IS Group Assignment
Introduction: ½ page
- Hardware (1 page): booking system, unlocking doors, anti-theft etc
- CRM (1 page): talk about the company’s use of segmentation for its customers (university students, elders, etc) and how the company gathers data and uses that data to segment. Talk about different prices offered to different customers (versioning/group pricing?)
- BI (1 page): Talk about the recent acquisition by Avis has increased the number of vehicles available since the company allows fleet sharing between the two companies – as a result, customers have the ability to pick up their rental car at a greater number of locations
- E-business (1 page): ZipCar is mostly web-based, all of its services are available online or through its app – note and discuss how mobility solutions greatly improved once the company was acquired by Avis
Not well leveraged:
- Social media presence (¾ to 1 page): Social media presence isn’t a priority for the company, mostly focus on visiting universities directly (explain impacts of poor social media presence, and why they company might have opted for this)
- SCM (1 page): Currently SCM is lacking (explain ways in which it is), though the company is slowly starting to improve, for example they just bought a fleet management company
- Network effects (1 to 1 ½ page): No loyalty program, little incentive to get ZipCar customers to connect with each other,
Conclusion: ½ page
- Company History & Overview
Founded over a decade ago, Zipcar is the one of the world’s major leaders in the car sharing industry. Spreading its wings across eight countries, the firm’s 24/7 service has grown popular in many urban centers across the globe. Through the use of clever technology paired with an environmentalist vision of less pollution and congestion on roads everywhere, the small business grew into a firm bought over by Avis for over five hundred million dollars in 2013.
Zipcar utilizes many different pieces of modern hardware in order to run and optimize its business. It has utilized this decade’s application based smartphone trend in order to run it’s booking system on customer purchased handsets. Moreover, it has utilized new technology and hardware to allow a client to unlock a car door by tapping their “Zipcard” on the windshield. Also, in order to handle the world wide logistics of the operation including but not limited to its booking system, mainframes and large databases are necessary.
- BI, Point-of-sale technologies, web site(s), e-business activities, social media presence and use, and finally security and privacy. – Emma
BI, Point-of-sale technologies, web site, e-business activities, social media presence and use, security and privacy
Zipcar utilizes technology in unique and advantageous ways. Their website provides informative step-by-step videos and Q&As for consumers not already familiar with the company. In addition, the website includes numerous links to sign up for a membership as well as links to download the ZipCar app. Overall, the accessibility of information on their website enables a new customer to feel safe and comfortable with using this service. Zipcar’s business activities with their customers are almost exclusively online. When a customer sets up an account with Zipcar, he/she enters credit card information that he/she can be regularly billed for (either annually or monthly), depending on the plan. In addition, Zipcar charges driving rates that are either hourly or daily on top of the annual or monthly fee. Their business intelligence system (TIBCO Spotfire) provides data visualization which assesses both the performance of Zipcar’s vehicles as well as their locations. Since the service Zipcar provides involves remotely accessing their cars without keys, security is clearly a very high priority for the company. To ensure both privacy and security, Zipcar’s technology allows only registered members with “Zipcard”s as well as the reservation booked on the Zipcar app to access each vehicle.
Customer relationship management (CRM): “System to manage and use information about customers to gain insights into their needs, wants, and behaviors in order to serve them better”
CRM’s main objective is to attract and retain current and potential customers. It does so by making it easier to communicate with customers, anytime, any day and anywhere. CRM wants customers to feel special, which in return creates strong brand loyalty and good word of mouth. “20% customers account for 80% of profits”
How does Zipcar use CRM?
Zipcar uses registration information to understand its customers. It segments its customers into group, so that is can communicate with them better. It segments its consumers into three parts: for universities, for business, and for everybody. For every segment it states different benefits that Zipcar provides so that people would find a special connection with it. For example “for students” it talks about:
- Reduces demand for on-campus parking; alleviates congestion
- A sustainable alternative transportation solution that reduces your carbon footprint
- Turnkey program includes everything you need, even gas and insurance
- Flexible programs for faculty and staff
- Simple online application and approval process
zipcar for students
- Self-service access to cars 24/7
- Low hourly and daily rates include gas and insurance
- Reserve online or using your mobile device – in seconds
- Cars located right on campus
- Good for the environment
The website also uses location detectors (by looking at the person’s IP address) to know the customer’s location, which it then informs them that where is a different website that has information for the certain country he/she is in.
Zipcar also sends emails asking about customers experience, making customers feel that their opinion is heard and is important. They also have an amazing 24-hour customer service, which is a number you call if you need any assistance, which makes it convenient especially if something went wrong with the car…
Zipcar also has a blog that has facts, and videos about the cons of using Zipcar, and this is also dependent on the website you are using (different countries different information)
Zipcar also like consumers to be informed about many of their decision, they email all customers telling them about their new decision and sometimes give a brief explanation.
Zipcar also send out many surveys, they ask what people think about their service and the company, ask customers what they want, ask them how you can help, ask them how you can improve. All this shows that you care and that their opinions matter.
Zipcar should also have a big database to store all clients’ information… (Payments, what car, what time, if returned late, the condition of the returned car…). If the car was in bad condition when you enter it, you call Zipcar, they would record what was wrong and put some notes/records on the past customer who drove the car before you)
Membership benefits: (doesn’t have a loyalty card- can do that to increase usage and increase switching cost)
Not only does a Zipcard get you into the car, it gets you discounts at the places you want to go.
Deadline- Wednesday the 4th- 10.30AM, 2nd floor
MGCR 331 – Professor Animesh Animesh
November 8th, 2015
Founded over a decade ago, Zipcar is the one of the world’s major leaders in the car sharing industry. It allows its clients to rent their automobile of choice, for which they can pay to use per hour or per day, on top of a yearly fee charged to ZipCar members. Spreading its wings across eight countries, the firm’s 24/7 service has grown popular in many urban centers across the globe. Currently, the firm employs 700 employees and has over 900,000 registered members. Through the use of clever technology paired with an environmentalist vision of less pollution and congestion on roads everywhere, the small business grew into a firm bought over by Avis for over five hundred million dollars in 2013.
Zipcar’s business activities with their customers are almost exclusively online; it has utilized this decade’s application based smartphone trend in order to run its booking system on customer purchased handsets. Although the company integrates technology in order to offer more efficient services to its clients, such as the ability to unlock a car door by tapping their “ZipCard” on the windshield, its use of technology for resource management within the firm can be improved. However, it has successfully leveraged technology for CRM: for example, it uses registration information in order to segment its customers into three different groups (university students, businesses and the rest), which allows it to offer group discounts and tailored benefits. ZipCar also uses a business intelligence system (TIBCO Spotfire) which provides data visualization to assess both the performance of Zipcar’s vehicles as well as their locations. Moreover, the company uses latest technology with regards to theft prevention and security in order to provide its clients a safe and enjoyable experience. Finally, the company improved its supply chain management following its acquisition by Avis – it now allows fleet sharing between the two companies and has increased its presence internationally.
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