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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Winston Transportation Celebrates 42nd Year in Business

Winston Transportation Group

In this competitive transportation service industry, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the rest. This is not the case for family owned-and-operated Winston Transportation, who is delighted to be celebrating their 42nd year in business this July.

Servicing the Long Island and New York area since 1973, Winston holds the high honor of being America’s first door-to-door shared ride airport service. Winston’s founder Martin Laschever took a leap of faith with his idea when he sold his small taxi service “Tootsie Taxi” to start his new business. Many people were going to the airport by taxis (private service), but his was a revolutionary new concept, never before thought of. “To be the first organization in United States to provide shared ride, door-to-door service to the airport is a badge of honor that Winston is proud of and does not take lightly,” says Michael Laschever, Martin’s son and the President of the company.

Today, Winston Transportation Group is the premier transportation company in the New York Metropolitan area, offering quality service at reasonable rates. Winston services the LaGuardia, JFK, Newark and Islip Airports as well as the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Bayonne cruiseports. Winston also does corporate work for three Fortune 500 companies and event service for weddings and wine tours.

Winston has accumulated one of the largest fleet of vehicles in the region, including black sedans, stretch limousines, buses/motorcoaches, and passenger vans, and every guest is driven by a trained, professional chauffeur. Winston has also been a member of the GO Transportation Group for seven years now.

To learn more about Winston Transportation or to book a reservation, visit their website or call 631-924-1200.

Macquarie Group to Acquire Transportation Finance Firm Advantage Funding

Advantage Funding


Macquarie Group Limited (ASX: MQG; ADR: MQBKY) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Advantage Funding Management Co., Inc (Advantage Funding) from Marubeni America Corporation. Under the agreement, Advantage Funding will become a fully owned subsidiary of Macquarie’s Corporate and Asset Finance group (CAF).

Advantage Funding is a leading provider of transportation financing and leasing solutions servicing commercial and vehicle operators, dealers and manufacturers. Their solutions allow for the acquisition of tow trucks, ambulances, para-transit vehicles, coaches, limousines and vocational trucks across municipal and industrial operations.

CAF Group Head Garry Farrell said: “This transaction complements our existing leasing portfolio with a commercial vehicle finance platform in the US. Advantage Funding has a demonstrated track record of client satisfaction and strong operational performance. The acquisition builds on the strong growth of CAF’s global leasing business.”

Advantage Funding’s Chief Executive Officer, Al Damiani, said: “We look forward to working with Macquarie to provide our customers with a broader range of transportation financing solutions and product capacity. Macquarie’s complementary leasing and financing expertise will help us expand our service in US markets and position us to further support our clients’ continued growth.”

The transaction is expected to close in mid 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.

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About Macquarie
Macquarie Group Limited (Macquarie) is a global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. Founded in 1969, Macquarie operates in more than 28 countries and employs more than 14,000 people. Assets under management total approximately $A486.3 billion as of March 31, 2015.

Corporate and Asset Finance (CAF) Group engages Macquarie Bank Limited's balance sheet to provide tailored finance and asset management solutions. As of March 31, 2015 CAF had $A28.7 billion globally in loans and leases under management across a range of sectors including motor vehicles, commercial aircraft, mining equipment, technology equipment and corporate and real estate lending.

About Advantage Funding
Advantage Funding, based in Lake Success, New York, founded in 1997, is dedicated to providing equipment financing and leasing solutions for ground transportation to support vehicle dealers, distributors, manufacturers, and end users nationwide. The funder also provides debt financing for established Buy Here Pay Here/Lease Here Pay Here dealers.

Monday, May 18, 2015

19 Little Mistakes That Drive Customers Away

Don't do this to your customers!

With all the talk today about the need to create a great experience for customers, why are so many companies overwhelmed with a tidal flood of customer complaints?

Much of it is little, picky stuff. But small things get big in a customer’s mind, and the next thing you know, the customer is gone — for good. Spotting the little stuff that upsets customer is the first step. The next one is to doing something about it.

Here are examples of little stuff that drive customers crazy — and away:

1.    “We make it easy for you.” For many customers, these words are a red flag. They’ve been duped too often. What’s easy from a company’s viewpoint may be complicated and confusing to its customers. Check with them before using “easy” or “convenient.”

2.    Counter intuitive websites. If visitors get confused when trying to navigate a website, they leave, unwilling to spend any time trying to figure it out. Websites are a marketing tool that must make sense to users.

3.    Making excuses. “Sorry you had a problem. I gave that to my assistant to take care of….” Or, “I meant to get back to you but I was in meetings all afternoon.” Such words inflame customer rage, and send the message that someone is disorganized, distracted or incompetent. Companies should be an “Excuse-Free Zone.”

4.    Slow is a killer. Amazon’s “1-click,” Apple pay, and 4-hour (or less) delivery all point in one direction: fast is never fast enough, as customer expectations go higher and higher. Slow, by whatever standard, isn’t tolerated.

5.    Having to repeat your story. It’s not only frustrating and drives customers out of their minds, but there’s no acceptable reason why it should occur. Yet, it happens all-too-frequently. “Isn’t this information already in your computer?” a customer asks. The response is often an unsatisfactory excuse.

6.    Being put on hold endlessly. There is nothing worse that having to hear the same words repeated endlessly: “Your call is important to us. A representative will be with you shortly.” After 25 times the voice adds, “We’re sorry for the inconvenience.” The message the customer hears is different: “My call isn’t important to you.” Customers retaliate by leaving.

7.    Getting differing answers. “The salesperson assured me…,” says the customer when making an inquiry a week later. “Oh, we’ve never done that,” according to someone else. It raises the question, “Can I trust this company? Am I going to get what I expected?” Creating doubt drives customers away.

8.    Putting customers on the defensive. When they asked why something occurred without prior notice, the manager said, “We sent an email to everyone and posted the notice.” That’s how to make customers feel stupid. A better approach may have been, “I understand how you feel if you didn’t get the email. I’ll make sure that’s corrected.”

9.    Lack of knowledge. Even five years ago, having to deal with people who lacked knowledge was irritating, but often ignored. Today, with instant access to endless sources, customers won’t tolerate it. If customers want help, they’ll find it. Ignorance isn’t bliss; it’s lost customers.

10. Faking answers to questions. Customers may not know everything, but they figure it out fast when someone makes up answers. It sounds basic, but employees should be empowered to get accurate information.

11. Getting passed around. After telling your story, there is nothing more aggravating than to be told,  “You’ll have to talk to Martin about that. I’ll transfer you.” Then, you hear that Martin is away from his desk or helping other customers. Today, we get one shot at satisfying customers.

12. Inconsistency. It’s a lack of consistency that upsets customers. It applies to all types of change, from phone options, to personnel, website navigation, discounts, return policies, and product/service availability. So, prepare the way with customers before making even small changes. And, remember, customers are smart, so don’t tell them a change is to improve service. They won’t need any help in making that decision.

13.  Not using communication options. Whether it’s texting, a chat line, or a help line, making it convenient for customers to get information or get their questions answered, technology helps maintain customer relationships.

14. Making things complicated. The CVS clerk rang up the purchases and keyed in the coupons, until he came to the $6 “good customer reward.” Pointing to a coupon dispenser, he said, “You need to get it from the machine over there first and come back.” Not good. Customers want everything as simple as possible.

15. Not answering inquiries. The button on the restaurant’s website, said, “Send us a message,” noting that it will be answered within an hour. Three weeks later, still no response. The story is repeated when the name of this restaurant comes up. Tending to customers is as important as working the grill.

16. Making changes without telling customers. Let customers know why, and when you’re making changes. The city was buried in snow, but the Boston Globe emailed its home delivery customers letting them know the Sunday edition would come at night when there was less traffic. Result: happy readers and a lot fewer complaints.

17. Lack of follow through. Broken promises are indelible; they don’t go away. They influence how customers feel about a company from then on, and it’s even worse when customers take the initiative to find out why and are told one or more of the following, “I’m sorry, but I got busy,” or “It slipped through the cracks,” or “I thought I did that,” or “I’m just getting around to it.” Customers deserve timely responses.

18. Not showing appreciation. No customer likes feeling ignored or, worse, taken for granted. Relationship building begins with finding thoughtful expressions for saying “thank you” and “you’re important to us.”

19. Ignoring social media postings. With so many customers checking out businesses online, negative and inaccurate reviews can be damaging to a brand if ignored.

Such examples make it clear that the little stuff that aggravates customers is a big deal.

*********************************************************************************************************************************

John Graham of GrahamComm is a marketing
and sales strategist-consultant and business writer.
He publishes a free monthly eBulletin,
“No Nonsense Marketing & Sales.”
Contact him at jgraham@grahamcomm.com,
617-774-9759 or johnrgraham.com.

Friday, May 15, 2015

GPS Insight Celebrates 10 Years of Innovation and Success

GPS Insight
GPS Insight employees celebrate ten years together.

GPS Insight, a top technology provider of GPS vehicle and asset tracking software for commercial fleets, celebrated their 10th birthday on Monday night, April 27th on the rooftop garden at GPS Insight’s Scottsdale Headquarters.

GPS Insight celebrated with approximately 150 employees, family, and friends as they enjoyed 10 years’ worth of storytelling and pictures of GPS Insight’s trailblazing route of innovation and success in the telematics space.

GPS Insight began in 2004, when Robert Donat was a technology consultant. He was approached by a local trucking company that wanted assistance in finding a GPS tracking software that would meet all of their needs. None existed at the time, and Mr. Donat saw this gap in the market as an opportunity and created GPS Insight as the first highly customizable GPS tracking software for fleets. The GPS Insight Vehicle & Asset Tracking Solution was first introduced into the marketplace in 2005. Despite its significant growth, GPS Insight remains focused on innovation in the name of client success.

To read more, click here.

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GPS Insight works with businesses that have fleets of vehicles and other mobile assets to solve your unique business challenges through increased revenue, reduced costs, and reduced risk.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The GO Group Announces New Shuttle Partner in Seattle

The Go Group Airport Express


Starting May 1, The GO Group will partner with a new shuttle operator in Seattle offering an improved level of service to customers traveling to and from Seattle-Tacoma International (Sea-Tac).

New to Seattle, GO SpeediShuttle, will launch a fleet of 11-pasenger Mercedes Benz shuttles featuring TEC technology, the cleanest-burning diesel engines in the world. Various models offer captain's chairs and all have video monitors, on-board complimentary Wi-Fi and GPS systems that monitor the shuttle's location and speed.

The company, based in the Hawaiian Island, currently serves 1.3 million travelers a year.

"We chose to expand to Seattle because Hawaii is a favorite destination for a great many Northwest travelers who are, consequently, already familiar with our service," says CEO Cecil Morton.

GO SpeediShuttle will be the first shared-ride operator in Seattle to have a reception team at each baggage claim to greet passengers and direct them to their vehicle.

The company prides itself in its drivers, who must complete a rigorous training program that covers both safety and customer service.

GO SpeediShuttle will also provide private vehicles and a full range of business-class ground transportation services.

"We are extremely pleased to introduce GO SpeediShuttle services to Seattle," says John C. McCarthy, president of The GO Group. "We know that King County residents and visitors will appreciate the same high quality service that Hawaiian travelers now receive."

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The GO Group, LLC is am international consortium of best-in-class airport transportation companies. Its members annually transport some 13 million passengers to and from more than 60 airports in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe. See website for a complete list of airports.

El Paseo Limo Buys Classic Limousine To Boost Corporate Reach

El Paseo Limousine's James Brown
El Paseo Limousine's James Brown

The Tenney Group has announced this week that they recently closed a deal between El Paseo Limo and Classic Limousine located in Cupertino, CA.

Classic Limousine was headed by Amnon Levy, who decided to go into retirement from operations and focus on other lines of work outside the limousine industry. Classic Limousine has serviced the entire Bay Area, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Carmel and Monterey with airport runs, charters, and sightseeing tours region for 21 years.

El Paseo is taking ownership of 13 vehicles from Classic Limousine, which includes 10 Lincoln Town Cars, 1 Chevy Van Express, and 2 GMC SUVs. Brown is excited about the acquisition, saying business revenues will also increase over $1,500,000. The acquisition makes El Paseo Limo, the largest chauffeured transportation provider for corporation clients in the entire Bay Area.

“We figured it was a no brainer,” Brown said. “We’re very big in corporate and Classic Limousine was one of our main competitors.” Brown said the Classic Limousine brand will be absorbed into El Paseo Limo and both drivers and employees will be staying on to ensure 100% a smooth transition.

Classic Limousine chose Tenney Group to represent them in a sale. “Over the years, I have been aware of Tenney Group and recognized them to be a leading agency in the country to buy and sell transportation companies” says Amnon. “The sales process was very smooth” said both Amnon and James. Amnon then went on to say, “they lived up to all my expectations.”

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El Paseo Limousine has been serving the Bay Area and beyond since 1987. Named by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States, El Paseo Limousine has become a mainstay of the greater San Francisco Bay Area chauffeured transportation industry. Serving large corporate accounts from throughout the country, and now, from throughout the world El Paseo has earned a reputation as a company that stays one step ahead.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rear View Safety Launches Brilliant New Wizard to Their Website for Customer Shopping Ease

[Sponsored Post]

Rear View Safety
At Rear View Safety, convenience and safety are main concerns. Rear-view cameras are an important safety tool for today's vehicles. But with so many products on the market, it can be difficult to find one that best fits your needs. Safety should be simple and convenient. That's why the backup camera company created a new Camera System Wizard. It's never been easier or more convenient to find a backup camera system that fits your needs.

Here's how it works:

Step 1: Choose Your Vehicle
  • Rear View Safety offers cameras for many types of vehicles, from personal and recreational to trucks and commercial vehicles. RVS has a camera system to fit any needs, whether you're driving the kids to soccer in your minivan or saving lives in an ambulance.
Step 2: Wired or Wireless?
  • Rear View Safety offers wired or wireless camera systems, depending on your individual needs and preferences. Wireless systems are simple to install and Wired systems offer the best picture quality. All of the Rear View Safety systems are great for both large and small vehicles. It's all a matter of preference, and why this easy to use Wizard was created. If you still have questions you could call one of their many backup camera specialists who can help guide you towards the right purchase for your needs.
Step 3: Monitor Type
  • Rear View Safety carries two different types of monitors to suit your individual needs. The traditional self-standing monitor mounts to your dashboard and provides a large display. If you're looking to save space, they also offer a mirror-mounted monitor that's better suited for smaller vehicles. The company also carries replacement mirror monitors, just in case.
Rear View Safety is committed to providing customers with better safety and better service. Click here to use the new easy-to-use Wizard Tool.

Rear View Safety is not a stranger to the world of safety enhancing products for drivers and vehicles of all types. Recently they introduced GoVue, the first back up camera smartphone app for the popular iOS and Android operating systems. Once the smartphone and camera system are connected via a short-range Wi-Fi network, audio and video information from the rear of the vehicle is transmitted to the smartphone in real time. This eliminates the need for a primary monitor to be installed into the dashboard of the vehicle in question. The GoVue back up camera application for iOS and Android devices is currently available for free download in the Google Play Store, the iTunes App Store.

Regal Limousines & Car Service Celebrates 31st Year in the Transportation Industry

Regal Limousines & Car Services
Many car services are short-lived, but a select few endure throughout the years. 
Private, chauffeured car services that enjoy decades of business usually do so because their impeccable level of service earns them favor with repeat customers. As of April 2015, Regal Limousine & Car Service is thrilled to celebrate its long life in the ground transportation business and announce its 31st year in the industry.

Since 1984, Regal Limousines & Car Service has provided distinguished private car service for discriminating travelers in New York and New Jersey. Their range of services is varied and designed to accommodate the needs of those traveling for both business and pleasure. Regal Limousines & Car Service provides efficient, comfortable corporate travel for single persons or groups, and is the sole service provider that many companies choose. Regal Limousines & Car Service also provides private, chauffeured transportation to Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, and Philadelphia airports. Regal Limousines and Car Service also provides transportation for vacationers heading to cruises leaving from New York and Bayonne Liberty cruise ports.

Each Regal Limousines & Car Service vehicle is driven by a courteous, knowledgeable, professional chauffeur. Chauffeurs are hired for their excellent communication skills and dedication to safely and efficiently transporting their passengers. The company's fleet is comprised of luxury sedan vehicles capable of accommodating up to three persons and their luggage. The fleet includes Lincoln L-Series Town Cars luxury sedans, stretch limousines and Cadillac SUVs. For larger groups, passenger vans and mini buses that accommodate up to 17 people and luggage are available. For passengers' convenience, reservations can be made online.

To learn more about Regal Limousines & Car Service or to book a reservation, visit their website or call 800-223-1023.

About Regal Limousines & Car Service
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 Regal Limo Service is a private chauffeured car service serving Middlesex County, Monmouth County and Somerset County, NJ as well as New York City. They provide unparalleled, luxury corporate, event and airport transportation in a fleet of luxury sedans, stretch limousines, SUVs and vans.

For more information, visit http://www.regallimoservice.com

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2551085#ixzz3ZwLfgZid

Friday, May 8, 2015

Palm Beach County Sued Over Alleged Special Treatment for Uber

Palm Beach County, Florida, violated the equal protection rights of a group of transportation companies when it allowed an Uber Technologies Inc. subsidiary to pay to temporarily bypass several provisions of the county's vehicle-for-hire laws, a putative class action filed Friday in federal court claims.

The suit represents the latest episode in what has been a rocky entrance for Uber and other ride-sharing services into the South Florida market. Last month, neighboring Broward County officials approved tighter regulations that Uber said could drive it out of the Fort Lauderdale area, and Uber, Lyft Inc. and Miami-Dade County are defendants in another class action over enforcement of that county's laws. Five companies - VTS Transportation Inc., Gasolinera Inc., Boyce Trans Inc., All Transit Solutions LLC and Prestige Limousines Inc. - brought the current legal action in West Palm Beach as a challenge to a temporary operating agreement the county reached with Uber subsidiary Rasier LLC in March .

 "The [temporary operating agreement], on its face and as applied, is unconstitutional because it treats plaintiffs on less than equal terms than it treats Rasier," the complaint says. "Rasier and plaintiffs are similarly situated entities that provide [vehicle for hire] services to consumers in Palm Beach County." Uber entered the Palm Beach County market around August 2014, the plaintiffs say, and followed what they claim has been a pattern for the company of trying to obtain special treatment so it does not have to comply with local or state regulations that apply to its competitors, mostly local taxi companies. Palm Beach County considered filing for an injunction against Rasier but ended up instead entering into the temporary operating agreement, which is set to run from its March 9 enactment through Sept. 30, according to the complaint. As part of the agreement, Raiser paid the county $15,000 "for administration and enforcement costs."

The agreement confirms that the county's position is that Rasier is subject to its vehicle-for-hire laws, but while it imposes certain requirements upon the company, it allows it to operate in violation of a numerous provisions of the existing code, the plaintiffs say. Those provisions include having to obtain vehicle-for-hire permits and driver identification badges and Raiser is also allowed to provide driving history reports quarterly instead of within 30 days of criminal convictions or other charges, the plaintiffs say.

The county's Consumer Affairs Division is reviewing the current vehicle-for-hire ordinance and will likely make a recommendation before Sept. 30, according to county documents quoted in the complaint. But the plaintiffs argue that the county's decision to enter into the temporary agreement with Raiser was based not on legitimate governmental interests but was an "irrational and wholly arbitrary" move made with an eye on avoiding a legal battle had it attempted its rules.

The class also points to the payment from Rasier as having played a part in the county's actions as inducement to keep it from enforcing its rules and laws. By waiving its laws and rules, Palm Beach County "has intentionally chosen to carve out an exception to laws that would otherwise apply to Rasier, and has thus discriminated against plaintiffs in favor of Rasier," the suit says. The suit seeks to define the class as all vehicle-for-hire companies that operated in Palm Beach County from Jan. 1, 2014, through the present and that are subject to the county code, and it calls for declaratory and injunctive relief, plus damages, attorney's fees and costs. The county attorney's office declined to comment on the pending litigation Wednesday.

 The class is represented by Douglas Fredric Eaton of Eaton & Wolk PL, Robert Todd Slatoff and Constantina Alexandrou Mirabile of Frank Weinberg & Black PL, and Randy Rosenblum of Freidin Dobrinsky Brown & Rosenblum PA. Palm Beach County is represented by Andrew Marcus Pelino of the Palm Beach County Attorney's Office. The case is VTS Transporation Inc. et al. v. Palm Beach County, case number 9:15-cv-80560, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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