From “lift-off” in 2004, Ranger has focused on helping customers to achieve and sustain a higher trajectory in Operational Productivity — more calls per driver while using less fuel! These benefits flow straight to the bottom line for increased profitability. Ranger is more than competitive on dimensions of administrative efficiency (e.g., multiple options for linking to QuickBooks, invoices, statements, commissions, performance reporting, and going paperless — including the printing of invoices in the truck, if needed), but the savings from administrative benefits can be harder to realize financially without reductions in staffing.
Ranger differs from many other tow management solutions based on the scope of “mobile-enabled” functionality provided (breadth and depth) and the reliability of the service. From a customer perspective, Ranger’s functionality translates to a fully integrated solution that you can grow into, and never grow out of. Ranger provides distinctive capabilities in the “basics”:
DispatchDirectTM provides all of the information on calls pending and in-progress (by division if appropriate), and the same information is available in the dashboards on the Ranger map — MapTrackTM — because it is all fully integrated. No separate bolt-on product for GPS is needed. The mapping provides not only truck location, but also traffic conditions The icons show truck type and status. There are two viable options for truck location information. The data can be supplied by the Ranger mobile solution for drivers (over 40% of trucks in Ranger) or a fixed-in-vehicle GPS unit in the truck (over 50% of trucks in Ranger). The fixed-in-vehicle GPS unit is configured with Ranger software and reports directly to Ranger’s MapTrackTM servers for fast and frequent response
In addition, SmartDispatchTM enables visual, drag & drop dispatch from the map. Dispatchers can see all open jobs and all available trucks to make better deployment decisions — shortening ETA’ s, and lowering fuel costs.
CommLinkTM has long been the leading, highest reliability driver-centric mobile solution in the industry — and … it works! This is in direct contrast to what we hear about apps from our competitors: ” it is buggy, and it crashes a lot”.
Drivers get all the call information and “Garmin-like” navigation to incident and destination locations. They can take pictures, collect signatures (e.g., Consent to Tow). Drivers receive (pre-configured) rate information from Dispatch – account-specific pricing sent by Dispatch – for pricing accuracy and consistency
Drivers can also enter Extras on-scene. The Extras for a motor club call may be few (e.g., dollies). However, for a recovery job the list is typically extensive (e.g., from airbags to forklifts) Some customers who do on-site heavy duty truck repair will list all of the parts in the back of the box truck – the repair technician records those used. These Extras also come with pre-configured rates. Drivers simply enter physical quantities used.
Drivers can also process credit cards, on-site — directly with CommLinkTM — entering credit card numbers manually or with a credit card reader/swipe. These capabilities include pre-authorizing a card at Arrived – to ensure payment for the service delivered. At Clear, the “token” for the pre-authorized credit card is automatically used to process the final charges for the call. The driver confirms the payment method. No additional input is required by the driver.
The Ranger mobile solution does all the “heavy lifting” – the pricing calculations and payment processing. Drivers don’t need to know the rate book, or do the math.
Perhaps less transparent, the mobile solution enables another significant benefit: shifting how dispatchers spend their time — from talking to drivers, to talking to customers (pinpointing locations so that drivers arrive sooner, and providing updates for higher customer satisfaction).
LotMasterTM provides all of the functionality expected in a storage lot solution (including re-tows, lien letters) and much more. For example, user-defined workflow management provides a tool to track the progress of a vehicle in the lot (from Admit through Lien Letter processing steps to Release, Disposal, or Auction).
There is also a special mobile application for those attending the lot. The most common use for this app is continued picture-taking. The record of pictures that begins with the tow job, follows the vehicle to the lot and can be extended while the vehicle is being stored — with a final picture when discharged. In an increasingly litigious culture, the “cradle-to-grave” pictures are valuable in reducing liability exposures.
The LotMasterTM mobile app is also designed to streamline the process for taking physical inventories of vehicles. By placing an inexpensive “QR Code” (bar code) on the vehicle at Admit, it becomes electronically tagged in Ranger. A lot attendant can survey the lot with the mobile app, recording each vehicle by scanning the QR code. At the conclusion of the survey, a report identifies variances, if any, with the data in Ranger.
Beyond the “basics”, Ranger also offers functionality for other towing-related business opportunities — equipment/vehicle transport, and private parking enforcement.
TransportOpsTM is aimed at three market applications: transporting construction equipment (e.g., between a rental location and a building site), moving containers (e.g., to/from multi-modal shipping points), and relocating automobiles for auction (e.g., from a towing company storage lot to a regional auction facility). The process allows dispatchers to plan/schedule their loads for the next day by truck and driver. In late afternoon, text messages are sent via Ranger to each driver on their personal smart phone, providing advance notice to drivers on their assignment for the coming day. The next morning when drivers log into CommLinkTM, the assignments are automatically dispatched to the driver’s mobile device — eliminating the need for manual assignments by dispatchers. Dashboards for the Transport Manager provide information to confirm drivers have received and acknowledged the requisite information, and their progress on each call.
The latest addition to the Ranger software suite is PatrolWorksTM for private property enforcement – whether a core business, or an opportunity for diversification and growth. The solution enables towing companies to configure specific requirements for each of their customers (e.g., apartments, hospitals), including scheduling and the rules governing each individual violation type (e.g., grace period, approval requirements). Spotters can be assigned to zones and/or individual lots.
The PatrolWorksTM mobile app navigates spotters to the assigned lot, and provides a listing of any vehicles that have already been tagged. Spotters can update pending violations and enter new violations — including pictures. In locales where patrolling is not permitted, a willing property manager could use the mobile app for “self-service” entry and updating of parking violations.
Once entered into PatrolWorksTM , the rules engine manages the process – including the automatic sending of approval requests to the designated Property Manager with the relevant information and pictures. When the prerequisites have been satisfied, the towing opportunity can be executed directly by the spotter, or be automatically forwarded to DispatchDirectTM for the assignment of a tow truck – with navigation to the exact location where the violation was recorded. Impounded vehicles are processed through LotMasterTM.
Ranger’s scope of “mobile-enabled” functionality is one source of differentiation. However, functionality without reliability (e.g., uptime, no app “crashes”) is of little value. Reliability is often an afterthought until the system is not working. Ranger has invested heavily for reliability/uptime. The solution is hosted in a commercial data center with redundant internet, power, and cooling — with the latest in security. All data is backed up nightly. There is redundancy built into each component of the Ranger infrastructure architecture. And in a “worst case” scenario, Ranger even has a disaster recovery solution in place to fail over to a different data center location. Ranger functionality comes with reliability.
We often use the tag line: advanced technology for superior performance. Ranger is not for everyone. But if you are looking to achieve a higher level of performance, give us a call and we’ll put Ranger Service Solutions Technology to work for you!