Your Digital Assistant for Urban Mobility

7 minutes to read
2022.02.23. 15:04


Dear Reader, 

Let me tell you a story how digital assistant saved my nerves in the daily jobs in the city.  

This is me

My name is Gabor and I live and work in Budapest, the capital of Hungary with about two million inhabitants. I was born in my hometown and I have always lived here. I know the city rather profoundly, by this I could closely follow the changes in the last decades.  As a dweller, I am aware of the problems my beloved city is struggling with, and I can see the impact of each challenge on my daily life. 

My story commenced after school when I was employed by a multinational company in the home appliance industry. I worked on the customer care department, and I tried to do my best to support our clients: both end users and our service partners who were in direct contact with the end users.   Besides I was amazed by a host of elements of the company, the rigid processes sometimes impeded us to solve the problems and the complaints of our clients which truly frustrated me personally. I also came to the conclusion that some of our service partners could were not able to give a reasonably professional service to the end users which harmed the brand. 


How my nerves go into trouble due to my company’s urban mobility

Finally, together with one of my closest colleagues and a good friend of mine, we decided to establish our own service company. We deal with the on-site service of washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators. Two of us take care of everything in the company beyond the field work of repairing home appliances of three major brands. From our exiting service partner network, we could find three mechanics who were entrepreneurial to come to work for us as a new player on the market. 

The company was set out based on our owns savings, loan from our families, and we also took out mortgage. We were able to buy the necessary tools and lease vans for the mechanics, as well as we could ensure our basic technical background and marketing investments.  

We successfully survived the first moths and now we have three vans in lease, plus we can afford to have two company cars for the owners. We can call it a small company fleet of five cars.   

Since in the first period of our business we concentrated on our service quality and revenue growth by the number of repaired home appliances, less focus remained on our daily cost management and technical assistance beyond the bare minimum. Even though our fleet and the effective daily management of mobility related tasks are significant elements of the business operation, it took me a while to realize that I - as the responsible for these area in the company – need to have higher control on the fleet. Besides, I was really fed up with wasting my precious time with the painful paperwork of the cars and the drivers… 

How I found the proper fleet management service for our small company

As a small company owner, I do not have any employee to assist me in either business or technical development of the firm’s operation. Thus, I started to map whether there is a solution for managing our company car fleet. “Internet knows everything”, hence I found different providers of fleet management services and it opened up a completely new world for me. I learned that I can follow online each car in the fleet and the drivers as well; I can check back where and when they passed or spent time; and I can measure and record almost everything what is happening in and with the car and the driver: from fuel consumption, through efficient driving style and until emission. The recorded data can be transformed into reports for administration purposes, and I can have alerts that warn me if something unfavourable is happening in the car.    

It was really useful to learn that there are solutions for increasing efficiency of my fleet and drivers by which one can optimize service and raise customer service quality. Company owners and managers can have higher control on the cost of the fleet operation, which is getting more and more important for our business as well. Last but not least, the administrator of the fleet – in our company this is me for the time being – can be freed up from the majority of the very bureaucratic and often frustrating administration of the fleet. 

The sky became brighter but I had to google a little bit further since the established professional solutions are either primary for trucks and/or for large fleets, or give partial solutions chiefly for individuals. Since these solutions target other company size or companies with other activities, these are way too expensive for us. 

Finally, I revealed urbaniqe which was ostensibly the apt solution for our company, for our fleet… and hopefully for me too… So, the story had not finished here yet. 

Please give me a hassle-free fleet management solution 

You must know that I am supposed to be an average IT oriented person, I do not really mean to delve into this world, I just want to utilize the various IT solutions for easing my everyday life. I am an ordinary user type. 

As a consequence of it, sometimes I have hardships with IT devices and software, since I do not have time and energy (OK, let’s say: neither patience) to investigate how I can exploit the most from them or how to troubleshoot if something goes wrong, or even just change… 

For instance, I have many applications on my mobile phone but I just use the 20% of them with the same settings how I started to use them when I registered. 

And how does it relate to my daily working life?  

I use the company’s IT systems frequently, e.g.: the CRM system, the billing and payment system, the online system of the accountant, the order system of our partners, and we also have an excel based internal system for the sake of controlling our activities. Some of them have desktop version as well as mobile application. 

I just simply want them to work and let me concentrate on my core business activities. 

If you are similar to me, you may understand why I was reluctant to subscribe for a service which is complicated to install to our systems then needs time and energy to learn. Then the whole hassle ends up in a more complex and annoying task for me then the cost we would save and the time and energy me and the drivers spend now with the fleet administration. 

Instead of an application-based fleet management service, I was eager to find a simple solution that can assist me in managing the company fleet. 

urbaniqe as the helping friend in urban mobility 

Thanks to the free trial period at urbaniqe, I could try if this solution fits to the tasks to our car fleet. And besides, perhaps more importantly, whether using the service of urbaniqe relieves my stress during the fleet administration. 

In the course of the test period, I realized the essence of urbaniqe as a helping friend during our ordinary work life with our cars in the city is twofold. 

First and foremost, the urbaniqe service itself - as an application on our mobile phones, and for me as the fleet administrator the desktop-based program - is a digital assistant in general that ease the work life of everyone who use it in the company:  

Our repairmen, the drivers can save a host of time and avoid hassle by recording their daily working routes; handling their documents, like ID, driving licence, and tanking slips; record their way of driving, usually called driving style. Besides the mechanics, me and my co-owner can collect the same data and we can also store our driving documents when we drive our company cars. 

I, as the fleet administrator, can have all necessary driving related documents of all the colleagues in one place, I do not have to remember where I stored them and I can easily check if all of them are available. I can real time check where are the repairmen which is a real gift to me, since I can simply do the replanning of their work if something unusual happens and I can inform our clients if the schedule must be changed. Besides this can directly receive the tanking slips, and I do not need to frequently begging for them. The driving reports significantly unburden me from the tasks of registering the shifts of the colleagues and the running miles of the cars. 

And again me, as the company co-owner who is responsible for controlling the costs of the company and as an employer with the official responsibility for what their employees do, I can have regular information of the key cost related data of the cars and drivers, such as fuel consumption, driving style of the drivers, running milage of the cars, the time of repairments, as well as the time my colleagues spent idle during their shifts.  

Overall, the urbaniqe urban mobility service is a personal assistant and a controller in one with regards to our fleet taking a lot of time with these tasks from my shoulders. 

There is another digital assistant function of urbaniqe: the in-built angel above us, the helping friend in a way that for all type of users, the alert function gives us assistance when something wrong is happening at the moment, such as speeding or high emission, or it serves as a warning before something expensive could happen such as the expiry of the driving licence.  

And my personal favourite is the intuitive digital assistant function that helps me work with the program: it gives me setting and usage advice regarding the application, it helps me finetune our operations with fleet related recommendations, and it also helps finding the optimal subscriptions for the fleet in order to get the most out of the service. 


Conclusion for me 

I do believe the digital assistant functionality of urbaniqe can also be a real difference compared to the other fleet management applications on the market for people like me: the driver, fleet manager or small company owner with limited interest of technical gadget but who understands that these services can tangibly ease their life. And this is what I expect from an IT solution: to be my helping friend and let me focus on my business goals.