PoolCar: Corporate Car Sharing Solutions
Running an internal vehicle fleet is a large expense for many businesses. PoolCar, which was founded in 2010, applies analytical and performance management techniques to corporate vehicle fleets.The typical PoolCar customer handles fleet administration internally, which can create a huge burden on any business.By using PoolCar, customers can drastically reduce their fleet administration workload and capture vital data.
The inception of PoolCar was quite by accident according toCEO and Founder, Kurt Lingohr. “We were pitching a patient transfer system to a hospital when the Transport Manager suggested he had a greater need for a car booking system. We rapidly prototyped a basic booking calendar which has now evolved into a range of products that solve fleet problems,” he says. PoolCar initially created a minimum viable product and have matured the system by listening to customer feedback. Over 930 enhancements and new features have been added over time. Today, the software has won many awards, and provides customers with better controls and processes to measure and improve utilization of their fleet. Lingohr says, “Running a fleet is expensive and stakeholders need to ensure that the size of the fleet is aligned with the operational realities of their organization.”
The web application integrates four quadrants of performance management, namely; Business Needs, Health & Safety, Sustainability, and Lifecycle Cost Management.
PoolCar solutions are aimed squarely at corporate vehicle fleets and encompass the entire lifecycle of a journey
PoolCar solutions are aimed squarely at corporate vehicle fleets and encompass the entire lifecycle of a journey from booking a car to controlling access to keys and monitoring driver behaviour. Then there’s the safety dimension, such as the need for timely servicing and maintenance.
Lingohr states, “More recently, corporate customers are becoming enamoured with the public car sharing models. So we responded with developing a ‘black box’ that gets wired into the car so it can be locked and unlocked by smartphone. Using the down time of weekends and evenings, these corporate fleets could be rented out to the local community to defray fleet costs.” PoolCar have exploited the “democratization of technology” to solve real world fleet problems. “We probably prototyped over 50 different key cabinet designs with just our consumer grade 3D printer. It’s an amazing time to be an innovator,” he further adds.
In 2013, PoolCar entered the Australian iAwards, a national innovation competition, in the category of Sustainability. Up against tough competition from companies in solar research, algae biomass, and heating and cooling, PoolCar impressed and won the State prize and then went on to claim the National award.
PoolCar use Agile rapid development techniques to prototype test and refine theirofferings based on the feedback from users, and they release a new version of the software every fortnight. This user-led innovation and development with a problem-solving mindset is the core of their success. They have been able to access the global market through a reseller model. Their core competencies are technology and innovation, so outside of Australia they partner with companies to white-label their products. Going forward PoolCar will continue to seek out new potential partners according to the CEO.