Operational Excellence in the Shared Mobility Sector

Optimizing Internal Processes as a Sharing Provider

October 7, 2021 | Reading time 14 min

Operational Excellence wheel

The shared mobility market continues to grow. In 2020 alone, the number of users in Germany increased by about 25 % (source: bcs). Worldwide, revenues are expected to grow by approximately 9% per year until 2026 (source: Statista). However, for a mobility service to actually be profitable, it is not only a matter of local regulations and local demand, but also of the efficiency of internal work processes. In other words, Operational Excellence.

Why Sharing Providers Should Focus on their Work Processes

The work of a shared mobility provider revolves entirely around the goal of providing users with the right vehicle at the right location. In order to achieve this, numerous operational and strategic tasks arise on a day-to-day basis. If these are not clearly regulated and organized, avoidable effort and costs are incurred.

How Operational Excellence affects success

Structured and well thought-out processes not only reduce the amount of work and simplify the internal workload. They also help to ensure that users actually find a clean, serviced and charged vehicle where they need it. And if the customer is happy, so is the provider.

Learn about Best Practices for Operational Excellence at MOQO Summit 2021

MOQO Summit 2021 - Best Practices

MOQO Summit 2021 is dedicated entirely to the topic of Operational Excellence. Learn from experts how sharing operations can be developed, optimized and supported in practice. Network with the community of MOQO partners who also strive for maximum customer satisfaction. Let us inspire you and learn from each other!

What does Operational Excellence mean?

Day-to-day operational tasks play a major role in the operation of a sharing service. For example, user inquiries must be answered, vehicles must be maintained, charging stations must be monitored and the service must be advertised to the target group. If these procedures are not controlled, they quickly take up more time (and thus costs) than necessary.

In order to optimize internal processes on an ongoing basis, there are a variety of approaches in organizational theory. We refer here to the idea of Operational Excellence, which combines various methods and should be understood more as a guide for the constant striving for improvement rather than as concrete recommendations for action.

Behind the term of Operational Excellence (OPEX) lies basically the ability to regularly improve everyday work processes and to continuously develop one's own organization. This includes all processes and systems along the value chain. It is about remaining dynamic and flexible, separating the important from the unimportant and not losing sight of what is essential.

Increased productivity, effectiveness and efficiency thus help to boost performance while reducing costs. The target of these efforts is customer satisfaction and ultimately the success of the company or project.

Process Planning

The difference between Operational Excellence and other approaches with the same objective is that here, fighting the causes takes precedence over merely fighting the symptoms. Internal processes are optimized and restructured from the ground up to eliminate the roots of possible errors or waste, instead of just dealing with the consequences.

Example:

A sharing provider wants to ensure regular cleaning and maintenance of the vehicles. Instead of deploying staff to drive to and check the vehicles one by one, he can rely on user feedback in the Provider Task Board and send staff specifically to the vehicles in need of overhaul.

Success Factors and Fundamentals of Operational Excellence

It is important to understand that Operational Excellence is not a one-time improvement of the rental processes. Rather, the optimization of sharing services is a dynamic process in which all improvement approaches are aligned with the mobility requirements of the drivers. The defined target groups and use cases are therefore the focus, while the company's own corporate strategy forms the basis for all processes and systems. In addition, current figures, data and facts on user groups, bookings, sales and costs provide an important basis for decision-making and action.

In order for approaches to reduce expenses in vehicle and team support and to increase customer satisfaction to bear fruit, sufficient discipline and accuracy are required as well as the willingness to make changes. Furthermore, actions should be designed to be long-term and sustainable and processes should be transparent.

Challenges and Opportunities for Shared Mobility Provider

There are a number of special features in the day-to-day work of a sharing provider on the way to optimized operational processes.

In the planning and implementation of their services, sharing providers are faced with the challenge of serving different stakeholders, some of whom have different wishes and demands. In addition to their own perspective and goals as providers and those of the riders, i.e., the actual customer group, the perspectives of non-riders, cities and municipalities, suppliers and partners must also be taken into account and considered in the business model and internal process design. Parking locations for a bicycle fleet, for example, cannot be selected solely on the basis of the needs of the company's own customers, but must also comply with the requirements of local authorities and not represent an obstacle for non-riders.

Another challenge on the way to Operational Excellence can be that the shared mobility service may not be the core business of the company and therefore not the focus of all decisions. However, the more efficiently processes are designed, the higher the return on investment will be, while at the same time the costs will be reduced. Due to its increasingly positive contribution to the overall success of the company, the mobility project is gaining in importance among decision-makers and executives.

However, the pursuit of Operational Excellence offers a good opportunity not only in terms of internal processes, but also in terms of optimizing the points of contact with customers. To achieve the highest possible satisfaction rate, it is important to focus on the success factors listed below. In addition to flexible usage and rate models, users value uncomplicated and smooth registration, booking and return processes. With the help of good software, processes can be increasingly automated and thus simplified for everyone involved.

Operational Excellence - continuous improvement cycle

Methods & Tools for Operational Excellence

The daily work routine in vehicle rental is already filled with processes and tasks. To ensure that improvements in workflows can nevertheless be implemented in the short term and at the same time serve a long-term strategy, it helps to adopt methods that have already been tried and tested. Some of these approaches can be integrated without turning the existing corporate structure upside down. Which of these prove to be useful depends on the structure and business model of a sharing offering.

Infobox

Commonly used tools and methods include the following:

  • Lean Management
  • Six Sigma
  • Business Process Management
  • Change Management
  • Automated Processes
  • Agile Processes (SCRUM, Kanban…)
  • Kaizen

Tasks and Processes as a Shared Mobility Provider

Needless to say, the work of a sharing provider is not finished with the pure provision of sharing vehicles. Instead, numerous tasks and processes arise both before and after the launch of the service, some of which build on or merge with each other.

Getting an overview of these tasks is important for defining responsibilities within the team, coordinating interfaces with customers, partners and suppliers, and deciding which tasks can be handled in-house and which can be outsourced.

In the pursuit of Operational Excellence, it is essential to regularly monitor and, if necessary, adjust recurring process flows in order to improve the workflow.

Important Tasks as a Provider

Task as a Shared Mobility Provider

Optimize the Booking Process for Drivers

The Driver Customer Journey is a key factor in driver satisfaction. This refers to the entire process that customers go through when they want to use a shared mobility service: From becoming aware of the offer, through registration and booking, to returning the vehicle and being billed.

If these processes are designed effectively and cleanly, potential problems or critical interfaces will be identified and rectified in good time. For this purpose, it is advisable for sharing providers to repeatedly put themselves in the driver's shoes and to know and understand the details of the booking process.

FAQ about the Booking Process with the MOQO Platform

1) How do drivers register for a sharing service?
Drivers have three ways to register for a public sharing service: Through the offer's website, via email invitation or directly in the sharing app. For exclusive teams, they have the option to request participation via the provider's website. For closed teams, they must be invited by the team admin.

2) How does driver's license validation work? 
Driver's licenses can be validated manually by the team admin on site or through an online procedure. The online process allows drivers to validate their license on their own at a cost per transaction to the provider. Information about the validation point on site is supplied by the provider and can be viewed by drivers directly in the app. 

3) Which rates apply for a booking?
Providers design the rate models via the platform and can then assign them to teams. For example, rates can be set per hour / day / week / month as well as per additional kilometer or a booking fee. 

Which MOQO Features Support your Operational Excellence

MOQO regularly develops new features that simplify providers' tasks and processes. In this way, the sharing offer can be increasingly customized and optimally tailored to the provider's own target groups and use cases. As part of the self-service portal, tasks are processed independently via the MOQO platform and processes are more standardized or even automated.

Self-Service Portal

Self-Service Portal

Provides all the tools to set up and run a sharing service independently.


About the feature
Customer Support

Customer Support

Telephone (24/7) and email support which assists drivers with questions and in special situations.

Provider Task Board

Provider Task Board

Providers process tasks clearly and in a team.


About the feature
Subscription Groups

Subscription Groups

Providers design a differentiated tariff structure in order to address all potential drivers.


About the feature
Damage Reporting

Damage Reporting

The feature helps drivers to record defects and providers to perform maintenance.


About the feature
Log Book

Log Book

If required, providers can record trips within the company digitally and in compliance with the tax authorities.

Charge Catalog

Charge Catalog

Promote proper vehicle handling and compliance with booking conditions.


About the feature
Automated payment processing via SEPA or credit card.

Payment Systems

Automated payment processing via SEPA or credit card.


About the feature
Marketing Tools

Marketing Tools

The discount code system and the friends-recruit-friends feature support providers in recruiting new drivers.


About the feature

Dynamic Process Optimization as a Key Factor

Operational Excellence is essential for shared mobility providers to design an economical and profitable offering. Appropriate tools and methods help to optimize internal processes, workflows and systems, to find the right partners and to individually design the business model. At the end of the process chain, providers offer their users the best possible booking experience and thereby increase not only customer satisfaction but also the success of the project.

Learn more about OPEX at MOQO Summit 2021

exclusively for MOQO partners

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