Uber vs The World! How Effective Field Service Management Could Have Saved the Day!
Remember the viral video of Travis Kalanick from earlier this year where he is berating an Uber driver to take ownership of his own problem. Well we all know that video as the start of the derailment of Uber’s public relations. It’s easy to now imagine the company as being self-centered and culturally egoistic. But who isn’t? Is that a justifiable rating scale to judge the direction of a multi-billion-dollar global company. Let’s look at more business specific grading of the premier transportation network company.
Uber, a Glorified Taxi Service?
A recent court in the European Union debated that Uber is was little more than a Taxi Service. This might seem an obvious observation to many until you consider what is at stake. Uber has intelligently placed itself as an ‘Information Society Service’. So, what is an information society service? It’s basically a service made possible through information handling and management. The three basic pillars considered to be an ISS is any service normally (1) provided for remuneration, at a distance, (2) by electronic means and (3) at the individual request of a recipient of services. This means that the service must be paid for across a distance through electronic means, implying that the service provider and the service receiver are not in the same place, and the service request and payment are with agreement with the receiver. Sounds like Uber? It does a little, but why is Uber bent on defining itself in this way?
In Europe (and some big nations), Uber is driving the Taxi Services out of business. One reason for this is that the Taxis face strict regulations making them unable to compete with Uber’s economies of scale. If Uber comes into the same bracket of a ‘Taxi Service’, then it would face the same restrictions and would find it tough to sustain the price differentiation. Oh! The fine lines of legislation!
Spying on Users?
Geofencing is a savior process in our world. What is our world? You are here so just look around the website. We are somewhat big in field service management. Just look to the right and you would see our famous field service management white paper. We know what we are talking about. Hence the title of the article. Moving on, we know about geofencing, we do it through our data points more than a billion times already. Geofencing helps in triangulating accurate location data for our clients. Uber, on the other hand, used it to spot, track, and avoid law enforcement officials. A virtual blacklist of users? That is a clear bias. However, it does help their ISS argument. But that’s not enough. They are accused of spying on Lyft to poach on their drivers. Tracking of this level is an amazing thing for analytics, but using it in unfair business practices is real mismanagement.
Taking the High Road, Literally!
Uber recently put a hypothetical date on the calendar. Flying Cars by 2020 in Dubai and Dallas. It’s an ambitious project which Uber has developed in partnership with various airline companies. At the 2020 World Expo, Uber is set to create history with its first flying customer. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Somewhat of a diversion technique maybe, but they desperately needed the positive PR. But how positive is this really? Further analysis of the claims shows that it’s not really flying cars at all. It’s just your normal flying units called eVTOL aircrafts which stands for ‘Vertical Take-Off and Landing’ aircrafts, not much from, yes, you guessed it, Helicopters! Uber just launched an updated helicopter. We know that they hired an amazing Spin Doctor.
So back to the crucial point.
How Could Effective Field Service Management Save Uber from its Fiasco?
Well, for the uninitiated, field service management is when a company directs its field resources such as their field agents, representatives, and executives to better productivity by tracking and optimizing their movement. We do this for our client’s field and fleet workforce. The next time you receive your Amazon Prime delivery on the same day of purchase, think of how field service management made it possible.
The entire concept of field service management is to empower your workforce to get the most out of their travels. You want your workforce to be at their best when you need them to; not be stuck in traffic because they took a wrong turn somewhere. Field service management is a means to an end; the end being a wholesome customer experience.
Where do we factor in our client’s quest for a wholesome customer experience? Well we are the ones that add the ‘Wow’ in the service. The 5 minutes that the Uber driver saved because of efficient route planning was because someone optimized their routes properly. Field service management is based on efficient optimization. Uber failed when they focused on creating a monopoly. The very thing that differentiated Uber from the Taxi Services was their focus on customer experience, but as their CEO put it, “Some people don’t like to take responsibility of their own problems”. The disdain the company has developed for their end customers is appalling. It’s time they bought back the amazing field service management protocols they started with. Here is an open letter question for Uber, “What is more important? Business sustenance or business evolution?”
The term “information society service”: Ministry of Industry and Trade
The truth behind the Uber “flying cars” headlines: NewStatesman36 7