Kobussen Buses Ltd. (KBL) reaps numerous operational benefits by using integrated solutions from busHive to help run its operations in Wisconsin.
The contractor runs 900 vehicles that provide routes, field trips and charter services for 22 school districts across the state. It has been using busHive since 2011.
Vice President Dan Kobussen explained that the medium and small districts fully utilize the online busHive trip request system. Kobussen related that he previously had districts calling in to request trips at 3 p.m. when teachers got off work. However, that was when KBL staff were busy with bus routes.
Now with busHive online request, trips can be requested at any time and school staff have insight into the timeline and approval process. Staff can also ask questions and request changes through the system.
For districts that want to stick with their own internal procedures, KBL staff can easily enter trip details into busHive. Whichever way a trip is booked, KBL dispatchers can see trips and assign them to drivers.
bushive can email driver itineraries directly to the drivers, giving the dispatcher a history of whom has been offered trips. Kobussen said he is excited to see the new busHive web-based driver portal that will be released this spring to improve and speed up communication between drivers and dispatchers.
A key feature that has proven helpful is busHive’s integration with popular routing, mileage & mapping software PC Miler. This allows users to automate quoting processes by calculating commercial time & mileage for trip reservations, thus allowing KBL to quickly generate accurate quotes.
“Teachers and staff, as well as retail customers, can find out how much a trip will cost before it goes – this gives them the ability to budget,” said Kobussen.
busHive can store and pull up directions from PC Miler as well, which automatically generates commercial driving directions. If a user wants another route, the trip details can be pushed to Google Maps.
Once the trip is completed, the driver reports back with time, mileage and other costs like per diems, tolls, and luggage bays. busHive is used to reconcile all costs and creates invoices for the districts. Upon completion of a trip, it shows what was budgeted compared to the actual cost.
“We found that having routes and trip information all in one place makes it easier to see a complete picture of operations,” Kobussen related.
Besides facilitating trips, busHive also can process routes. Routes are first built through a routing software to determine the mileage and hours. That data is then brought into busHive, which is KBL’s primary payroll management system. The route and trip information can then be easily seen all in one place. Once completed, the payroll information is fed to an online payroll provider.
“It is nice that sales, dispatch, payroll and invoicing are all integrated into one product,” Kobussen said.
He added that busHive saves time and work. Information can easily be searched and reports created, making it easy to determine where trips are going and what they are costing.
“We can even see conflicts or overlaps in pay where a driver could potentially be underpaid, or double paid for route and trip,” he noted.
The company has seen the same downturn in business that many contractors have due to COVID-19 school closures. However, Kobussen noted that bushive’s reporting allows him to ascertain costs for the previous school year’s trips, as well as assist with quotes and budgeting for when trips resume.
Reports are customizable and easy to pull based on employee, destinations, mileage, costs, hours and more. The busHive team is receptive to requested changes, Kobussen added.
“Our customers think it’s easy to just have a bus show up in the right place on time. We all know it is a lot more complicated than that. bushive helps us make it look easy,” Kobussen summarized.