Booking

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Booking module allows to use companies vehicles as rationally as possible by reducing their amount and giving maximum usage to the rest.

It is important to understand the main difference between Ecofleet booking system and the ones that are currently used. Usually a person himself can choose a vehicle he prefers to book. The specificity of Ecofleet booking system is the fact that the user enters his needs and a vehicle will be chosen for him according to the organization settings (if it is not set otherwise in roles. See also the chapter Roles connected to the Booking module). This helps to avoid situations when some vehicles become more popular and get booked all the time while others stay unused. The system ensures most efficient vehicle usage possible.

 

Setting up Booking module

Step 1.

Open Areas Module

Create new Area(s) in order to create home location(s) for vehicles. The area should cover the area where the vehicle can be parked when it is at it's home location.

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For more detailed User Manual please visit: https://manuals.ecofleet.ee/en/#Areas

Step 2.

Go to Settings -> Categories -> Vehicle types

Add the vehicle types that can be booked (i.e small cars, trucks, minivans etc.) by clicking Add new.

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Step 3.

Go to Settings -> Categories -> Departments

Create a new Department (Add new) that will use the vehicles, create several if you have several departments).

For more detailed User Manual please visit: https://manuals.ecofleet.ee/en/#VehicleSettings

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Step 4.

Go to Settings -> Vehicles -> Properties

Select type (as defined in step 2) for each of your vehicles and save.

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Step 5.

Go to Settings -> Vehicles -> Booking

Here you can set:

  • whether the vehicle is bookable or not.
  • vehicle Home location (choose from Areas you created in step 1).
  • which departments is the vehicle available for (which departments have the right to book this vehicle).

Repeat the procedure for all the vehicles.

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Step 6.

Go to Settings-> People

Here you can:

  • choose departments for users. Please note that this setting defines which vehicles are bookable for which users.
  • define users and drivers (Is user, Is driver). In order to use Booking module, person must be both User and Driver.
  • add and adjust Roles. For more information please visit: https://manuals.ecofleet.ee/en/#Settings->Roles
  • user's direct permissions to vehicles (lower right side of the people tab) allow seeing the vehicle in other (not Booking) modules of Ecofleet service.

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Step 7.

For Booking Module configuration go to Settings -> Organization settings -> Booking

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For more detailed manual of Booking Module setup please visit: https://manuals.ecofleet.ee/en/#Organizationsettings

 

Detailed Settings

 

Organization settings

To set up the Booking module first go to module menu and select Settings -> Organization settings.

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  • Form

Every organization may have different needs about the additional information of the bookings. In order to set up these fields you need to create a form (Settings->Form) and define it as a form used in the booking system.

  • Search priority

On this field you can set a parameter on what the vehicle will be chosen

Random.

If there is more than one vehicle available during the search period the system picks it randomly

Odometer.

The system picks a vehicle that has the smallest odometer value on the time the booking is set (not the time of the actual booking itself). This ensures the even usage of the vehicles and would be a reasonable option when keeping the distance limit (for example in leasing case) is important.

Best fit.

Ecofleet picks a vehicle so the time amount between the bookings of the same vehicle is as short as possible

With this search priority, it is required to add its settings in Reseller/Administration module under Organization->Organization settings->Max time between bookings as JSON object:

{
  "200": 30,
  "100": 60,
  "50": 90,
  "10": 120,
  "5": 300
}

On each row there are two numbers which work together:

  • First number (200, 100, 50) designates the number of vehicles that do not have any bookings
  • Second number (30, 60, 90) designates the minutes which are considered to be “fitting good enough” at the number of non-booked vehicles

Explanation to the example:

First row:

When user is requesting for a booking and at the time there are more than 200 vehicles without any bookings then the requested booking is placed to a vehicle that has another booking starting or ending in less than 30 minutes from the requested booking. If no such vehicle is available, the requested booking is assigned to a new and empty vehicle.

Second row:

When user is requesting for a booking and at the time there are more than 100 but less than 200 vehicles without any bookings then the requested booking is placed to a vehicle that has another booking starting or ending in less than 60 minutes from the requested booking.

Etc.

The purpose of this system is to have all bookings on a vehicle as close in time as possible and if no such (another booking close in time) vehicle is found, new vehicle is used.

Mixed.

Ecofleet picks a vehicle by combining the „Best fit“ and „Odometer“ search priorities. First the system picks two vehicles according to the „Best fit“ priority. Then the system picks a vehicle (out of these two) that has the smallest odometer value on the time the booking is set.

  • Kilometer cost
  • Hour cost

Filling in these fields allows to share the costs (during the booking) with other departments (or projects) expenses inside the company.

  • Max. period in days.

Defines for how long a vehicle can be pre-booked.

  • Show journal fields.

Marking this check box automatically transports the data to the journal in the end of the trip, which helps to save time. If „show journal fields“ option is selected three additional fields appear on the booking form: trip type, purpose, note. If the purpose is marked as „business“ then either trip type or note has to be filled as well.

  • Send fault reports to.

Enables to pick users (by name) who will be notified in case of fault reports.

  • Sharing.

To combine trips between different people shared booking can be used. Sharing can be configured as following:

Disabled - shared bookings are disabled

Optional - user can decide whether he is willing to share his booking or not (“Shareable” check box on the booking form).

Compulsory - all bookings are shareable.

  • Send reminder time.

Enables to set how many minutes before the booking reminder e-mail must be sent to user.

 

Vehicle Settings

After setting up the basic tools for the booking system you can also customize the settings for each vehicle. In order to do that choose Settings -> Vehicle. A form where you can set following parameters opens:

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  • Use a check box in order to define whether a vehicle is bookable or not.

  • Home depot. - every vehicle has it’s own home depot where the bookable journey always begins from. For that you first have to mark an area from the areas module as as a home depot of the vehicle. If the organization uses departments, the user sees the home depots that are set to vehicles of his department + home depots of the vehicles that are in general use use (vehicles that are not attached to a specific department). When organization does not use departments, then all home depots of the bookable vehicles are visible for the user.

  • Kilometer cost; hour cost - you can set a specific cost to each vehicle. If the cost is not specified the cost set in organization settings will be used.

  • Available for departments - this option allows to define to which departments (people) a specific vehicle is bookable for. When the department is not specified the vehicle will be available for everybody. If a person has a specific department set, he can book vehicles that are available for his department and vehicles that are in general use (vehicles that are not attached to a specific department). When organization does not use departments, then all the vehicles are available for the user.

Example. Who can book what:

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User can see all bookings that are available for them via Departments in:

  • booking list
  • calendar view
 

Roles connected to the Booking module

You can add following extra rights to the user in Settings -> Roles

  • whether the booking is visible and usable to the user

  • user can pick vehicles for booking

  • whether the user can manage other users bookings (add, cancel and override them). Also change the booking time.

  • user can view usage analysis
 

Using the Booking module

After the Booking module is set choose Booking from the Ecofleet module menu. On the left side of the view a search form is displayed. Based on user needs Ecofleet proposes a vehicle.

 

Booking Search

For searching you have to define:

  • Duration of the booking (from, until). Time period when the vehicle will be used.

  • Person. Who will be using the vehicle booked.

  • Vehicle (depending on user rights)

  • Location. Home depot where the journey begins from. According to user rights home depots of all possible vehicles will be displayed on the drop-down menu.

  • Type. Since the booking purposes may vary it is possible to specify the type of a vehicle needed (passenger car, truck etc.) When the type in not chosen Ecofleet will pick a vehicle amongst all.

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Filling in the additional booking fields and saving

When there is a vehicle available additional field for specification will be displayed (only when they are set earlier on the organization settings). For example the type of the trip (business or private). For that you have to activate the “Show journal fields” check box i organization settings first.

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If there is no additional fields added in the organization settings the next step will be saving.

 

Closest possible choices

When there is no vehicle available Ecofleet will offer alternatives which are closest to the time period set in search.

It is important to notice that the booking activates only after saving. At the same time you are filling the booking form someone else may be faster and book the vehicle for himself. The booking is active when you can see it on the table displayed on the right, but it will also be shown there when it’s status is marked as cancelled.

 

Overriding the existing bookings

According to rights given to user (Settings ->Roles) it is possible to override the existing bookings of other users. If the user picks a vehicle and it has already been booked on the desired time, a window is displayed where the user can cancel the existing bookings of this vehicle. The reason of cancelling the booking (for example: car maintenance) has to be described in a text box in the bottom of the field. The drivers whose bookings will be cancelled will be notified via e-mail.

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Example. Notification of cancelled booking sent to drivers e-mail

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The booking process step-by-step:

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Shared booking

Booking search and filling in the form in case of Optional booking sharing

1) insert search parameters and destination of your booking and mark/unmark the “Shareable” check box. Confirm your booking.

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2) Ecofleet proposes shareable vehicles to potential passenger so the start and end time of the trip would be +- 1hrs of the desired time.

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3) as a passenger it is possible to:

  • select shared vehicle
  • refuse of shared vehicle and ask the system to search for alternatives
  • start new search

Booking search and filling in the form in case of Compulsory booking sharing

1) insert search parameters and destination of your booking. Ecofleet proposes addresses close to the destination address while typing.

2) Ecofleet proposes shareable vehicles to potential passenger so the start and end time of the trip would be +- 1hrs of the desired time.

3) in case you wish to use a shared vehicle click "Select shared vehicle". Next step will be booking confirmation.

4) if you refuse to use a shared vehicle click "Skip sharing" and Ecofleet continues to search a vehicle that is not already shared. Next step will be booking confirmation. When there is no alternative available Ecofleet will suggest other vehicles.

E-mail notifications about shared booking will be sent to driver and passenger.

Cancelling shared booking:

  • booking is cancelled by passenger - notifications will be sent to passenger and driver. Master booking will not be cancelled.

  • booking is cancelled by driver - notifications will be sent to passenger and driver. Both master booking and passenger booking will be cancelled.

Overriding shared booking.

Only master bookings are shown in the list. Ecofleet sends e-mail notifications about cancellation and replacement car to driver and passenger.

Columns related to shared booking

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Shared Booking - refers to master booking and shows additional booking information (driver, destination, vehicle) by moving the mouse over shared booking.

Destination address

Booking shareable - shows whether the booking is shareable or not.

Master booking info - additional information that is also displayed (pop-up) in “Shared booking” column.

 

Additional features

booking-copy-as-new-est - enables to create a new booking using the parameters of an existing booking. Good to use in case of booking multiple vehicles to the same location.

In the main window of booking module you can see following tabs:

Calendar view - enables to get a good visual overview of the usage of vehicles available for user (see time caps in bookings). It also shows the locations and vehicle types. More detailed info about a certain booking is displayed while hovering the mouse over it.

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Usage analysis - enables to get a detailed overview of usage of the depots in two ways:

1. Usage Charts: enables to see hourly distribution of the bookings (how many bookings are active on a particular hour). The red line on the graph detects the maximum amount of bookings possible.

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“Hourly Analysis” allows to choose whether the result is displayed using the average, maximum or summary distribution. Good to use for analyzing a longer time period by average/maximum hours.

booking-usage-charts1 2. Locations: beneath every depot you can see:

  • Number of vehicles
  • Number of available hours (for example. if there are 17 vehicles in a depot and working time is set from Monday to Friday (5 days) 08.00 -18.00 (10h) the calculation of maximum hours available in this depot would be: 17 510 = 850h).
  • Number of used hours
  • Percentage (actual usage of the depot)

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Manage trips - this tool enables to:

  • see which trips are connected to which bookings

  • see whether the start location of a booking matches it’s end location

  • attach trips to different bookings (by dragging)

  • remove the trips from bookings (right mouse click on a trip ->unassign)

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When the booking is committed

After saving the booking it is possible to:

  • change the booking that has not started yet ("change" button under bookings list). Booking can be changed on the left side form. It is important to notice that the system can pick a different vehicle during the change.
  • cancel the booking in Ecofleet (you just have to describe the reason of cancellation in a pop-up window)
  • extend the booking ("extend" button under bookings list). Ongoing booking can be extended. You can choose the extension of time in a pop-up window. The extended booking may overlap following booking. In that case the following booking will have another vehicle if possible.
  • end the booking in Ecofleet ("end booking" button under bookings list). Booking can be ended by the booker while the booking time is still ongoing but user leaves the vehicle, thus making the vehicle available for other bookers instantly.
  • add a fault report (describe it in a pop-up window)

After the booking is saved an email will be sent to you with a detail information:

  • what is the time period of the booking
  • which is the home depot of the vehicle (location)
  • vehicle type
  • links to send fault reports and to end/cancel the booking (without logging into Ecofleet).

booking-notification

Connecting the booking to actual trips.

The system tries to find all the trips connected to every booking made. The first trip during the booking will be the one that has the closest time of the departure from the home depot and the last trip of the booking will be the returning to the home depot after the departure from there. The distances of all the trips between will be summarized and added to the booking info.

Booking and vehicle statuses

Possible statuses of the booking:

  • Booked - booking has been created, notification not sent.
  • Notified - booking has been created, notification sent.
  • Completed - booking has been created (and has not been cancelled), the end time has passed.
  • Ongoing
  • Cancelled - booking has been cancelled, cancellation notification sent.
  • Offline - the vehicle was in the list of bookable vehicles when booking was created, but is currently absent.

Possible statuses of the vehicle:

  • Not picked up
  • Picked up early
  • Picked up
  • Returned
  • Returned late