At Zeelo, we encourage a culture where people work smart, move fast, and work together. Over the next few months we are going to hear from some of our amazing team from across all areas of the business. Our service is constantly evolving and it is thanks to the hard work and dedication of talented individuals on the ground and behind the scenes that our success is possible.
Forming and evolving relationships with the bus and coach operators sustaining our business is hugely important, both for our clients and the business as a whole. Whether we are working with small family run businesses or nationwide transport conglomerates, the value added to Zeelo from the hard work and dedication of our operator partners is without question! But who do our operators turn to when issues arise?
Thank you to Alice Lane, one of our Senior Operations Managers at Zeelo for taking us through how we cultivate and sustain such fantastic relationships with our operator partners and just what goes into the operational logistics of operator partnerships. The task is not for the faint hearted so we have split the UK teams across north and south across all business verticals to streamline operations.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to share a bit about yourself, Alice! I’m wondering if we could start with you telling us a bit about your role and how you came to be working here at Zeelo?
I started on a graduate scheme for Arriva in London; I was there for a year and a half before moving into a deputy operations manager position overseeing depots in and around London. I had an interest in tech and still wanted to remain in the world of transport which is how I found Zeelo. I’ve been with Zeelo now for 15 months and it’s really interesting to see how it’s grown since then; we were in a MUCH smaller office and there were a lot less of us so it’s amazing to see how quickly we have grown and the various departments which have scaled rather dramatically. You don’t really realise what you didn’t have until these new people come into the business. It’s really cool to see!
What does a typical day in your life as an Operations Manager look like?
I actually oversee the team that handles everything south of Northampton, although interestingly certain verticals in Peterborough also fall within my area; as does Dublin!
The main job is essentially ensuring that the service is running well, overseeing any specific client requests and liaising with our operator partners to action this if possible. Maintaining good relationships with our operator partners is so important not only for sustaining the transport side of the business but also ensuring that level of open communication and transparency. We often speak with our operators on new areas or opportunities that we can explore with them so having that strong relationship is key. I’m also always looking at data to ensure that we can fix any current issues or even anticipate any that might occur further down the line and best gauge how we can assist in these situations.
Do you think it’s important for Zeelo to be building relationships with small family owned operators, and why?
Absolutely! I really like that we can provide opportunities for these smaller businesses to grow. Our work is very important to them and they are always making sure that they deliver a truly good service. We have a group of operators that we actually started with when they were considerably smaller and through our business we have helped them to grow; which is really good to see. It’s so good that we can utilise these smaller operators across the entirety of the UK, essentially spreading the workload. Well established smaller operators really do have the tricks of the trade. They know the roads and best routes off the top of their head and will probably already know the clients we are working with. They honestly know more about the local regions than we ever could so the knowledge and experience they bring on board is second to none.
How would you describe your daily interactions with coach operators we partner with?
The operators that we work with are always so friendly, always so knowledgeable and happy to discuss routes with me. There is a level of flexibility and readiness to accommodate any changes we have to make to fit in with our schedule. It really is down to the great relationships that we have been able to build that they are so ready to help with whatever we might need so I really enjoy talking to them, learning from them and sharing a few laughs. I have a lot of respect for our bus and coach operators!
What gets you most excited about the future of Zeelo and what has been your proudest accomplishment in the business so far?
I guess I’d be most excited about our route optimisation solutions; being able to build and develop routes around client needs like recruitment as just one example. We can build tailored routes with our technology that can aid businesses in attracting a wider pool of talent. Hopefully we will see this utilised across the UK because it really is a powerful tool.
I am particularly proud of launching a very last-minute peak service for one of our larger business clients last September. Thankfully it went very smoothly and the client was very happy with what we delivered in such a short space of time. For me, this was a huge achievement.
If you had to sell Zeelo to a new bus operator in just one short sentence; what would you say?
I would say that Zeelo is colliding transport and technology and really bringing accessible transportation into the 21st century!
And finally! What would your go-to karaoke song be? And your favourite pizza topping? Also, do you have a favourite football team?
Cards on the table? Dancing Queen, ABBA! And for my favourite pizza topping I can’t quite decide if it’s some kind of meat or mushroom, probably mushroom. No, that’s a lie, I’m going to be boring and say pepperoni. And I’m from Norwich, so I’d have to say Norwich City FC.
A huge thank you Alice for giving us a little insight into yourself and your role and another big thank you from all of us for all you do here at Zeelo!
We will continue sharing some of our inspiring team members with you this year. Keep your eyes open for our next employee spotlight next month! Make sure you are following us here and on LinkedIn and Twitter as we continue to celebrate our team.