Coastal Bus Line in South Carolina highly appreciates busHive’s trip management capabilities. STN caught up with Director of Operations Jennifer Hagemann who participated in a Q & A on just how helpful the software is.
STN: Tell us a little about Coastal Bus Line and what you do.
Hagemann: We are a family-owned and operated transportation service provider in South Carolina. My husband, Troy Hagemann, started Coastal Bus Line at a storage facility where we parked four buses seven years ago. Today, we have two bus yards, 30+ employees and just as many school buses. We run 25 daily routes for the Charleston County School District, service many of the district’s field and athletic needs, and provide private transportation and shuttle services for local venues.
STN: When did you decide to start using busHive?
Hagemann: We signed with busHive in November 2020. We had heard good things about the software and after meeting with the sales team, were very impressed by the scope of the application. It is a very robust software platform that can manage nearly every aspect of our school bus and charter business.
STN: What was the trip management process like before and after you got busHive?
Hagemann: Prior to busHive, all of our charters were managed electronically in what we called “The Red Book.” Basically, it was an Excel spreadsheet I created to manage all trip details and estimates. I would enter the trip details, generate the total billable time, copy the detail and estimated cost into a draft email, and send the quote. Post-trip details were entered similarly and then manually transferred into Quickbooks for invoicing.
Now everything from quoting to billing is done in a single platform.
STN: How does busHive simplify the quoting process for trips & charters?
Hagemann: It is so much easier and more efficient now. I was proud of what I developed in Excel, but if I ever got hit by the proverbial bus, no one would have had a clue as to what I was doing. busHive not only streamlined the process but has made it possible for other users to learn our systems and work simultaneously.
STN: How does busHive help with scheduling?
Hagemann: The Dispatch platform is wonderful. It is integrated with People (personnel) which makes scheduling drivers a lot easier.
STN: Does busHive make it easy to invoice?
Hagemann: Yes! Invoicing was a multi-step process prior to busHive. Now our dispatcher does the post-tripping. I give it a quick review and then the invoice is generated and sent. It is very easy.
STN: What do you think about busHive’s customer service?
Hagemann: The customer service, training, and support team at busHive are top-notch. All inquiries are acknowledged and addressed immediately, and when a new user is added, training is always available.
STN: Would you recommend busHive to other districts and bus contractors?
Hagemann: Absolutely, get this program! No, I am not getting a kickback. It’s just a great tool for all aspects of our business.
We have rolled it out slowly starting with Dispatch and Trip management. Our mechanic uses Vehicles and Parts Inventory, and our safety trainer is sinking her teeth into all that the People section offers, which is a lot. While we have yet to use busHive for Payroll, it is another option that I am sure is up to the same standard as the rest of the application.
One more thing worth mentioning – because busHive is cloud-based, it integrates seamlessly with my iPhone. No matter when or where I am, I can access Trips, Dispatch and other details in real time, which is a big deal in an industry that is always moving.