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  1. #1


    Being the husband of a 911 Center manager, my dispatch operations are "over the top". I recently started thinking about how many of us do the same things such as checking flight status, determining baggage claim areas before our driver get's to the airport, monitoring "real-time" traffic speeds, delays etc, wondering where our driver is and whether he has completed his run on time in the middle of the night etc. I then began thinking that via Nextel, I could offer a service strictly to the limousine industry and offer low cost Nextel units to small companies. Driver's can "log-on" to a central dispatch center, shared by other limo companies, and provide mileage, time and destination of their run. We then begin flight tracking, road condition monitoring of their route etc. and have the ability to announce vehicle accidents to all vehicles using say the 405 freeway in L.A. or to only a specific driver. It would be a "shared resource" of smaller limo companies who need someone to keep track of their drivers in the middle of the night or day and provide detailed management reports upon request. Together it could be very sophisticated, including GPS monitoring, providing directions, emergency assistance etc. a kind of "On-Star" for limousines. Does anyone have any interest in this? If so, I will continue planning.

  2. #2


    A few thoughts. It's an interesting idea... but it's also been proposed several times before. Even Nextel themselves once hawked the possibility that some day they would be able to offer such a feature-rich service. That was back in 1991 when I was in operations at one of the "pilot" companies selected to launch the Nextel service.

    I would guess that the turnover of small operators would make it a tough go. Nextel units are cheap enough so that in itself is not really a selling point; still many Nextel accounts get suspended because the bill gets dumped in favor of the car payments, insurance note, etc. In short, it's more glamour than practical for small operators unless you get an awful lot of them who really have a need. Looking around at other products aimed at the industry, much interest will likely may come from new operators. And as we know, there is no shortage of vendors waving shiny goodies in the face of these operators. Nothing wrong with that; it's just that it doesn't seem to hold the same appeal very long. In example, a popular GPS tracking and dispatching system which came along in the last year of so with much fanfare has had many of it's subscribers nix the dispatching feature, and others bail out completely. You'll be competing with $2.00 per gallon gas among other issues that gnaw at the small operator.

    A major concern is that while some operators would find the appeal of being able to "out source" dispatch, many would be weary of sharing business information about the activities, whereabouts, or requests of their fleets with anyone outside of the company.

    Just a few things that if you can work around, you may have something.

    Karl Jones


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