VP of Product Development
Zagster delivers operational excellence in the shared mobility space by dynamically balancing the needs of riders, communities and fleet providers. We do this through the deployment of our micro-mobility operations platform, which is made up of great people, best-in-class processes, and an array of purpose-built digital tools. Our CEO Dan Herscovici explained Zagster’s overall business model (our playbook) in a recent ZBlog post. In this post, I’ll introduce you to Wrangler, our new software suite that is revolutionizing micro-mobility operations.
Reader, Meet Wrangler
In operating as many shared mobility programs as we do, Zagster’s teams engage in a variety of tasks in the field, such as rebalancing, fixing, and finding vehicles. Some of these tasks need to be performed every single day, while others are driven by rider demand or reports from the field. For example, if we find a vehicle battery that’s low in the middle of the day, we dispatch someone to charge the scooter immediately. This is an ad hoc task driven by demand. A repetitive task, on the other hand, is the pick up and drop off of vehicles at predetermined locations every single day.
To help us achieve what is needed, both repetitively as well as on demand, we developed Wrangler. Wrangler is our world-class dispatching and work order management system, developed from the ground up to exclusively manage micro-mobility operations. Essentially, Wrangler gives people in the field the tools to get the right vehicle to the right place at the right time, and provides an operations management team with the ability to schedule, distribute and monitor work in real time. We’ve added a dash of data science and machine learning to provide insight into predicting issues such as vehicles that might go missing.
How We Use Wrangler
People in the field access Wrangler as a mobile app on their smartphones. They use it to view what work tasks need to be done and can visualize where that work is on a map. So if shared mobility assets (bicycles, ebikes, scooters, etc.) need to be picked up or fixed or found, they can see those tasks displayed on Wrangler. The tool also provides a structured list of outstanding tasks, to promote the efficient use of time and of people in the field. In the future, we'll be adding functions that help with worker onboarding and optimize routes between tasks in the field.
On a desktop browser, Wrangler is where operations managers create tasks to be dispatched and monitor alerts that come in from the field. Wrangler Admin works in real-time with the mobile app, and also directly exchanges data with any of our micro-mobility partners. So if a community or campus partner reports that “there's a dangerous situation, because someone left a vehicle near a handicap ramp,” we have an alert sent out telling people in the field to pick up the vehicle as soon as possible. In markets without swappable batteries, we have recurring tasks to pick up scooters in the evening and drop them off in the morning.
Why a Purpose-Built Tool is Better
In the past, micro-mobility tools were built to meet specific challenges of single vehicle types or business practices of a single brand. While these tools aggregated over time, they did not do so in a holistic, systematic way. As a consequence, there have been challenges around individual software/apps that don’t combine into an integrated or organic whole. You can’t simply bolt together a bunch of disjointed tools loaded with technical debt and call them “a platform.”
Zagster built Wrangler from the ground up, by looking holistically at our operations and mapping out what tasks we needed to perform on behalf of our shared mobility partners and in synch with community and campus needs. It's built for micro-mobility, can manage a wide range of vehicle types and it's built to flex with the needs of the market in the future. Bottom line? Whatever comes next in the fast-moving shared mobility space, Wrangler can handle it. It’s an enabler of excellence in shared micro-mobility operations for today and tomorrow.
In my next post about Wrangler, I’ll describe exactly how we built (and continue building) Wrangler to enable collaboration with our own employees, shared mobility partners, and the communities and campuses we support. Stay tuned.
Interested in working with us and our micro-mobility operations platform? Get in touch.