Crown Cab Company serves its corporate clients in Charlotte. After transporting passengers, the drivers must confirm the trips to get the credits. Hence, for bookkeeping, a ‘Paper Voucher Processing’ system had been established.

The voucher process was tedious and cumbersome; there were known issues. The drivers would get the trip details onto their terminals, but after completing the trips, they must properly write vouchers and submit every week.

September 2016: I decided to build a simple driver dashboard that showed the drivers their daily trip details. Once the drivers were comfortable, and the management was supportive, we began developing the eVoucher system. I architected, designed, tested, verified, and constantly improved the eVoucher system for many weeks as per the needs and feedback.

By the second week, we processed 30% trips as eVoucher, which increased to 70% within a month. Some of our achievements were as follows: human errors eliminated; thousands of papers saved; 15+ working hours per week reduced; and annual savings of $10,000+. Moreover, we derived some added benefits: convenience to the drivers; focus on the trips; and online payment records and transparency.

Project Description

Background:

Crown Cab Company serves its corporate clients in Charlotte. After transporting passengers, the drivers must confirm the trips to get the credits. Hence, for bookkeeping, a ‘Paper Voucher Processing’ system had been established before my arrival.

 

Problem:

The voucher process was tedious and cumbersome; there were known issues. The drivers would get the trip details onto their terminals, but after completing the trips, they must properly write vouchers and submit every week. These vouchers, roughly 1000/week, were checked, arranged, uploaded, and verified by the employees before the driver gets paid. The problems were overwhelming, and some resolution was needed.

 

Approach:

Initially, we tried to resolve the issues without introducing any technology. However, we realized that paper vouchers would always have the complications of handling. Therefore, I explored some IT solutions to revamp the process. I proceeded with these considerations:

  1. We had only one developer for all IT projects
  2. I needed to reprioritize my works to invest time here
  3. I must learn system design, SQL and testing skills
  4. Management was skeptical about any process re-engineering because of the risks involved
  5. Any solution could not, at any time, impede the current business flow
  6. Many of our drivers are non-native older adults, so the solution must be simple to explain

Hence, the challenges were both, the product, and the people. To improve our success chances, we did the following:

  1. Divided the project into mini-projects and set milestones
  2. Kept only select drivers during the development to identify bugs

 

Action - Phase I:

September 2016: Jeff (Operations Manager) and I decided to build a minimum viable product (MVP) with a build-measure-learn feedback loop to quickly evaluate our progress. We deployed a simple driver dashboard that showed the drivers their daily trip details.

Result - Phase I:

This user-friendly driver dashboard was well-received. Once the drivers were comfortable, and the management was supportive, we began developing the eVoucher system.

 

Action - Phase II:

October 2016: I architected, designed, tested, verified, and constantly improved the eVoucher system for many weeks as per the needs and feedback. To handle exceptions, I proposed a control dashboard where Jeff could monitor and modify trips. Simplicity of the design made the future system modifications easy.

Result - Phase II:

After some iterations, the eVoucher system was fully functional. Gradually, we added ample drivers to the system after training them individually. By the second week, we processed 30% trips as eVoucher, which increased to 70% within a month.

 

Conclusion:

As expected, the new system caused some troubles initially: some trips would not appear; some drivers got paid incorrectly; and our manager got another cash-flow to oversee. However, these concerns disappeared soon – thanks to our feedback approach. Some of our achievements were as follows: human errors eliminated; thousands of papers saved; 15+ working hours per week reduced; and annual savings of $10,000+. Moreover, we derived some added benefits: convenience to the drivers; focus on the trips; and online payment records and transparency. eVoucher simplified the lives of employees and 30+ drivers, and made them happy.