A recent study from Singaporean smart mobility technology firm, SWAT Mobility (SWAT), has found that companies in the Philippines employ an average of 7 people, depending on the company size, just to manually organize transportation routes for their employee shuttle or bus fleets.
The study looked at five large corporations in Metro Manila that employ individuals to organize transport routes for their employees. One of the organizations, a property developer headquartered in Taguig City, assigned a single full-time individual to manage transportation services for 40 people, while a telecommunications company with around 600 employees designates 12 contact persons who coordinate transportation routes across 120 vehicles.
The other businesses were the same. One, a professional services company has 12 contact points who manually organize transportation routes across 60 vehicles for around 400 of the firm’s employees. Another, a local banking firm, employs up to seven individuals to arrange 40 fixed bus routes for 800 employees. The last, an outsourcing service provider, initially had two employees assigned to manage corporate fleets for 130 people.
In 2019, location technology specialist TomTom reported that Metro Manila has the second-worst traffic congestion out of 416 cities surveyed worldwide. Meanwhile, traffic navigation app Waze has identified Metro Manila as the world’s worst city for drivers. The Boston Consulting Group has also found that Filipinos lose an average of 16 days and PHP 100,000 of income a year due to Metro Manila traffic alone.
Filipinos only believe that they lose time and productivity to traffic when, in reality, another factor plays in this matter, one that some companies experience the most: the manual dispatch of corporate transportation fleets. This is a tremendously overlooked area in which they can improve processes for better time and resource management. The average 7 employees that are assigned to organize corporate bus and shuttle routes for employees could otherwise be used for tackling other, more meaningful, work if the manual process is improved.
According to SWAT Mobility, employees assigned to take care of transport are kept busy with a number of tedious tasks:
- Collecting requests from staff and department heads through phone, email, or instant messages, including many last-minute changes
- Grouping employees by location, creating bus routes, and communicating those routes to drivers
- Collating and keeping passenger manifest records—usually a paper-based process where drivers need to remember to return records to a transport coordinator, who then has to type all the written information into a spreadsheet for record-keeping
- Chasing passengers and drivers who cannot connect at the scheduled time due to traffic delays
This work requires late night and weekend overtime work, creates constant headaches, and keeps employees from doing the work they were hired to do. The COVID-19 pandemic has also expanded the need for companies to provide employees with a safe and efficient commute to their workplace.
“COVID-19 has accelerated the need to provide safe and efficient transport for essential on-site employees. With the current economic challenges, companies need to provide this transport as efficiently as possible,” said Nicholas Stipp, chief revenue officer at SWAT. “SWAT Mobility is happy to help organizations in the Philippines digitize their employee transportation processes while simultaneously contributing to the alleviation of traffic in Metro Manila.”
Taming transport chaos
SWAT Mobility provides demand-responsive ride-sharing technology in high capacity vehicles. SWAT’s technology enables companies to digitize their employee transportation processes, enabling them to save time, manpower, and money. The solution:
- Automatically collates requests through a smart-phone based app or employer bulk upload, eliminating the work of taking request through phone, email, Viber or WhatsApp
- Groups passengers, calculate the most efficient routes, assigns vehicles, and sends the routes to driver apps in seconds, eliminating the need to plan routes manually
- Automatically generates full passenger manifests, including boarding and alighting time stamps, to satisfy the Department of Transportation (DOTr) requirements on record-keeping and enabling instant contact tracing without any input from drivers
- Allows passengers to track vehicles in real-time, eliminating the need for transportation coordinators to chase down drivers
SWAT automates 90% of the manual work required to manage corporate shuttle fleets. Its highly-efficient routing algorithms typically generate fleet cost savings of 20-30%.
Getting employees home safely and efficiently
SWAT’s first project in the Philippines was in cooperation with the Toyota Mobility Foundation and was launched in May. SWAT enabled critical medical workers from Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to safely travel to and from their homes on door-to-door services as part of the DOTr’s Free Ride for Health Workers Program. Workers used the SWATBiz app to book rides daily according to their shift schedule, were assigned to one of ten vans, and were routed efficiently to their homes.
In July, SWAT provided its SWATBiz app to coworking and staff leasing service provider KMC Solutions to help their employees and clients book rides, plan routes in minutes, navigate drivers to close-to-home pick-up points, and track vehicles in real-time. Like the PGH project, this solution was delivered locally by SWAT’s partner Toyota Motor Philippines.
“SWAT’s technology has allowed our employees that manage transport to rest on nights and weekends and focus on their work. It’s reduced the work required versus our previous manual process that had employees waiting for hours for vans and arriving very late.” said Alex Gomez, vice president for people and culture at KMC. SWAT has revealed that the provided app has been rated 4.7/5 by KMC users.
In an online press conference, both SWAT and KMC have noted that organizations in the country have already approached SWAT to help them with their transport solutions both during and post-COVID-19 pandemic.
SWAT has also announced working with many other organizations to help more Filipinos commute soundly in the metro and beyond. With Metro Manila being known to have one of the worst traffic congestions in the entire world, it’s now more important than ever to enable smart mobility solutions for all, saving organizations time through the automation of dispatching as well as improved fleet efficiency.