ROSE Transport with driver Served the Charlotte, North Carolina area, with a dedicated team of drivers, shippers, technicians and executives since its inception in 1985 by HA and Andy Thompson as a family-owned limousine business. Today, a full-fledged charter company with a fleet of 48 vehicles (including 19 vehicles), prides itself on providing a top-down customer experience that starts with its drivers and lengthens with each stage of the trip.
“Our drivers are friendly and knowledgeable about the area, but the most important question they ask is, ‘How can I improve your ride?'” Said Andy Thompson, president of Rose Transport Driver. “Our company culture pushes drivers to be treated fairly, and in return they will treat our customers fairly and respectfully.”
The typical bus driver does not like to make changes to his route, Thompson said, but Rose tries to respond to every reasonable request from a customer if it falls within the legal travel hours.
A history of evolution
Rose started as Rose Limousine Limited, a company that operates Rolls-Royce sedan cars for weddings, anniversaries and other special occasions. In 1992, the company moved away from Rolls-Royce vehicles to stretch limousines. From there the company started adding minibuses and changed its name to Rose Chauffeured Transportation in 1995.
In 2008, when he felt the recession and the need to expand into new sources of income, Thompson said the company had bought its first full-size bus.
“We started with 14-passenger minibuses, but we started working more on corporate transportation and conventions – which required moving more people than our minibuses would allow,” Thompson said. “For a while, we ‘divided’ our car business into a local supplier who did not give our customers the best service. As a result of all these factors, we got into the bus business.”
Over the next decade, the full-size bus fleet grew to 21 vehicles. Whenever the company found out it did not have enough buses to fulfill a particular order, it added another one.
The company now has two ordering departments – one for cars and minibuses, and the other for sedans, SUVs and vans.
“We’ve seen the car business have higher profit margins,” Thompson said. “Obviously the ticket for each trip is higher, and we saw it as a growth opportunity.”
To run such a driver- and customer-oriented company, Rose relies heavily on its drivers ability to make quick decisions and have a certain level of finance. Responsibility – and sovereignty – On trips. In the not-too-distant past, Thompson said, Rose would make frequent bank trips for little cash. The company has allocated $ 25 per day per driver.
“If we did not have cash on hand for the trip, we would write and then cash a check in small cash,” Thompson said. “It has become a very cumbersome administrative task.”
After researching a number of potential solutions to the “payment problem”, the Rose team found information on CommercePayments’ prepaid expense cards from Commerce Bank at the Motorcoach EXPO of the United Motorcoach Association for 2017. After a year of research and additional considerations, Rose joined Trading in EXPO of the following year. Within a week, the company was ready to move forward with the Commerce Bank Prepaid Expense Card program.
The prepaid expense card is a rechargeable Visa® card. It can be used to purchase goods and services and is compatible with withdrawing cash from a large nationwide network of ATMs.
The program, which gives employers full control over expenses, costs a monthly fee (per card) with no additional charges related to loading or unloading funds – making it unique among competing solutions. With the card, Rose can set spending limits, monitor spending from a web portal and restrict access to cash. Commerce makes funds available through automatic clearing (ACH) from any bank; Unloading is available through an online portal; And real-time financing options are available. The latest feature of the program allows Rose to list a reason for each card charge. By enabling customers to enter alphabetical and numerical values for each charge, Commerce Bank hopes operators can better streamline finances and accounting.
“Rose Chauffeured Transportation staff love the ease of use the cards allow,” said Darren Pauli, Commerce Bank Accountant. “For them it means a reduction in the busy work invested in managing two days’ pay. It gives Rose a lot of freedom in terms of driver expenses.”
Mel Marcello, Rose’s accounting partner, said the cards allow the company to easily distribute meal allowances. In the past, the company had to add money to the driver’s salary after traveling to a meal account.
“Drivers had to wait for their wages, but now they get paid for meals before driving,” Marcelo said. “Also, we no longer have to sign checks for reimbursable driver expenses. We just add that money to the card, and the driver uses it.”
“The card worked very well for us,” Thompson added, “and the drivers seem to like it very much. We are very happy about it as a creative solution to an old problem.”
Thompson said the benefit of the prepaid card has become even clearer following COVID-19.
“Our footprint during the epidemic has increased significantly, meaning our drivers are going on longer journeys than before,” he said. “When staying outside for the next few days, these cards make it very easy to hold drivers with cash. Even if you forget to charge the driver’s card in full before the trip, you can easily charge more money while the driver is out. It’s much better than just giving back to the driver upon return.”
Pauli said the commercial bank would continue to improve its prepaid expense card solution, in order to exceed expectations for ease of use and optimization expenses.
“We feel this is such a customizable and powerful product,” Pauli said. “That’s why so many operators are taking advantage of this solution, and why Rose is willing to continue to streamline its operations.”
For Rose Chauffeur Transportation, the immediate future includes building on an already star-studded corporate culture, and attracting new and hard-working drivers.
“Our hope is that our business will return to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2022,” he said. “We will continue to rebuild, add more drivers and keep our buses moving. For anyone still handing out daily fees to drivers, these tickets are the best way to do that.”
For information on a prepaid expense card plan, call 866-946-3017, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit commercebank.com/expensecard.