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La Porte Independent School District

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La Porte Independent School DistrictWhy Choose VersaTrans?

Converting to Tyler's VersaTrans Solution, gaining efficiency

Bryan Trousdale believes that anything worth investing in is worth thoroughly investigating first. As the Transportation Director at La Porte ISD located southeast of Houston, Texas, Trousdale has done his share of investigating during his 22 years in student transportation. He recently spent time researching the district’s routing software options. He quickly realized that it was time for La Porte to switch from the routing software it had been using to Tyler's VersaTrans RP.

Not only has VersaTrans RP helped Trousdale and his team save time on their daily tasks, it also helped simplify the boundary planning process during redistricting. La Porte’s conversion to VersaTrans RP began less than a year before the district announced plans for a new elementary school, the seventh in the district. The timing worked well for the district. Using community input and VersaTrans RP, new boundaries were drawn and approved by the Board. With new boundaries in place, La Porte needed to create new routes; a feat that would have been daunting had the transportation department been required to do it with their previous routing software. The automation in VersaTrans RP made the job easier. In fact, since making the switch, Trousdale says, “it’s been a good year.”

Speed and efficiency are important to the overall success of a software conversion. VersaTrans understands that districts choose routing software in order to streamline the transportation department’s workload. If managing a software package takes up too many resources, it can backfire. The VersaTrans implementation team ensures that conversions go smoothly. The training team then makes sure the users learn how to make VersaTrans RP work for them. Finally, support is there whenever a question arises. Trousdale states that the conversion process was efficient and La Porte was able to quickly convert to VersaTrans RP.
VersaTrans RP was fully operational for the 2007-2008 school year, and all students were automatically loaded in the program, which was a significant time-saver. What’s more, the program did not lose any students, another problem with La Porte’s previous software vendor. At this point, said Trousdale, “VersaTrans had already proved itself to my boss and the La Porte ISD School Board.”

“You’re going to get out of VersaTrans RP what you put into it,” said Trousdale. He speaks from experience. In the early stages of using VersaTrans RP, Trousdale spent time carefully creating each of his 50 route sets. This investment has now paid off. By being detail-oriented in the beginning, routing with VersaTrans RP takes a simple point and click operation. VersaTrans’ ease-of-use is possible because the software stores all of the information that is entered in the road segment, not the route, which makes it available for future routing building. This allows users to trust the automatically generated information the system produces, thus saving a significant amount of time.

The more Trousdale uses VersaTrans RP, the more he sees its benefits. For example, Trousdale found that VersaTrans RP’s ability to record route changes was a marked improvement over his prior system. The transportation industry is one where changes are expected and made often. To be a fully supportive and automatic routing system, the software should be able to keep up with and record any changes to existing routes. Two other key improvements for La Porte are VersaTrans RP’s multi-user capability and the single-screen feature.

Trousdale has seen other benefits as well. Many VersaTrans clients state that their favorite feature is OTR, or One Touch Routing, a feature that creates “what if?” scenarios for the user. This feature was a definite plus for La Porte ISD. “OTR made me see a route that I had never thought of,” said Trousdale. What can this mean for your district? For some, changing or deleting one route could save thousands of dollars.

Trousdale also appreciates VersaTrans RP’s cost-tracking and forecasting features. These tools help districts gain more accurate information about current and future expenses, both of which are important for budgetary planning.

Every software product needs technical and customer support and every vendor has its support philosophy. VersaTrans’ philosophy is demonstrated in the high-level of support provided to clients. Trousdale admits that the support he received from the prior vendor was good, but he has experienced VersaTrans going the extra step. “They literally grab your data and fix it. I never get brushed off or rushed through,” he said.

So what do you want to get out of your routing software? If you’re like Trousdale, you want your transportation department to run professionally and with ease. You want a routing and planning software program that provides you with solutions to the challenges that you face. And you want understandable, accurate information that helps you answer questions from parents and administrators.

What sold Trousdale on VersaTrans RP? Simply put, “The software sells itself.”

“VersaTrans is by far the district’s most important tool. I’ve seen other routing software but have never seen anything to convince me there’s something better.”


 

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