Central Taxis Coventry has partnered with Sherlock Taxi to improve business operations
Find out more about their experience so far from Marcus Jimenez, General Manager.
I have been the General Manager of Central Taxis in Coventry for over two years. Central Taxis is the largest taxi and private hire operator in Coventry and delivers 140,000 journeys every month across the city. The business has been operating for over 20 years and now has a fleet of more than 500 cars including both black cab and private hire vehicles. Our bookings are generated through phone, app, web and also a number of account contracts across the city.
We originally contacted Haulmont Technology to discuss the possibility of implementing Sherlock Taxi as our previous supplier was no longer meeting our needs. We felt that, although we had been with the supplier a long time, the product was no longer being driven forward with the kind of new and innovative features we were looking for and it had become prone to system crashes. We wanted to improve efficiency and use technology to help us grow and we felt that the only way to do this would be to introduce an entirely new taxi system. The aim was to solve the problems that the old system had created and gain better visibility of the business as a whole. For example, one of the main features we wanted was the ability to look at driver history on any given day and access accurate statistics about driver behaviour.
We researched a number of providers on the market before choosing Haulmont Technology and Sherlock Taxi. We had heard about Haulmont Technology’s excellent reputation through their work with Addison Lee. The key thing for us was choosing a supplier who would take the time to really understand our business and had a proven track record in working with other businesses like ours. The Sherlock team were really flexible with us and were quick to understand exactly how our business operates. They were happy to work consultatively and guide us, to make sure that the system would deliver our requirements. It was clear that the Sherlock team have a background in taxi operations and genuinely understand the industry, not just technology.
Although I was nervous about the implementation beforehand and any downtime, there was no need to worry as the Sherlock team were onsite before, during and after the installation and go-live to support the business. It was a big transition for us as we had not changed systems in over twenty years and had not used a system which is based on a driver smartphone app before. For our peace of mind, the Sherlock team provided twenty-four hour onsite support at the most critical points for us. They trained all of our drivers and highlighted any staff that needed a bit of extra one-on- one support to understand the driver app and system. Sherlock staff worked closely with us to understand how we operate, the challenges we had been facing and how to overcome them. In that respect, they became an extension of Central Taxis and their extensive experience in the industry was vital to ensuring the success of the project.
Outcome & results
We have been live with Sherlock Taxi since February 2017 and the impact it has made to our business has been huge. We have been able to increase efficiency and driver productivity. The reporting functions in Sherlock have been extremely useful as they have increased my visibility of the business as a whole. For example, I can now identify drivers who have not been working in the best interests of the company or providing good customer service and therefore raise the bar in terms of driver standards. It is much easier to manage drivers and ensure fairness across the board as I have the data and GPS tracking at my fingertips to be able to make just decisions. The format of the taxi industry has been static for many years and it has only been in the last couple of years, due to the rise in industry disruptors, such as Uber that things have started to change. When considering different technology partners, businesses always consider their competitive edge and satisfying existing customer expectations, but another important factor for our business was finding a partner who would be responsive to how our needs may change. The Sherlock team demonstrated that they understood this and I have been consistently impressed with their ongoing support and responsiveness throughout our transition to the new system. By adopting Sherlock Taxi, we now have the building blocks to combat Uber and grow our business.
“It was a big transition for us as we had not changed systems in over twenty years and had not used a system which is based on a driver smartphone app before. For our peace of mind, the Sherlock team provided twenty-four hour onsite support at the most critical points for us.”- Marcus Jimenez, General Manager