Digital transformation can absolutely be thought of as improving a website through which a car rental company sells its used vehicles – an important source of revenue for the company. It can also be thought of as enhancing a mobile app that enables customers to make, modify, or cancel reservations, view a car’s mileage and features, or track a car rental shuttle. However, many other back-office, non-customer-facing technology investments fall under the digital transformation umbrella as well. Companies must modernize these systems, as they are often the backbone of operations.
Take, for example, the technology that can help with inventory management, pricing, reservations, fleet acquisition, and sales and marketing. These are the systems that hold and control information and business processes. They keep the wheels turning and have a direct impact on revenue, productivity, and, at the end of the day, the customer.
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Hertz has spent the last few years revamping its technology to take the “complexity” out of its systems and to automate processes. In a press release, Kathy Marinello, chief executive officer, Hertz, said the company “will have elevated investments throughout the year as we implement several, major technology conversions,” which will help it “evolve toward a more competitive earnings profile.” She said, “This technology transformation will be foundational for Hertz and will provide a distinct advantage to capitalizing on future growth opportunities.”
Additionally, consider telematics and the amount of data it generates. Data production is just one piece of the puzzle. Making sense of it and acting on it are the other pieces. “As the amount of data available continues to grow, fleets need to work on organizing the data to help them plan and execute both in the short- and long-term,” said Kevin Kelley, vice president, business development & manufacturer relations of Enterprise Fleet Management, an affiliate of Enterprise Holdings. In order to effectively slice and dice this data, Big Data technology is required.
The car rental industry is embracing people’s changing habits and a new operating environment. Car rental companies are responding with intelligent strategies, innovative ideas, and technology investments that can help drive operational efficiency, growth, and profitability. These are the strategic initiatives on which industry executives must focus to remain relevant. To learn more, download our new guide: 2018 State of the Car Rental Industry.