Archive for July, 2009

Flexicar held up as leading business in recent Anthill

July 23, 2009

Steve Sammartino iof rentoid.com has written an interesting article on Australian Anthill online, challening entrepreneurs to re-invent something old and make it a new business. He included Flexicar as an example business.

Excerpt:

“The steps we go through as a consumption-based society are:

Extraction > Production > Distribution > Consumption > Disposal.

It’s what I call an infinite mindset on a finite planet. We simply can’t continue to do this if humans want to exist in the future. We desperately need more ‘Re’ businesses.

Re-cycled (Haul, materials in manufacturing)
Re-made (to original condition & sold)
Re-invented (Dues ex machina)
Re-turned (renting businesses Flexicar, rentoid)
Re-novated (houses, cars)
Re-newable (energy anyone?)”

read the full article

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Flexicar means 36 million less black balloons in CoM

July 22, 2009

Monique our CEO has just headed off to an interview for the 2009 Melbourne Awards. We were finalists last year and are hoping this year we could be winners!

We’re entered under the environmental category. As City of Melbourne drivers make up one quarter of the membership base, we have been able to calculate that the average Flexicar member, through their reduced car usage, represents a reduction of 1,822 tonnes of CO2 p/a output as a direct result of the Flexicar initiative. 

I wanted a quick way for her to communicate this to the judges, as tonnes can be hard to picture. We ended up thinking in terms of the “black balloons” featured in sustainability Victoria’s campaign (shown below). As each black balloon holds 50gms of CO2, this means having Flexicar in the City of Melbourne has saved the equivalent of over THIRTY-SIX MILLION black balloons!!!! Flexicar members, pat yourselves on the back!

And the survey says?…

July 2, 2009

Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the Flexicar survey we sent out recently. Around a quarter of our members completed it, which is fantastic, as it ensures we get a great cross section of experiences and comments.

So what did everyone have to say?

Well, you’re a social bunch, with most people using Flexicar to visit family and friends. And then you like to shop, with the next most popular category being using a Flexicar for a big shopping trip. Then there were some uses we hadn’t thought of, like: getting toys back to toy library, rehearsals for a band, setting up an exhibition and even getting to the waste transport station (formerly known as “the tip”!).

We also learned just over half of you don’t have a car, but that 10% have sold a car since joining Flexicar and another 20% have avoided buying  car. And we had some good suggestions on car’s you’d like to see in the fleet, although we appreciated that the person who wanted to add the Audi T was just kidding. Lot’s of enthusiasm for the Hybrids, so we hope you all get a chance to drive one this year.

You also shared TONNES of suggestions, topping out at around 200 ideas. Here’s just a few (and answers from us for some of them).

Put more cars in the CBD

We are working on this at the moment and we have several spots we’ve requested being evaluated by our friends at the City of Melbourne to allocate these. Needless to say, it’s a high demand parking area.

Please dont paint any more cars bright yellow

Now whilst we’d love to take the credit, Honda delivers them that way! Seriously, though, we get even MORE people asking for more visible cars, so this is a tricky one. But you will notice there’s a few more white, black and silver cars appearing later this year.

Love Flexicar but your booking site needs an overhaul to make it more user-friendly

Yes, we definately hear you on this one. The Flexicar back end is actually much more complicated than you might imagine. We’ve been working on a “new and improved” version for over a year – and it will probably be another year before a complete overhaul will be complete as we are trying to keep costs down, thus ensuring your rates don’t go up. But we are making incremental improvements all the time, so please bear with us!

Great customer service during the day but sometimes people overnight seem a bit grumpy

We’d like you always to get a happy person at the other end of the phone. But what you may not know is that the people manning the phone overnight are the same ones that man them during the day. We do this as we don’t get a lot of calls and so it allows us to keep our costs – and your rates – down. So that’s why we ask that you don’t call between 11pm and 7am unless it’s an emergency, as you’ll actually be waking someone up.

We’d also like to thank you for all the encouraging comments we received. Here’s one lovely one we wanted to share (and it wasn’t even written by anyone’s mum!):

“I am consistently impressed with Flexicar – the professionalism, business model and responsiveness. I have recommended you to many people and would love to see this model become even more widely used. It benefits the environment, counters the need for unnecessary consumerism and, I think, helps social connectivity. Keep up the good work all.”

Fred Flintstone has nothing on Flexicar Team

July 2, 2009

Yes, it was bowling night last week for the Flexicar team. Why, you may ask? We say, what’s not to love about hurling heavy balls around in a dark room with a beer in hand!

The competition was hot. A turn was stolen by the CEO who didn’t quite realise once you got a strike, you didn’t get another go. Shane from Ops was looking glum for the pics as he was coming last…but turned it around to come second. And then there’s the winner. Peter, our operations manager, who announced the following day his email address should now be sriker@flexicar.com.au.

We can’t wait for the sun to come back out so we can duke it out all over again at lawn bowls in December.

Team FlexiBowl

Team FlexiBowl

 

Justin keen for a bevvie

Justin keen for a bevvie

 

Part time Flexer with handy Strike Membership Card - thanks Rose!

Part time Flexer with handy Strike Membership Card - thanks Rose!

 

The final score board, showing Pete "striker" Hoban as the winner

The final score board, showing Pete "striker" Hoban as the winner