Owner-Operator, Independent Community Transport
My name is Steven Wolfe, I own and operate Independent Community Transport here in Polk County Florida.
We offer ambulatory and wheelchair transportation. Our riders, primarily, are the HMO population with the Florida Medicaid. We service several different brokers and several different HMO plans.
Currently, we operate 23 different vehicles.
And our trip count can fluctuate from day to day. We can have maybe 275 one day, 325 the next day. It varies a little, but we have the flexibility to deal with that.
With Simpli, we were able to keep our schedules organized. We were able to import our trips. We were able to schedule our trips manually. It was great for keeping us organized. But as our trip count increased, as our area of operation increased, the need for more automated scheduling was definitely apparent, and Novus was the next step in that evolution.
The installation process with Novus was very seamless for us. One of the great things about Simpli and Novus is, they’re related. The interface, the screens, a lot of what you use in Simpli, you use in Novus, so as far as training staff and having them be familiar and comfortable with Novus, it was fantastic, there wasn’t a big learning curve at all.
The scheduling process for us has become much quicker. When I did the schedule previously, by hand, dragging and dropping each trip into place, it took me the better part of 4 or 5 hours to complete the schedule. Now with Novus and the automated scheduling, I verify my geo-codes on my trips, which usually takes only about a half hour, and in seconds it will schedule a whole day.
The automated scheduling - with regard to will-calls - it enables us to do something I think is very important for the customer. When they call us and say – ‘I’m ready’ – we can make their trip ready now, and then we’re able to tell them – inevitably they ask – when are you going to get here? – we can schedule that trip on the phone with them, it only takes a second, we can make them ready and then we can see where that trip is going to fall in the schedule, and we can tell them within a few minutes of when they’re going to get picked up. And that gives them a lot of confidence in us, they’re much happier with us.
The efficiency in trips, the efficiency in schedules, has impacted our payroll hours. There’s a lot less sitting around waiting for trips. We’re able to utilize payroll hours in a more efficient manner.
It has definitely saved us money with regards to payroll.
I’m a smaller operation, and it is a sizeable commitment, but it is so worth the investment, because you get so much more out of your people, out of your assets. Your schedules are so much more efficient. The overall stress level (hand – downward motion) and the ability to handle all of the changes that happen every day. Everything we do is dependent on other people, and things change constantly. Being able to handle that change – and be able to excel and thrive in that change is a huge advantage.