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UBER Case Study (Operations)

Business Case Study focusing on ridesharing company, Uber and it's operations

Cindy Nguyen

on 18 November 2014

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Transcript of UBER Case Study (Operations)

Four-doored Car, Driver, Application

Connecting the drivers and riders via the Uber app by delivering the message once the clients have requested a ride

Car driving the client to their desired location
Flexibility refers to how quicky operations processes can adjust to changes in the market. With services like Uber, this can be achieved through:

Increasing the provider's skill level
Uber is able to do this easily, as they freely hire licensed drivers. By increasing restrictions, it allows Uber to find higher skilled drivers to provide the chaffeur service.

Improving the level of technology
Buying new technologies increases flexibility and capacity
Refers to how consistent and reliable a business' products are. In services, it is the consistence of service standards and reliability. A measure for this is the number of complaints received.

Uber asks the client to rate the driver and provide feedback after every trip. They always remain anonymous to keep confidentiality, and subsequently allow the client to freely express their opinions.

Culture of accountability
Uber constantly monitors feedback to help drivers improve the experience. This process allows the company to create and maintain a safe and respectful environment for riders and drivers.

Real-time feedback allows Uber to respond quickly to issues, and may result in a driver being deactivating due to their unreliable service.
Quality of Design
Quality of design arises from an understanding of consumers and their preferences. It extends to how well a product is made or a service is delivered.

Uber has a high quality of design as it's inputs are high-grade materials (using full-size luxury black cars from Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BNW). The presentation of the service is labelled as 'luxury' (because of it's sleek, black aesthetically pleasing design) and is compared to as a 'private driver''.

Quality of Service
Quality of design and quality of conformance can be applied to the design and delivery of services. In this sense quality refers to:

Reliability of service
Uber promises that when an individual requests a ride, the allocated driver's location will be available to track. The individual will be texted when their ride arrives and the driver's name and details will appear in the app.

How the service meets the specific need of the client
Uber uses a feedback system whereby the client's feedback is noted. This allows them to meet the specific needs of the client next time they use the service.

This refers to creation of individualized products to meet the specific needs of customers.

Uber is a service specialized and customized towards their individual customer. Consumers are able to choose the type of vehicle they have based on price (UberX, UberTaxi or UberBlack), and have the complete control over where they are picked up and their destination.
Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO)
Uber outsources it's payment system to a company named BrainTree. This was needed as Uber expanded internationally and the need for a simple and efficient process payment (in foreign currencies) grew.

They now use Braintree as of 2011 for it's international and US based payments.

It is simple, efficient, cost-effective and has increased accountability.
Leading edge technology –
technology that is the most advanced or innovative at any point in time

Established technology
– technology that has been developed and widely used, and is simply accepted without questions including use of computers and various software packages in managing business operations and function

Uber uses a combination of estalbished and leading edge technology in the functioning of the company. Each driver is given a phone from Uber for more a more efficient system - rather than each driver using thier own phone which might not have compatible operating systems.

They also use BrainTree technology to allow for cashless payment transactions. This is more leading edge technology as the payment platform replaces the traditional model.

NB: BrainTree is a company that helps online businesses process credit card payments by providing a merchant account (bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by credit/debit cards)
Refers to the amount of raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods that a business has on hand at any particular point in time. It is a key operations strategy.

Quality assurance
- application of international quality standards
Quality control
- inspection, measurement, intervention
Quality improvement -
total quality management, continuous improvement

Uber uses quality improvement as an approach to quality management, and focuses on continuous improvement. This is shown in their commitment to anonymous mandatory feedback system.
This refers to the time it takes for the production and the operations processes to respond to changes in market demand.
Refers to the minimisation of expenses such that operations processes are conducted as cheaply as possible.

Anyone can become an Uber driver as long as:
Over 21 years old
Have a driving licence
Personal auto insurance
Four-door car
And additionally pass their background check (three-step criminal background screening and review of drivers' motor vehicle records)

This minimizes costs/expenses for Uber as there are minimum regulations to become a driver. No actual/substantial qualifications are needed like going to an approved taxi driver training school and obtaining a Taxi Driver Authority.
Uber is a ridesharing service based in San Francisco that has now expanded internationally, offering services in now 42 countries and 200 cities (eg; Canada, Australia, Korea, China)

Uses it's own smartphone application to connect passengers with drives of vehicles for hire. Clients use the app to request rides and track their reserved vehicle's location.

The company received venture funding in late 2010 from investors in Silicon Valley, California. It raised $49.5million from the Silicon Valley investors as well as companies like Goldman Sachs.

Private company
March 2009
Area served:
Vehicles for hire, ridesharing
Refers to the physical distribution and transportation of products

Enables businesses/customers to

Source through online links to suppliers through
business-to-business (B2B) processe

Have direct access to products through
business-to-consumer (B2C) processes.

E-procurement: use of online systems to manage supply, allows suppliers direct access to business's level of supplies

Uber manages its 'stock' online - it's drivers locations can be seen through the app on Android and Apple phones.
Global Sourcing
Refers to businesses purchasing supplies or services without being constrained by location.
Creation, design and development of new products. The design, development, launch and sale of new products enables a business to grow and get a competitive advantage.


Explicit service:
tangible aspect of the service being provided such as the application of time, expertise, skill and effort.

Product features:
UberX, UberTaxi, UberBLACK
Altogether this targets the mass market, making it easier to gain a larger customer base. This feature focuses on consumer preferences

Cashless Transaction
Fares are charged automatically to the rider's credit card - creates efficiency
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