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Thread: Deem Ground - Affiliate Connect

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Lincoln Park, Michigan
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    Default Deem Ground - Affiliate Connect

    My name is John Socotch. I have a small transportation company "Tender Needs Transportation" in the Detroit Metro area. I just transitioned from Non-emergency medical transportation to black car luxury sedan transportation. Been doing NEMT for 4 years now. Still working on a new web site. Learning HTML 5 & CSS code. What a pain in the a**.

    I purchased a 2014 Chrysler 300C 2 weeks ago. I am using Uber Black to start with. I came across an ltcmag.com article "how limo operators can compete with on-demand technology. This is how I heard of Deem Ground - Affiliate Connect. I checked out Deem Grounds web site and it appears to look like a good source for farm in work. One time $250 set up fee. A Transaction "receiving a Reservation" Fee of $1.00 and a $4.10 Merchant Transaction Fee for Each Reservation. I have not seen any threads on this subject in this forum.

    Question: Is anyone out there using Deem Ground - Affiliate Connect? If yes, how is it working out for you.
    I am open to any advise on black car luxury sedan transportation. It will be much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    John Socotch
    Tender Needs Transportation

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    1,695

    Default

    Hey John welcome to the forum!

    So first some definitions:
    GDS - GDS or Global Distribution Systems were originally created by the airline industry to enable travel agents to make airline reservations. Over time, they increased their offer to include hotels, resorts, car rental, and cruise lines seeking to distribute their products to travel agencies. They can nowadays be considered as a travel marketplace used as a single point of access for reserving airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel related items. Major GDS: Amadeus, Sabre, Galileo, Worldspan.

    OTA - Online Travel Agents/Agencies are internet-based travel websites. They are basically online versions of the traditional travel agent or tour operator. Major OTAs: Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Lastminute.

    The thing you must think about anytime you see the term GDS or OTA with any of these booking tools is that your company still has to be chosen to get the reservation. So sure you can spend $250 to get set up in the system and you will be right there on the list with hundreds of other companies. But the question is how will the people that use those systems know to choose you. Well managers of Travel departments that manage hundreds of travel bookers for major corporations go to trade shows and get goodies from the likes of Carey, Music Express, Emprire/CLS just so when they go back to their office they will think, They seemed like nice folks, I will click on this box and add them to our preferred vendor list. Now Everyone in that organization sees them as an option when their boss needs a car to the airport at 5am. And they get a lot of business. So much in fact they start screwing up and word gets to that manager and he un-checks the box till the next screw up happens with another company and the cycle just repeats it's self. So one you gotta be pretty big to handle the volume that can come off those connections because only major travel bookers use these types of systems.

    Can you see how this is different from Uber? With Uber you just have to be the closest one to get the job and you can refuse it if you want. But with Deem Ground (and many others like this) you can be in the system and never get a job unless you get someone to click your box on their system. The point is you just do not sign up then wait for the jobs to come rolling in like with Uber.

    Only thing I am not sure of is how the on line sites hand out reservations. So before you sign up you really have to find out how you will get the job. Maybe the on line sites assign them randomly? Maybe they give the consumer a choice by price? Then you have to ask is the person looking to save $15.00 on a flight going to take a town car that is three times the cost of UberX or lyft?

    I can just relay my one experience into this arena. Our sales team was courting Fox studios in LA. They said they liked what we had to offer but their in house travel vendor did not see us on their GDS system. So we had to sign up (I believe it was with Saturn) so we could get the reservations right from their travel booking system. Now in those days it was all done manually through a website and limo Anywhere. I would guess they now send it straight to your app/backoffice system to accept the reservation. So it worked well but it took a lot of upfront work to get the account just to get the jobs. Once we were on the system I think we were able to pick up a few additional travel agencies just because now we could say we were on there. So it has some value if you are marketing in that arena. If you are not to that level yet then it may not be that great a value.

    So the main reason none of us ever talk about it:
    It's F-ing confusing.
    It's mainly for the major players in the travel and hospitality industry.
    Some of us are making Bank on it and do not want to let anyone in on our secret!

    And just rereading your post i see I am not talking about the Affiliate connect feature at all. But that is still the same thing you are just getting jobs from other limo companies electronically. And that is all about them checking your box on their end to put you on the vendor list. That takes marketing, calling, connections, relationships and integrity. Everything business is built on. And to that end I think Limo Anywhere has a bigger base of users where you would have more opportunity for affiliate work.

    When we had a job in a city we did not have an established affiliate we would just go to the LimoAnywhere directory, Get about 5 companies info, check their website, give them a call. If we liked their attitude (and they answered the phone) we gave them a shot. Sent over our affiliate instructions and contract and gave them the job. Called the customer to get some feedback on them and they either became part of the stable or they did not.

    Apps are all the rage but I have a feeling 90% of the affiliate relationships are still done in this way across the country.
    Steve Walker ppvsteve@gmail.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    1,695

    Default

    Hey John,

    Thanks for the video explaining Deem Ground:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7GDu5enHJM

    So I can assume you will be accepting the reservations just via the web browser since you do not have a back office reservation system set up. One thing not mentioned on there is how you will be paid. Deem ground handles the reservation side but payment is still up to the farm out company. And that is where you will run into some problems.

    Because first just because you did the job does not mean they will automatically be sending you a check. They would have to receive some sort of invoice from you for the job. So you would have to transfer the ride info over to some kind of accounting system to keep track of who owes you what.

    And why is it important to keep track? Because limousine companies around the country with few exceptions like to make affiliates wait as long as they can for their money. 60 or 90 days is not uncommon.
    Then there are the truly scum baggery companies that never intend to pay you and string you along till the go belly up and re open under a new name.

    Good news is since you will have to get your name out there to get on the list of companies for work you can pick and choose who you do business with. But I will say this caveat. The best companies around really do not want to work with a single car operator who is running his business from a tablet in his car. They want to see an operation similar to theirs handling their clients. Dispatcher on 24/7 with multiple driver and vehicle options. If they send a job to a company for a sedan and that sedan breaks down they want to know that company has a backup plan for their client. Not just calling them back and saying "sorry can't do it". So you may run up against some resistance there.

    And although the sending of the reservation is all automated with deem ground you will still have to field calls from these companies because they will be calling to see if you are able to do the job. It seems they can only send the job to one company at a time so they have to make sure you can complete the job given your schedule and the rate is acceptable. That means answering your phone most of the time if you want to get business. Companies looking to farm rides do not leave messages and wait patiently for you to get back to them. They want answers now or they move to the next company to get rid of the job. That means now you have to answer your phone while driving with clients. Not good. Unless of course you plan of hiring drivers right off the bat.

    This aspect is also different from Uber in that Uber sends the job to closest car, if they refuse the job because they are busy it just goes to the next closest. Deem ground just simplifies sending the reservation and closing it out. Eliminating many calls and emails. But not all of them. And the most communication you will be doing will be trying to collect on jobs you have done. Most limo companies do not have Venture Capital funding like Uber does, they want to hold on to the money they have, you got to pry it out of them most of the time.

    But you mention a merchant transaction fee per ride? Does that mean Deem Ground collects for you?
    Steve Walker ppvsteve@gmail.com

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi all,
    If you are using limo anywhere software, I need to talk to you about sending you some work. inbox me for more information

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