Follow that cab

Businesses are accustomed to planning and monitoring how their colleagues travel around by air and rail, as well as where they stay overnight. Everything is operated under a formal policy, implemented by travel programmers. Yet, for many years, countless business journeys on planes and trains would be bookended with a taxi ride, planned and paid for in an entirely different way.

Now, online booking tools are enabling a change to the way organisations manage their ground transport provision. The tools can offer a variety of business services to travel programmers: digital account management, passenger tracking, scheduling, journey logging and cost centre allocation, to name but a few — all developed to meet a company’s bespoke needs. The change in approach makes good business sense, after all. Supplied with all of the necessary data, an organisation can monitor the frequency of use, find efficiencies and ultimately address costs, just as they would with other areas of travel buying.

Ground transport specialist CityFleet Networks is answering the demand for smart account management with the launch of CityFleet Business. The new brand identity has a strong digital focus, with an App, online booking tools and a website. Each provides easy access to booking, billing and real-time tracking and management information.

Controlling spend isn't the only advantage that online booking tools bring to travel programmers choosing ground transport providers. Duty-of-care considerations also come into play.

If an employee finishes work long after office hours or is travelling long haul across timezones, it's reassuring for the organisation to have access to a system that can verify their safe collection. Similarly, an employer will take comfort knowing that safe arrival can be confirmed and logged.

One example is CityFleet Business's NightOwl service. It’s an offering whereby the driver, having brought the passenger to the drop-off address, will not drive away until the client has safely entered. It's a popular feature, particularly with female customers.

Whether it’s led by booking, billing or duty-of-care responsibilities, the demand from travel programmers for smart ground transport booking tools will continue to grow. The industry is responding with investment in technology designed to give corporate clients a modern, dependable service, on road and online.