It can be challenging for vehicle hire or maintenance companies to operate efficiently and provide high quality after-sales service to their customers. Both factors, however, are vital to their success and in order to achieve this they are willing to invest in sophisticated job management and allocation software systems.
The majority of these systems use email as the primary communications method. All information relating to a particular job or order is uploaded onto the system and this is used to generate a unique job sheet. These are then sent to appropriate personnel (drivers or maintenance engineers, for example), often located in different geographical areas, as emails with PDF attachments.
Everything runs smoothly so long as the recipient has a Smartphone or a Wi-Fi connection. If they don’t, however, they may not receive important job information or updates until much later, and by then it may be too late to take further action.
Slepe Communications Ltd, operators of toText.net and providers of bespoke online SMS applications, has recognised the limitations of these systems and, as a result, has made a number of enhancements to its popular email to SMS service in order to overcome them.
The company’s SMS management software can now detect if a PDF document is attached to an email and if so extract relevant information such as the location and nature of the job from the data file and forward it to the recipient as an SMS.
If job information is included in the email itself, the software simply converts the message into a text format, giving companies the option to send information via SMS as well as email to ensure delivery.
The system has already been integrated with “CoachManager”, an online job management system supplied by Distinctive Systems and will integrate seamlessly with most other system interfaces via a developers API.
Coach and private vehicle hire companies have found the enhancement particularly useful because not all drivers have access to a 3G or wireless connection. In addition, they simply do not have the time to look through their emails and download job sheets when they are working.
The ability to send relevant job information via SMS and incorporating a “read receipt” facility means these companies can now be confident that their drivers receive the correct information immediately and are able to respond accordingly, making them more efficient as a result.
Comments Rob Jagger, Managing Director of Slepe Communications. “While Smartphones are growing in popularity, not everybody has one, and if 3G coverage is patchy, drivers might not even receive their job sheets. All drivers do, however carry a mobile phone and all phones support SMS. Furthermore, messages are delivered almost instantaneously even if the signal is poor.”
This enhanced email to SMS service could benefit many other industries, drainage or gas companies, for example, where it is vital that engineers receive their job sheets immediately to avoid problems that could affect public health and safety.
Slepe Communications Ltd is a dynamic, growing company based in Cambridge UK. Its staff have many years’ experience in the Internet and telecommunications industries, and are experts in designing, building and operating mobile Internet applications based on text messaging, web and Wi-Fi technologies.
The company is a member of the Mobile Data Association.