Here at RoutingBox, we pride ourselves on anticipating the needs of our users and providing built in customizations that will help solve any and all future problems. Often, as NEMT businesses grow they find the task of manual data entry arduous. For this reason, RoutingBox has multiple scheduling options that your business can grow into.
Transitioning from pen and paper to software can be a daunting task leaving your staff desperate for familiarity. Often, as a smaller company or a company with mostly self-pay accounts, manual trip entry is the best course of action.
Once you’ve set up clients and attached them to an account, you can begin scheduling trips for them. You do this from the scheduling screen in RoutingBox. Within manual entry you can customize a variety of factors that go into each trip. Starting with adding the client and their account to trip, you’ll then be able to add in a purpose, pick up address and drop off address. Once each address is entered, RoutingBox will generate a total trip time. From here, you can decide if you’d like your drivers to operate around the pickup time or the drop off time. Most often – the drop off time is the start time of a client’s appointment; therefore, most transporters operate around that time, letting RoutingBox automatically calculate when the driver should arrive to pick the passenger up.
Now that this stage is complete, it is important to note that this screen only shows one leg of the trip – point a to point b. You can automatically make this a return trip with the click of one button. Doing this will make the second leg a “will call” trip.
Even though trip scheduling is manual entry, this is method of booking is much more automated than your regular old pen and paper! Client records are saved and reused, common locations can be saved for quick entry, and all addresses are validated and geocoded for time, distance, and to ensure accuracy.
Depending on the transportation you do some of your trips may be repeating every week. With pen and paper, you’d need to rewrite each of these trips every week. With RoutingBox, we’ve provided you a short cut.
Start by opening the trip you’ve just scheduled. You’ll see a calendar icon between “trip date” and “status”. This icon will bring up the repeat screen. In this screen you can select days of the week that the trip will repeat, set a repeat end date, as well as exclusion dates. If at the end of the time frame you’ve set up, you get word that the trips will continue for another year, you can extend the repeat in the repeat viewer.
Using the repeat tool reduces time needed to manually enter the trip every time it repeats. Since this tool literally copies an existing trip to the needed dates, it also eliminates human error. Ideal for dialysis and similar trips that are frequently and reliably repeating.
Often, you’ll encounter a trip that happens more than once but not on a set schedule. For these trips, the repeat tool is not ideal. Rather than setting up a repeating trip, you can create a duplicate trip.
Start by opening the trip that the client needs to duplicate. At the top left you’ll see and icon that look like two pieces of paper. This will copy the trip and allow you to set new dates for the next time the client needs to take this trip.
This tool, just like the repeat tool, helps save valuable time and reduce human errors in trip scheduling.
The most advanced scheduling tool available to you in RoutingBox is the Trip Importer. This tool can revolutionize your business and save you countless hours of valuable time. There are several ways to import trips into RoutingBox. One of these is by uploading a file from a vendor. To do this, you’ll need to start by choosing an account to import and selecting the file you’d like to import. RoutingBox is capable of importing 3 types of files, CSV, Text, PDF.
The imported file will show you how many trips you have for how many clients and how many of those clients you have never transported before. These new clients will show up in green while existing clients will appear in black. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of the trip importer, is that RoutingBox will recognize that a new client profile is needed for those trips appearing in green and will automatically create a profile for each.
While importing, RoutingBox is checking times, creating new client profiles, and verifying addresses faster than it would ever be possible to ask a human to do by hand. If there are issues with information in the import grid, those trips will remain in the grid after importing has completed. From there you are able to manually check information in each of those trips based on the error indicated by the yellow triangle at left and correct what you’re able to before importing again.
Often, the files you’re downloading from your vendor, are hand typed by someone at the broker’s offices. Human error is the cause of most errors during import – an address with a typo, the wrong city listed, etc. By using the trip importer, RoutingBox is able to identify these errors and help your staff fix them quickly and efficiently.
The trip importer screen has many customizable fields that can help to further streamline your scheduling process:
- Choose if your trips are imported based on pick up time or drop off time.
- Use past trip times – if the account always gives you an 8:30 pick up but you know they need to be picked up at 8:15 so you always change this, you can select for RoutingBox to automatically change the 8:30 to 8:15 on that trip.
- Import Miles – this option pulls miles off the files from brokers So it can be used in place of RoutingBox’s calculated mileage, or along side it to validate what the broker is sending.
- Look up location Names – selecting this will rename used addresses as the location names you have saved in the system.
Trip importer is a huge time saver and error eliminator. If you’re a larger transporter or a transporter that primarily works with companies that provide import files, trip importer has the capability to truly revolutionize your business.
RoutingBox also has two Client Link options that can serve as a point of differentiation for your company when bidding for contracts and securing more self-pay clients. Both are white labeled, client facing scheduling options.
The end user of the Booking Portal is an employee of the facility that you’re working with. The portal is ideal for hospitals and nursing homes as it helps them to know where transportation for their patients is at any given moment. It will also free some of the employee’s time by not having to call you, the transporter, for each trip they need. This in turn, saves your staff the time of needing to answer the phones and manually enter each trip. When a facility employee enters a trip, it will show up in your RoutingBox immediately.
The Passenger App is ideal of for self-pay clients and individuals that live on their own, perhaps with a caregiver. The client or their caregiver will set up their client account and their trips on their own through the app. They will get notifications the day before their trip, 2 hours before, and updates from their driver leading up to the trip. These reminders go right to their phone, and help to eliminate canceled trips and no shows. If this client has a will call trip, after they’ve put in all the details, all they need to do is click “I’m ready” and their driver will be notified to come pick them up.
As your business grows and requires more automated scheduling and points of differentiation, RoutingBox is prepared to grow with you. Our software is designed to streamline your business operations in order to give you more time to focus on what matters most- the customer.
Written by: Becca Fields-Poniskaitis, Marketing Strategist at BiTS, the creator of RoutingBox
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