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Reference Number: AA-01059 Views: 2269 Created: 2016-10-10 11:41 Last Updated: 2020-04-15 16:51 0 Rating/ Voters

Agents

Rental Car Manager (RCM) provides extensive functionality for those operators who take bookings from Agents.  

An Agent is considered to be a third party who takes a booking on behalf of a rental car operator and in doing so takes either a partial or a full payment from the customer. Note that this is different from a Referral who merely refers a booking to you and then expects a referral commission after the rental has been completed.

Following is a high-level overview of the Agent Function within RCM, Agent Bookings in Rental Car Manager.

Agent Direct Vs Agent API Bookings

RCM offers two avenues for Agents to enter bookings directly into RCM. One is using the Agent Direct function, the other is for the Agent to interact with RCM using the Agent API.

The Agent Direct function has been designed for the Agent who needs the capability to log into RCM and create an allocated booking.  An example of this is a Hotel who may have access to part of your fleet and rent them out to guests.

The Agent Direct function does not suit Portal Agents; they will need to use the Agent API.

The Agent API allows Agents to query the availability and costs associated with vehicles and allow them to create unallocated bookings.

If you do not wish to use either of these two functions, then the alternative is for the Agent to contact the Rental Car Company directly and for one of the operators to enter the booking into RCM. Following is a link to the Knowledge Base article which explains how the operator can manually enter an Agent Booking, Entering Bookings Received from Agents.

There is also the following Knowledge Base article, Q: What do I do when an agent calls up and wants to make a booking?.

Agent Direct

The Agent Direct function allows the Rental Car Company to create a user within RCM for the Agent. This user allows the Agent to log into RCM and created an allocated booking.

Any users who have been setup using the Agent Direct function will have very limited access to RCM. The following is what is available via this function:

  • If the Agent has been given access, a Visual Planner will be available. As the Rental Car Company you can choose to not give this access to Agent Direct usersThis is similar to the booking sheet in regards to it showing a listing of vehicles and the bookings for a date range. The Agent will not be able to see any information about these bookings other than they exist and what dates they encompass.
  • Access to the Vehicle Availability report from which they can make an allocated booking.
  • Access to the Quick Reservation screen, which allows them to make an allocated booking.
  • The Agent can see a listing of the vehicle Categories that are available for them to make booking against.
  • A report which lists their bookings.

Agent Direct Extra Fees - Agent Direct Extra Fees

Agent API

Using the Agent API allows the Agent to make a booking request which ends up as an unallocated booking within RCM. The Agent API is recommended for Portal Agents.

This method allows for direct server-side calls to the Agent API to perform the following actions:

  • Check availability of vehicles for a location and booking date range.
  • The listing of available vehicles also includes information about the rental rates, any mandatory fees, insurance options, and any other optional extra fees.
  • Make a booking request for a vehicle category passing all of the relevant extra fees and insurance for the booking.

The Agent will be responsible for writing the code that interacts with the Agent API.

Following is a link to a Knowledge Base article which details the steps an agent will need to take in order to create an unallocated booking using the responsive version of the Agent API, Agent API v3 Methods.

Agent Setup within RCM

The setup within RCM for Agents can be broken into two main areas.

  • Maintaining the agent details, rates, and any discounts.
  • The setup for online Agent bookings.

Maintaining Agents within RCM

The following Knowledge Base article gives a high-level overview of setting up an Agent within RCM, Setting up your Agency Database.

When you setup an Agent within RCM, there are several areas that you may need to take into account. The following Knowledge Base article explains each of the areas of Agent setup listed below in more detail, 1. Agencies:

  • Agencies and Agency Branches,
  • Agency Discounts,
  • Agency Rate Types,
  • Agency Rates, and
  • Agency Regions.

It is possible to get a listing of all of the Agents within RCM; following is a link to the Knowledge Base article which explains this in more detail, 6. Agency List.

When you create an extra fee within RCM, you can decide whether or not the Agent’s commission will include this fee or not. The following article explains this in more detail, Agency Commission System Setting.

It is possible to create a template that will be used when sending confirmations to Agents. Following is a link to the Knowledge Base article which describes this in more detail, 5. Agent Confirmation Template.

Wholesale Agents

When you create an Agent you can state whether or not they are a Wholesale Agent or not. If they are a Wholesale Agent then any documents sent to the customers for bookings for this agent will not have any rate information printed on them.

There are also two other settings for the Agent which impact what information is printed on documents. You can choose whether you would like both extra fees and insurance information printed on documents.


Amount Collected by Agents

RCM is capable of determining the amount of money that the Agent has collected at the time of entering a booking into RCM. This is recorded against the booking.

When you create an Agent, you can also create Branches for this Agent.

You set how the commission is collected and the amount of commission at the Agent Branch level.

The following settings at the Agency Branch level determine both the amount of commission that is collected for each Agency booking.

  • Agent Collects – There are four options available here, Commission Items, Commission Only, Full Payment, and Zero Payment. Commission Items means that the amount collected will be the rental rate plus the value of any extra fess that have the flag Apply Agency Commission set to Yes. Commission Only is the amount that is set up by the two fields Commission Type and Commission Value discussed below. Full Payment means that the Agent collects the full amount of the bookingZero Payment means that the Agent does not collect anything.
  • Commission Type – You can either set this to be Percentage or Dollars.
  • Commission Value – This value combined with the Commission Type determines the amount the Agent Collects. For example, if the Commission value is 20 and the Commission Type is percent, then the Agent will collect 20% of the booking value.


At any point in time if you wish to check the status of Agent Booking with reagrds to how much money has been collected by the Agent and whether they owe you money or you owe them money, you can run the Agency Commission Report. You are able to do invoicing ans receipting to Agents from this report.

Following is the Knowledge Base article which explains this report in more detail 1. Agencies Commission Report.

Online Agent Bookings Setup

When you create an Agent within your system you can decide whether they are going to be able to have access into your RCM system using the Agent API. You can also choose to update existing Agents to give them this access. Following is a Knowledge Base article which details the process required to enable an Agent to have access via the Agent API, Configuring the Agent Web Service for use with Rental Car Manager.

There are several areas within RCM that will need to be configured to decide what is available to the Agent via the Agent API. This is a similar process that you go through to setup your Web Booking module.

The following settings are all available either under the Agent Bookings Setup or the Web Site Interface menus. The areas you need to setup are:

System Parameters for Agent API

Following is a listing of system setting that can be changed to affect the way the Agent API works. If you would like to know what your current settings are for any of these parameters or if you want to change them, contact RCM Support support@rentalcarmanager.com.

  • Apply Web Rate Discount to Agent API
  • Save After Hours bookings as On Request for Agent API
  • Use Pickup Date rate for  Agent API
  • Apply Free Day Special to Agent API
  • Agent API email notification cc back

Common Questions about Agents/Agent Bookings

Below are some commonly asked questions about Agent Bookings and the relevant Knowledge Base article that answers them.

Agent Reports

Quite a large number of the reports available within RCM can be run to be Agent specific.

Below are some of the reports within RCM which are specific to Agents.