We often take school buses for granted.
Every morning, they pick up our kids and every afternoon drop them off safely, day after day, week after week, year after year.
What we see each morning and afternoon is just the tip of the iceberg for school bus companies.
Behind the Scenes Responsibilities
School bus transportation is much more than conveying students to school and back home safely.
Companies that specialize in this type of transportation have tremendous levels of responsibility – and liability – to deal with:
- Ongoing maintenance of buses to retain safety standards
- Hiring and training of new drivers to meet strict standards
- Managing contract obligations with school boards
- Managing bid processes for new contracts
- Managing charter operations
Each of these areas has its own subsets.
When a company hires a new driver, for example, an exhaustive background check must be undertaken, often a requirement of any contract with a school board. Then a comprehensive review of the candidate’s driving record might be conducted; finger prints taken; drug test conducted.
Mountains of Decentralized Data
As small bus companies fulfill their obligations successfully and grow into large bus companies, the amount of data acquired on employees, school district contracts, vehicle maintenance and equipment purchases grows exponentially.
A small amount of data can become a mountain of information scattered over different locations and inaccessible if needed quickly.
Such was the case with Ocean State Transit that operates throughout the New England area, serving numerous school districts in a number of states.
In early January 2019, the company sought out Salesforce for a solution.
Trading Spreadsheets for Salesforce
Kevin Alessandro was the Account Executive at Salesforce who dealt with the company.
“They kept everything on spreadsheets – all their contracts, customer information, employee data, maintenance records – and stored in different places across the organization,” Kevin explains, “Also they wanted a way to track the bids they submitted for contracts as well as hunt down new opportunities. They wanted a solution that put all their data in one spot that they could access easily.”
To remain successful often means staying competitive and they saw some of their competitors performing well because their data was centralized and organized, according to Alessandro.
He brought in Gerent and introduced the team, headed up by Project Manager, Lizette Vazquez, to the bus company’s principals.
Data Tracking and Management Solution
Gerent zeroed in on a solution, quickly: create a modern data management and tracking system.
"This first phase was just in their home state of Rhode Island”, explains Lizette. “We focused on Salesforce objects like accounts, contacts, users, profiles and roles and tasks and events, which we trained them to use as well as the functionalities of Salesforce notes.”
Vazquez said the customer was anxious to have visibility to all their regions and to be able to generate comprehensive reports.
“They wanted to be able to see who held the transportation contracts, how many buses each contractor had, if there were unions for a particular provider, that sort of thing. Eventually, they want to start opportunities in Salesforce to track their bidding process.”
Using Gerent's QuickStart Program
Ocean State Transit was anxious to have any solution implemented quickly, so, Lizette Vazquez opted for Gerent's QuickStart methodology. With QuickStart, a client can have a straightforward solution up and running, with staff fully trained, in five business days - and that's exactly how this project unfolded.
The Ocean State Transit employees were trained on how to maximize Salesforce and the company is now using it to full benefit.
Simple and Effective Solution
It was a simple solution that Gerent implemented in a week but it is doing exactly what the customer wants.
The future with this customer is a bright one; Kevin Alessandro says the company intends to expand its Salesforce capabilities.
“There’s a lot more they’re going to do, going forward and they were very happy with Gerent,” he commented.
“I saw very positive feedback on Gerent’s work. It’s always nice to have a partner that takes the bull by the horns and executes the way Gerent has done.”
Lizette Vazquez added a final note to this success story.
“At the end of the day, the customer has a solution through which they’ll gain tremendous efficiencies.”
For Gerent, that’s what matters the most.
We provide solutions, whether simple or complex, to meet and exceed client’s needs and expectations and we offer exemplary service along the way.
We’d be happy to extend the same opportunity to your organization.