The following documentation covers the steps that need to be taken when starting a new fleet. The initial part of this is a checklist of the items that need to be completed and each of these points is covered in more detail below. Note that in some cases some of the items may have already been performed as part of signing up for the system.
Become Familiar with the Documentation
Setup Key Personnel
Specify Operating Zones
Specify Zone Layering
Determine Fleet Properties
Setup Fleet Requirements
Specify Areas, Streets and Places
Specify Vehicle Information
Add Drivers and Operators
Specify Report Information
Setup Express Booker
Setup Recurring Bookings
1) Become Familiar with the Documentation
There is a significant amount of help documentation available for the various elements of the dispatch system. It is not necessary to have read it all before configuring the fleet but having an understanding of what is available and where to go to find out more detail is going to be essential. The other steps in this document will refer extensively to the relevant sections of the documentation in order to guide you through the setup. Where appropriate the documentation will recommend reading and understanding sections of the documentation that are particularly important to setting up the fleet in a way that will work well for your requirements. (e.g. understanding the dispatch algorithms used by the system is crucial).
2) Setup Key Personnel
If there are some key personnel that will be helping with some of the tasks they should be configured now. Note that in order to perform a lot of the tasks in this checklist they will need fairly high authority at least initially.
The user management documentation covers the information needed to create a new user and modify their information, passwords and authority. In particular the section on the user authority will be needed in order to give them the access they will need. Giving them at least all the authority under the “Fleet Manager” access permission would be advised but be aware that they will then be able to give themselves higher access. All changes to authority and most fleet settings are recorded and can be viewed using the View Access Records screen in fleet management.
3) Specify Operating Zones
The operating zones for the fleet is one of the first things that need to be configured because a lot of the other data that is entered needs to know about the zone that is applicable. Before configuring zones and layering it is a very good idea to have read and understand the dispatching algorithm documentation.
The zones can be created and edited in the Zone Editor screen in fleet management. Once the zones have been created they can be edited at any time to change boundaries slightly but major changes such as addition and removal of zones can cause a fair bit of rework (reassigning areas, redoing layering). Thus it is advised that the zones be carefully considered and finalised before proceeding to the next step.
4) Specify Zone Layering
The zone layering needs to be defined after the zones have been created. The default zone layering would have each zone only containing itself as the single layer so effectively this aspect of the dispatch algorithm will not be useful unless setup correctly. Again it is a very good idea to have read and understand the dispatching algorithm documentation. The zone layering is configured in the layer management screen of the fleet management website. Any time a zone is added or removed the layering should be revised.
5) Determine Fleet Properties
There are a significant number of fleet properties that are available for fleets to modify and tweak. These are described in detail in the system properties and options guide and they can be set using the fleet configuration screen of the fleet management website. Note that the defaults for fleet properties are set to sensible values and unless there are specific settings that you feel should be changed for your fleet you probably want to try things out with those defaults before making changes so that you can appreciate their effect more.
The fleet configuration screen also allows you to change a number of the other fleet settings such as the attributes that the fleet will be using, the reasons for resubmits and no-shows, vehicle expenses and the SMS messages that can be sent,
6) Setup Fleet Requirements
Fleet requirements are the items that a fleet monitors about their driver and vehicles generally for regulatory requirements. Examples may be the vehicle registration and insurance or the drivers license numbers and expiry dates. Requirements allows these items to be monitored and will send out messages to the drivers and operators when they are expiring so that the data can be updated. If items expire the system will prevent drivers from either logging on or getting work that needs those specific attributes.
This should be considered and set up at this point so that the required information can be entered as part of specify the vehicle or driver data. The requirements can be setup for a fleet (and enabled or disabled) in the requirements tab of the fleet configuration screen of the fleet management website.
7) Specify Areas, Streets and Places
Areas are generally suburbs, cities or generally known regions in a location. These are names that would probably be used and recognised by customers. They can map to zones but this is not required and zones may contain multiple areas or areas can contain multiple zones. Areas can be specified using the manage addresses dialog in the dispatch client (Pressing F11 in the client will bring this dialog up).
Once areas have been defined, streets can also be added using the manage addresses dialog in the dispatch client. Streets can be specified later by Operators as bookings are taken but adding the common streets initially will speed up the booking process.
Note that defining the areas or places may not be needed if they have been automatically generated or populated
Places are the common names used by locals for particular locations. Examples of this may be “Hospital”, “Airport”, “Subway” or “ABC Club”. These would be names used by customers when placing bookings and makes it easier for the Operators when entering the booking than having to know the actual address. These can be either pre-populated or can be added by the Operators when taking the booking. Places can be added using the manage addresses dialog in the dispatch client.
8) Specify Vehicle Information
Vehicle information can be specified in the vehicle management screen of the fleet management website. This will allow general information such as registration number and ID to be entered but other tabs will also allow any properties to be set, attributes to be added and any requirements to be specified.
Note that properties can be specified here that override the fleet defaults for those properties. The fleet settings can be changed to prevent vehicle overrides for specific properties if this is preferred. Also note that some properties will also have a user override that may take precedence over a vehicle override. The precedence order of properties can be viewed and changed in the fleet configuration screen of the fleet management website.
9) Add Drivers and Operators
Drivers and Operators can be created in the user management screen of the fleet management website. Once a user has been initially created the data associated with this user can be edited in the same screen. There are a number of options that can be set for a user including their properties, authority and requirements.
Note that users can have access to multiple fleets if needed. This is needed for operators if a call centre will be managing the bookings for multiple fleets. A user can have access to a fleet added by a fleet manager that has access to both their original fleet and the fleet that they need access to. This is done on the authority tab of the user management screen. When a user is added to another fleet they access to that fleet needs to be specified and they will get another set of properties and requirements that can be managed separately.
10) Specify Report Information
The details tab of the fleet configuration screen of the fleet management website allows you to specify the information that is included in the PDF reports that can be generated by the system. This includes the account invoice reports, operator invoice reports and end of shift reports.
The fleet logo can also be specified on this page and this is also displayed on the reports. Note that there are specific requirements for the logo dimensions specified in the documentation and a high resolution image will give better results when generated.
11) Setup Express Booker
The capability for fleets customers to make web bookings is provided by the Express Booker functionality. This functionality is perfect for regular customers to view and manage their own bookings although it can also be configured to allow public bookings. When the fleet is initially configured the express booker functionality will be disabled but it can be enabled by configuring the settings in the express booker configuration page on the fleet management website. The documentation describes the information that should be specified in more detail.
12) Setup Recurring Bookings
Recurring bookings are periodic bookings that are scheduled to be put into the system at specific times. Examples may be for a “pickup every Monday at 9:00am for John” or could include something more sophisticated such as “Pickup every Wednesday and Thursday at 3:00pm during school terms”. Bookings like this can be defined using the recurring bookings management screen of the fleet management website. Once they are configured and enabled the system will queue up the bookings when they come within N days of the current time (where N is a property that can be configured as a fleet property)