Embracing Connections at Big Ten and Friends

Nola Johnson May 30, 2019 mobility, innovation, TransLoc, Ford Smart Mobility, technology, transportation, Iowa State, parking, Big Ten and Friends, campus mobility, Spin 0 Comments

The Big Ten and Friends Parking and Transportation Conference provided an intimate setting of roughly 100 attendees at Iowa State University (ISU). In addition to learning about and discussing the current state of parking and transportation, the TransLoc team attended a walking tour of campus, learned about our True Colors personality spectrum, and connected with fellow vendors including Spin, RideSystems, and Toyota.

The buzzword of the conference was fleet. The sessions focused on campus facilities such as maintenance, groundskeeping, and departmental transportation needs. ISU was the ideal host for the event as they truly exemplify self-sufficiency. They built their own software to manage internal operations as well as a customer-facing portal for vehicle bookings. The university also manages its own bus and campus vehicle fleets that are used for fixed route, safe ride, student organizations, and department staff travel. The University employs state-of-the-art mechanics that are able to retrofit the vehicles and transform them into food trucks or mobile vet clinics. One of the most fascinating things we learned about ISU operations is that they have the ability to process their own license plates as they procure new vehicles.

After learning about the unique innovations and technologies on ISU’s campus, the TransLoc team was ready to connect with our customers and dig into some mission-critical solutions surrounding campus mobility services.

The University of Maryland, College Park made a big splash at the conference arriving in one of their charter buses after a sixteen-hour road trip. TransLoc’s Customer Success Manager, Danny McPhaul, visited their campus in April but would have needed to stay for multiple days to speak with all of the dispatchers. This platform allowed him to connect with six dispatchers across multiple shifts, which was incredibly enlightening. The dispatchers were able to share valuable insights about their experiences with TransLoc’s OnDemand product. It was relayed to our product team to inform their continued enhancements of both the dispatcher and student experiences.

The team was able to do product deep dives with both Rutgers University and Northwestern University. Solutions Engineer Greg O’Cavson immersed our clients in our Traveler and Architect products. Rutgers was able to take away new information that will enable them to continue to improve their student experience, albeit in a different way. We showcased the benefits of utilizing Architect on campus with Northwestern University, including the ability to create unique routes and expedite the data publishing process. TransLoc will be traveling to Northwestern to train our customers so that they are completely familiar and comfortable with the product before they officially adopt it into their program.

The TransLoc team was thrilled to see our Ford Smart Mobility family represented with a breakout session highlighting Spin’s recent RFP win as the scooter vendor for Oklahoma State University. This RFP was issued after scooters were banned on campus due to previous vendors dropping off scooters without consulting the university. Students were so displeased by the ban that they collected over 7,000 signatures on Change.org to bring scooters back to campus. OSU expressed their appreciation for Spin’s willingness to collaborate and provide geo-fencing, which will ensure that scooters are parked within a designated region. The scooter speeds can also be controlled through geo-fencing, allowing campus mobility managers to program safer speeds of 10mph opposed to the traditional speed of 13mph on city streets.

Meeting with our customers outside of the office to discuss their mobility needs is one of our favorite things about our job. Our customers’ experiences and challenges are constantly educating the TransLoc team and helping us to improve our products. We hope to see you soon, too. Comment below to let us know which conferences you’ll be attending this summer!

Tags: mobility, innovation, TransLoc, Ford Smart Mobility, technology, transportation, Iowa State, parking, Big Ten and Friends, campus mobility, Spin

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