President of Ranger SST, Jim Shellhaas, shares his valuable insights on their SaaS-based tow management solution. As a compelling solution provider in the market space, the company offers a fully-integrated vehicle dispatching, GPS tracking/mapping, messaging, and accounting solution with specialized, mobile-enabled functionality for lot management, transport (heavy hauling) operations, and private property enforcement/relocation.
Meeting the Diverse Customer Demands
Ranger SST was founded with a vision of helping towing companies improve their productivity and thereby increase the revenue per tow truck and driver while using less fuel. We achieve this by emphasizing improvements to the operational effectiveness of each asset deployed in the field for immediate increases to revenues and profits. Ranger SST supports a towing company in providing seamless and uninterrupted service round the clock. Our clients have high expectations of us because if our service gets interrupted in any way, a towing company’s operations revert to paper-based processes and a motorist is left waiting on the highway.
We cater to our clients’ multiple lines of businesses; while some of our clients primarily deliver roadside assistance and lock-out services, others are responding to breakdowns and accidents. Other clients are focused on heavy hauling, such as delivering a bulldozer from a rental location to a construction site or delivering containers from the dock to an industrial facility. Others are handling complex recoveries (e.g., loaded 18-wheelers), or working with police departments and apartment building managers to tow illegally-parked cars. Most clients have a portfolio of business lines and require a solution with a breadth and depth of capability. Ranger also provides complete visibility for clients to inform their customers, on the status and location of a vehicle from the time it has been "hooked" on-scene until it is released, scrapped, or auctioned.
An All-In-One Platform
Ranger SST has perfected its solution keeping in mind the diverse demands of clients. We have built a robust software suite that is implemented through a SaaS model and works seamlessly in extending workflows from Dispatch to the smartphones and tablets used by drivers in the truck. Being a SaaS platform, clients can work from the office, at home, or from the field. This is significant in the tow management space because many others are still migrating from desktop solutions—which are obviously less flexible. Operating a highly-responsive, mission-critical solution from the cloud with interactive business processes is a very “different animal” than building software that resides on a server in the office.
Ranger SST was founded with a vision of helping towing companies improve their productivity and thereby increase the revenue per tow truck and driver while using less fuel
Our tow management software suite incorporates both conventional and visual dispatch - SmartDispatch. SmartDispatch provides dispatchers with a view of ALL open jobs and ALL available and soon-to-be available trucks in close proximity to the job for better deployment decisions - getting the right truck to each job. This capability is now being extended from a "local", company-specific solution to a national scope with a closed-loop process: remote service request to automatic assignment through confirmation. Alongside, our CommLink mobile app provides the requisite call information and vehicle navigation details to the drivers - including account-specific pricing. Ranger SST’s CommLink has long been and continues to be one of the most reliable driver-centric mobile solutions in the industry. Our clients have the option to send text messages to their customers that include the driver's picture for safety assurance. They can also forward the truck location on a map progressing to their location. The mobile app allows drivers to pre-authorize credit cards and accept payments upon completion of the job without having to use a separate payment app or device. Managing the real-time exchange of information with mobile devices has its unique challenges given the inevitable coverage issues, but we have developed innovative techniques for high-reliability.
In addition, Ranger SST’s LotMaster offers unique capabilities for physical inventory management of vehicles in the lot. And the TransportOps module offers planning tools, advance notification to drivers, and automatic dispatch for heavy hauling, delivering containers, and transporting automobiles to auctions. The latest addition to the software suite is PatrolWorks that supports private property enforcement. Parking and code enforcement on private property is becoming a more prevalent need today. For example, if a property manager clearly communicates restrictions (e.g. displaying signs) vehicles in violation can be towed at the owner’s expense. In addition to Ranger's "rules engine" to ensure policy compliance, the unique feature of PatrolWorks is that the mobile app can be used by property managers (for "self-service") or third-party patrolling companies (when legally required) to identify and submit infractions.
We also provide extensive business management reporting modules, which are essential for customers. Our solutions cover more than 35 reporting needs, which include financial statements like invoices, accounts receivable (AR), and driver commissions. In addition, we also offer a portfolio of invoice formats, including state-specific requirements for private property.
Once Complex, Now Seamless
Once our suite of solutions is implemented, the tow management process usually starts when clients receive a customer request. Then the request goes through a “dispatch step ” from where a towing company assigns the jobs to a driver who is equipped with the Ranger mobile app. This is in contrast to the older methods when a towing client would receive a request and then phone the driver to assign the task. In our solution, every step is linked electronically between the tow service dispatcher and the service technician and the motorist/customer - using SmartDispatch, the CommLink mobile app, and customer messaging modules respectively. This significantly shortens the ETA -creating the capability to complete more calls.
The Future Is on Track
Today, we are not only serving the U.S., but also Canada. Our team is constantly motivated to update the features and functionalities of our offering. We make use of a system that keeps track of all the feedback from our clients to prioritize feature development based on their necessities. Above all, we are consistently driven to innovate and stay a step ahead in order to provide the best tow management solutions.