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Improving Taxi Businesses With Information Technology Essay

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Updated: Dec 11th, 2021

Introduction

Today’s environment is characterized by increasing levels of competition. Enterprises wanting to increase their market share or obtain profits adapt to changes in the environment. Consequently, many changes in business methods are beginning to appear. Among such changes is the practice of restructuring the business. This involves the basic planning and thorough analysis of business procedures for maximum performance and hence productivity. Among the potential enablers of this is an information technology (IT). Although it is expensive especially the initial installations, IT is a prominent methodology that can be deployed to make tasks easier, redesign organizations, change their way of work, and achieve spectacular improvement.

This writer is a radio controller/dispatcher at Neel Taxis Ltd. The company I work for has 117 cabs that are on call 24 hours every day. As the shift manager, I decide on which car should go for service, logistics of picking up clients, where and how much they should pay, taking bookings over the phone, helping my drivers with directions within the city, and keeping records of observations for the shift. In between, I take strong Brazilian coffee. There are several ways that information technology can improve our operations some of which I have discussed below.

Wireless Communication

A system that is structured on the basis of J2EE enterprise design is likely to support the relaying of information connecting wireless terminals in the cabs and a backend structure through a GPRS-GSM system (Storey 2009). It would smartly match taxi accessibility with the customers’ demands, and consequently boost optimization of the fleet. The arrangement is based on a variety of inventive and contemporary expertise which includes GPS, intelligent algorithms, GPRS and voice streaming. Through the in-vehicle Mobile Data Terminals, the taxi bookings, together with the transmission system connects the cabs using the General Packet Radio Service equipment wirelessly. This has successfully been implemented by other taxi firms such as Escalades in Singapore. The in-vehicle appliances act as tools that boost the output and efficiency of the driver’s functions as well as the services rendered to the customers. The InfoWave Company, which is connected to the STEE InfoComm Company, manufactures these appliances and exceptionally designs them. They are structured with brighter and larger seven-inch thin film transistor and glare-resistant touch-screen displays which enhance drivers’ viewing. The system facilitates easy spotting of passengers by the drivers through the use of digitized charts and synchronized information. The security offered within the send-off points enhances the supply of taxis. The available jobs are usually open to the unoccupied taxis, but in case all the cabs are occupied, the chances are offered to drivers who are just about to drop off customers or to taxis going towards the customer’s destination.

Currently, we (my assistant and I) have to keep track of all the taxis locations and dispatch them over a VHF system attached to the cars based on our conclusion of the best option. If the drivers get out of the car, they cannot be reached unless through their mobile phones. It is a difficult daunting task and unnecessary information is transmitted to all the taxis every time one of them is to be communicated to since all operate at the same frequency. The VHF radio system also has a limited few kilometers radius range within the city and if any car gets outside this range, there is a communication breakdown as the signals cannot travel outside the specified range.

Tech-street directory

To direct the taxi drivers, The Geographical Information System can be referred to. This helps them when having difficulties locating certain points. The system indicates the customer’s location precisely. The drivers make use of the touch screen keyboards to know their customers’ location/destination

In my job, once a driver requests me for assistance, I look at an A to Z map of the city from the office, locate the particular cab’s position and the destination, and then advise accordingly. Sometimes I inquire from other drivers and authorize them to advise over the radio. This is a time-consuming less efficient process that leads to delays and the driver may miss the verbal directions I offer.

Booking and payment modes

Our customers can only pay through cash or sign vouchers for, in the case of registered ones, for whom the option of drawing a cheque is also open. If we allow cashless modes of payment such as credit and debit cards, corporate cards, eVouchers and NETS, then passengers short of hard cash or who prefer cashless payments will also be able to use the taxis, move that may increase our client base. The company’s taxis can only be booked by calling up the controller over the phone, through one of the drivers or physically turning up at our offices. It would be more convenient if online booking was allowed especially for oversee clients who are picked on arrival at the airport. Moreover, this coordination identifies its frequent customers and offers them priority while booking the taxis.

Conclusion

As stated in Wen and Bor (2008, p. 569-588), incorporating the above technologies in our company would ensure efficiency in operation and increased income. Drivers using a portable navigation system in unfamiliar urban areas are better than those relying on some A-Z map in the office on the controller’s wall. Besides, the onboard navigation structure improves security. In general, e-technology enhances competition among the cabs’ industry, enhances security, and offers ecological reimbursement.

Reference

Storey, Ross. (2009). Escalade: A premium taxi service. Web.

Wen,C.L., & Bor, W.L. (2008). Transportation Planning and Technology. Pages. 569-588. Web.

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