Addison Lee spends £2m on IT a year and employs 24 programmers (12 of which are based in Russia). The company’s gizmos allow it to monitor how many calls a telephonist takes an hour and the length of each call. Google Maps has been integrated into all the internal IT systems. If two cabbies are in the same location, they can detect which driver has been waiting the longest – and he’ll get the next local job. There’s even a “Going Home” button, which drivers can press when they’ve finished their shift. Instead of driving back in empty cabs, the system will find them passengers to pick up on their homeward journies. “We’re trying to reduce ‘dead mileage’ and improve our carbon footprint,” explains Griffin.
It’s working. Addison Lee has reduced its carbon emissions by 17 per cent since January 2008 and became a member of Boris Johnson’s “Green500” in June this year – a salute to London’s top carbon-busting organisations. “We’ve got cars out there. It’s a lot harder for us than most companies. All they need is a shredder,” comments Griffin.
Ambitious though Griffin is, he doesn’t have any plans to expand beyond the capital. “There are 50,000 minicab drivers in London. Only 2,500 of those are with Addison Lee, so we’ve got a long way to go.
“You won’t be seeing us in Manchester or Newcastle any time soon.”
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