Sramana Mitra: Are these on-demand services happening? Are you seeing somebody doing that?
Craig Powell: We’ve done some interesting tests on on-demand auto purchase – the ability to purchase your vehicle from your couch, deliver it to your driveway, test it for seven days, and turn it back in if you don’t like it. We’ve got something going on in on-demand tire services. We know where our drivers are driving and what their needs are. We know when their tires need to be changed. Certainly, there is some early progress on that front and an increasing attention to the fact that there’s a large segment of the population that wakes up and drives everyday for work.
Sramana Mitra: Any other thoughts?
Craig Powell: A couple of things around our value proposition and why folks are interested in this. First and foremost, the broader trend of being fair and accurate in reimbursement is certainly alive and well. There’s very few, if any, expenses in managing a business where you don’t require a receipt for reimbursement. As a result of requiring a receipt, our end users typically see 2,500 to 3,500 hours per driver per year in cost savings. There’s material opportunity to drive your risk mitigation as well as cost savings. That’s what’s driving our growth rate and retention rate.
I would just juxtapose that against the broader trend that for a long time, folks have only thought of mobile workers who fly as having an expense and reimbursement need as opposed to mobile workers who drive. As a result, they’ve been misunderstood and not widely paid attention to. The industry doesn’t understand things like what an IRS safe harbor rate is.
People assume that that IRS rate is the recommended reimbursement rate by the IRS. That’s actually not the case at all. In fact, the only recommended methodology that the IRS prescribes is the favor methodology. It’s also an interesting market in terms of it’s size. You’re talking about several billions of hours in vehicle reimbursement each year yet it’s fraught with inefficiency and risk issues as a result of not having sound technology solutions to meet the market’s needs.
Sramana Mitra: How do you see self-driving cars in the scope of this discussion?
Craig Powell: We think that those are going to be fantastic for our market because the self-driving car would now allow your in-car time to be that much more productive. That means I now have the ability to get out and see my customers and move away from having to work out of a home office, and spend my day in my self-driving car, which is my office on the move. It maximizes my ability to get in touch with my customers, all of which are going to be reimbursable events. It dramatically improves the productivity time of being able to transition from one meeting to the next.