“Many companies and organizations have strict rules about how long and costly trips should be. At the same time, these companies know very little about the costs and environmental impact of more mundane business travel like getting to work everyday,” says Marcus Fütö at Lund company Omniflit.
“Our view is that many companies spend too much money on travel and that the opportunities for coordination should be better utilized. Our mission is to streamline business travel and to facilitate transport to and from work. Our service is a server side application for the smart phone. We see significant opportunities to reduce business costs and a company’s carbon footprint.”
Better trip control
Omniflit was founded based on the travel needs of businesses and individuals alike.
“We provide companies with complete control of their business travel by collecting information and statistics that can help them make smart travel choices in the future,” says Fütö. “The service includes improved planning of business and private travel.”
Marcus Fütö highlights the following advantages in Omniflits mission:
- Streamlining and automating administrative tasks associated with driving logs.
- Clearer monitoring of all expenses related to travel.
- Matching travelers together who are heading to the same place. This reduces the number of taxi and car trips. Calculations indicate that carbon dioxide emissions from such journeys can be reduced by 30 percent.
- We can help employees contact each other to organize trips to and from work. The benefits of carpooling include cost reduction, lower carbon emissions, and a diminished need for staff parking spaces.
- The service can also be used for planning leisure trips.
Mobile app is the heart of it
The service consists of a server tied to a mobile application.
The customer receives administrative user accounts on Omniflits website and user accounts for employees. The mobile application can either be downloaded or sent directly to employees’ phones. After logging on, the user can book a business trip.
The application proposes other employees who are going in the same direction or to the same place. What makes this application unique is that it is possible to calculate different people’s itineraries and match them with each other to suggest opportunities for carpooling. The service proposes carpooling only when it does not cause a major detour.
Omniflit can be linked to the company email system and integrated with various types of business and payroll systems. Omniflit will initially be available for mobile platforms iOS and Android.
There is no danger that the system violates employees’ privacy. Should a boss really keep track of every step an employee takes? There is no continuous log of the employee’s position. And data collection about work-related travel is only available for the company.
Individual employees can analyze private trips to lessen environmental impact, for example. It is also easy to share information on social media. “Omniflit saves you time and money while you get to meet interesting new people. It also protects the environment,” concludes Marcus Fütö.
How the app works
The user can use the application in such a way that he / she will not need to write in the driver log. The information stored on Omniflits servers is presented in an orderly manner for administrators.
Examples of useful information include: Overview of how employees are driving and traveling for the company; statistics about service trips, length, time, cost, environmental impact and other data. The information is collected in a database and can be presented in several different ways, both overall and detailed.
Search and filtering travel patterns by designated unit of the company is also possible. Each user gets a personal profile that can be tailored to individual needs. The application uses GPS technology to identify suitable partners for carpooling. By analyzing travel patterns, the application can produce useful graphs and statistics.
Here is a practical example of how Omniflit’s system works: You have a smart phone with Omniflit’s app. You are in Lund, but in the afternoon you have a meeting in Malmö. Click the app to see if there is a suitable person to carpool with. The app can also find people who regularly commute to the same place. Omniflit also enables you to communicate with the driver and passengers.
The app shows the route and figures out an appropriate price for the trip. You can also transfer money to the driver and pay for your share of the trip via the app.
Omniflit is also fully integrated with Microsoft Outlook for planning meetings. When booking a meeting, the app proposes an appropriate itinerary as well as other people in attendance.
So you have landed in Copenhagen. This means a train journey and several time consuming trips with city buses. By checking your smart phone, you can see if there are other people in the arrivals hall going in the same direction. It turns out that a person from the same company has recently landed and is on the way home. He has parked his car on the Swedish side of Öresund Bridge and after 10 minutes by train, you can jointly go to the office. You save time and money and avoid lugging your bags on the buses.
The article was published in January 2012