What is it?
Bookings are essentially reservation claims - I need this car at this time. There is a disconnect between these reservations and the physical real world - i.e. when the keys were actually collected and returned. The Check In/Out process bridges this gap.
'Check Out' is when the journey relating to a booking commences and is usually the time when the keys are collected. The date and time is recorded down to the second and stored in the database separately from the booking start time.
'Check In' is when the journey concludes and the keys are returned. So a booking that has been Checked Out but not yet Checked In is said to be 'underway' or in other words, currently in progress.
The Check In step can be attached to collecting data from the driver, such as odometer readings, whether there are any issues or damage to the car, and Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) questions such as overnight garaging and private/business use. With these FBT prompts enabled, it is possible to eliminate in-vehicle log books (refer to Sysadmin > Log Book report).
Upon Check In the booking is said to be Completed. Completed bookings are then subject to internal charging, if you have elected to use internal accounting to cost centers.
How does it work?
There are a number of ways you can implement the Check In/Out process:
- Attended key management - where you have a person(s) responsible for handing out keys and receiving keys from drivers (booking holders). Examples include a campus security officer, a travel desk, receptionist or other designated person who physically hands over keys and updates the Check In/Out page.
- Unattended key management - either keys hanging on a peg board near a kiosk-type PC where staff can check in/out themselves, or a KeyMaster® electronic key cabinet.
You can use a combination of both approaches for different sites/locations.
Accessing the Check In/Out page
The Check In/Out page is accessible from the SysAdmin page, top left-hand corner under the "Bookings" heading. The Check In/Out page is also available to Campus Admins from the Campus Admin page.
If you wish to use a dedicated kiosk PC, you can create a user account within PoolCar with the word "kiosk" in the username field. Examples usernames include "kiosk" or "supplybuildingkiosk" or whatever, just as long as it has the word kiosk in it. This is a special logon with restricted menu options that will only show the Check In/Out page, ideal for an unattended common area. It will automatically refresh the page every few minutes.
Please note there is no access to the Check In/Out page for regular users via their desktop PC. Access is only available via Attended Key Management (detailed above), a Kiosk PC logged in as a kisok user account, or KeyMaster cabinets.
When the booking holder comes to collect the keys, they simply scan the list looking for their name and then they click the 'Check Out' button for their booking. A confirmation screen will appear asking them to confirm the action, in case they accidentally clicked 'Check Out' for the wrong booking.
Click 'Proceed' and a message will be displayed saying the check out was successful. PoolCar now records the time the keys were actually checked out and the booking is now underway (in progress). Finally, the 'Check Out' button is now replaced with a 'Check In' button.
When the booking holder returns the keys from their journey, they click the 'Check In' button. If configured to do so, a screen will appear asking for the odometer readings and other prompts as configured. You can configure what is prompted of the driver from the Sysadmin > Application Settings page. Do a search (ctrl-F) for 'Check In' to see the options.
The status of each car is reflected on the Sysadmin > In/Out Board page. It shows which cars are currently in and those out, including when they are due back. Sometimes users may get a message when checking out to say 'sorry you cannot take this car because it is currently out' - usually this is where the In/Out status is out of sync, which can happen when a booking is checked out but never checked back in.
To get the status back in sync, click the status label that says 'Out' or 'In' to toggle the status.
KeyMaster® Electronic Key Cabinets
These cabinets are wired into your network and have a link back to the PoolCar server. These units are wall mounted and have an in-built LCD touch screen to navigate the check in/out prompts and collect data from the driver. Each key is securely held in place with a computer-controlled locking pin - the pin is released only for valid bookings. The primary benefit of these units is they free up a person from having to handle the keys, whilst securely holding each key bunch in the one place. For more information, visit our web site at http://www.poolcar.com
Mobile Site - Check Out/In
Users can also check out/in their booking via the PoolCar mobile site. This can be easily accessed from their smartphone mobile device, by visiting your personalized PoolCar website. You'll be greeted by a mobile-friendly web page that allows you to 'Commence Journey' on any bookings, or 'End Journey' on any in-progress bookings. It will ask the drivers the same prompts on check in that you see on the Check Out/In page.