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Monday, December 11, 2023

The National Limousine Association (NLA) announced the launch of the new Ground Reservation Exchange Standards (GRES). These standards, which formalize common and frequently used language as official terminology, were developed to improve and optimize communication for operators and industry software providers on both an internal and external basis.


"These standards have been in development for several years, and we are thrilled that they are finally a reality," states NLA President Robert Alexander of RMA Worldwide. "This collaborative and consequential initiative undoubtedly enhances and benefits intra- and inter-company communications and introduces more efficiency and understanding, as evidenced by the support from our industry software vendors and providers. Our next goal with the GRES is to educate the industry on the importance of everyone speaking the same language—regardless of geographic location or company size."

NLA NLA President Robert Alexander

Developed by the NLA Technology and Social Media Committee, the GRES standardizes terminology that the industry uses every day, but has never been formalized, to improve communication and understanding between chauffeured transportation operators and software providers. The standardized terminology, which pertains to vehicle types and trip status (such as pre- and post-trip), will also enable a seamless integration between reservation software vendors. From an internal perspective, communication between operators' staff will be simultaneously reduced and optimized, eliminating any miscommunications or language barriers and making things more efficient. Externally, with regard to their global affiliates, operators will not need to enact any changes, as their reservation software will be able to automatically transmit a reservation to any software vendor using the same language.

"The goal of creating and implementing the GRES is to align with how the airline, hotel, and rental car industries have operated for decades. When you book a standard king room at a hotel, you know exactly what you are getting," says Jay Erlich, co-chair of the NLA Technology and Social Media Committee. "Now, when you request anything from a luxury sedan to a motorcoach, all parties will have the same understanding and expectation of what vehicle will be dispatched."

Fasttrak President Eddie McCoy Fasttrak President Eddie McCoy

"It is our hope that all global operators will be able to streamline and simplify communication between affiliates when farming in and farming out," says Ken Carter, co-chair of the NLA Technology and Social Media Committee. "We all need to be doing more with less, and this is one of the best ways to make that a reality."

To date, five software vendors have already pledged their support of the NLA's standards and will be integrating them into their platforms, including FASTTRAK, GRiDD/GNet, GroundWidgets/SantaCruz, Limo Anywhere, and Livery Coach.

"This effort by the NLA's Technology Committee should be applauded for helping providers exchange and work together with less service failures, says FASTTRAK President-Founder Eddie McCoy. “When fully implemented, the industry providers will more readily accept and employ software applications integrated to these standards."

Ken Carter Aadvanced NLA Technology Co-chair Ken Carter

"The NLA's GRES further simplifies global ground transportation companies to standardize their use of common terms, common data, and to further support interoperable business processes and systems for their affiliate business," adds GNet Founder & CEO Amir Zafar. “GRiDD Technologies looks forward to our continued work with the NLA, our global software partners, and our GNet Members to further support GRES and to enable GNet to better provide seamless integrations for the synchronization of real-time accurate reservation and trip data as powered by GNet and further enabled by the GRES standard.”

"GroundWidgets and SantaCruz are committed to the GRES project and creating a uniform coding system for the industry at large,” states GroundWidgets CEO Apurva Patel. “Simplifying the mapping is a key step towards automation and consistent communications that lays the foundation for seamless delivery of service levels to the traveling passengers in different markets as affiliates are leveraged for fulfillment.  We applaud the NLA Technology committee on this initiative and look forward to supporting the standards and moving our industry forward."

Jay Erlich Europe Limousines NLA Technology Co-chair Jay Erlich

"Content and connectivity standards are paramount to accelerating operational and technological efficiencies, particularly within travel and transportation,” said Limo Anywhere President Sean Arena. “We are pleased that the NLA has taken a leadership role in spearheading this effort and honored that Limo Anywhere has been solicited for our input and expertise as to how these standards should best be applied throughout the ecosystem. We expect that this initiative will streamline workflows, reduce service issues, and ultimately improve the customer experience.  As the industry continues to rebound from the challenges of the past year, we must continue to collectively pursue advancements that will further fuel growth and profitability in a sustainable and meaningful way."

"Connectivity is an essential element in the survival of our industry and adopting standards in terminology is one of many steps that will help operators streamline processes, lower expenses and be more profitable. From FleetBook to GNet, Livery Coach has a long history of supporting efforts to build independent, reliable and open connectivity, and we are pleased with that NLA Technology Committee solicited our advice and put in the hard work to make this a reality," says Livery Coach President David Hirsch.

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