black cabs are more expensive, when - in actual fact – for shorter journeys they represent the most cost effective and efficient way of travelling. Make sure your managed service provider knows this, and can provide you with a selection of vehicles to fit the passenger and journey.
  4. Set rules: it is the role of a managed service provider to guide businesses on how to manage their ground transport efficiently. Work with them to set rules for employees to get best value for money, adhere to tax and procurement guidelines, reduce emissions and ensure the best possible service.
  5. Go green: as governmental regulations for businesses become more stringent, make sure your provider can track CO2 output, and has access to low or zero-emissions vehicles.
So no matter how cheap a one-off deal may seem for a quick journey, the best way for businesses to keep ground transport costs under control is to leave it to the experts.

By Roy Hughes, director at One Transport and OT-24