Passenger Transport in Haringey - Provider Q&A

We’ve been working with Haringey Council’s Transport Category since March 2015, helping them to create a more efficient process for commissioning services for local people. Through using our Category Development System, we also increased Haringey Council’s transport providers by 120%. One of the new Providers that started working with Haringey Council was Airport Transfer Cars Ltd, and in this Q&A, they explain to us what the opportunity to work with Local Authorities has meant for their business.

  • Could you just explain a little bit about your business, Airport Transfers, and how you work with Local Authorities?

We started our business in 2010, and before working with Local Authorities, we were mainly focused on working with Tour Operators, Travel Agents and on airport transfers, which still make up a large part of our business. But about a year and a half ago, we started doing school runs with the London Borough of Haringey Council, and we now also do some NHS transfers. We have a variety of cars, from saloons to MPVs, and have purchased a minibus and a coach for group transfers as well. The cars are dedicated to different clients.

On behalf of the Council, we transport children for school runs, but we also have adhoc journeys to transport people from the both of the Councils we work with, from schools or from other organisations that work with the Councils.

  • How did you first start working with Haringey Council and how have you found working with a Local Authority?

In 2014, particularly because of the launch of Uber, we wanted to diversify our business, so we started to look at how we might be able to work with Local Authorities. At the time, we had a person looking into growing this market for us, and he informed us that adam were going to be working with Haringey and that we would have the opportunity to work with the Council through Haringey Council was the Local Authority closest to our Head Office, so it was also quite convenient.

We first enrolled on the system as an approved Provider, which did take quite a few months. This was mainly due to the enrolment questions on; we needed to prepare the answers and we had to create some policies, such as for the environment and for safety, and implement them in our company in order to work with the Councils.

We also had to enrol separately for the two Councils we work with, as there were different questions for each, but we were successful first time for both enrolments.

Haringey Council does speak to us quite regularly, mainly when they have changes to transport needs. When any requirements are posted, if we have any queries, we usually communicate through the system. But we have regular, three-monthly catch-ups with the Council, which enables us to see how we’re doing and whether we’re meeting the needs they set out for us when we first started working with them.

  • What about the adam category development system? How have you found using the platform?

We only had a few journeys from Haringey Council in the beginning, but they started to post more onto the system, so we were able to respond with our quotations for those journeys.

When we first signed up, I attended a Provider Forum and a webinar, both of which were really helpful, as I was able to speak to Council and adam staff face-to-face and ask any questions I had. Those meetings actually answered quite a few of my outstanding queries.

The system is comprehensive and it’s easy to find the information you need from the requirements. There is quite a long process for accepting the offers for a journey as the Council has to fulfil two or three steps prior to accepting the offer, due to the fact we’re transporting children. But the system is easy to use, and if there’s something I don’t understand, there are FAQ sections, where I can find the details I need.

It’s particularly helpful that sends email notifications to us when a new transport requirement is posted from the Council or if there are any changes to a new or current packages. It makes it easier for us to monitor from a business perspective, and because the email notifications come through, I am able to respond to the Council straight away with quotations and ensure we have the right drivers available for the journeys.

They are also using Service Receipting. This makes it easy for us to invoice for journeys and all communications, relevant paperwork and invoices are kept in one place.

  • What difference has working with Haringey Council made to your business?

We’ve experienced growth as a business through working with the Council, and we’re hoping to get more routes from September. For us, Haringey Council now makes up about 10-15% of our turnover and we have one other Local Authority that make up another 7-10%.

  • What are your future plans for the business and for working with Local Authorities?

Haringey now put quite a lot of routes and journeys through the adam platform, and most journeys from Haringey are long-term. This gives consistency for the drivers in terms of their route, as they know they have the same one planned from Monday-Friday for 10-11 months of the year.

I’m also in the process of training an Account Manager, who will be able to work with the Council directly. We feel there is the opportunity to grow the amount of work we do with the Councils, so the Account Manager will be the sole, exclusive contact for Haringey Council and our other Local Authority customer and be able to provide quotes and go back to them straight away, providing hands-on management.

Due to our experience of working with Haringey Council and adam’s, we will be looking for other opportunities where we can work with Local Authorities in the future.