Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners
At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.
TLPA Convention Surprise
For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.
In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.
Uber and Lyft Competition
It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.
“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.
Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.
Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.
Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization
Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.
“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.
This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.
“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”
Not the Scary Kind of Monster
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.
With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.
“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.” Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.
Determined to Survive
As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.
“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.
Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.
By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018
More information about American Business Insurance
Learn more a Flywheel
See the Monster Products
Learn about TLPA