Uber is a car service company that created an Android application that enables anyone to request a car under a few minutes on a short term basis. The creation of the company was in 2009. It all started on a snowing day in Paris, where Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp was having trouble getting a cab to reach their destination. They thought it was too much hustle and wanted to make the traveling experience easy by being able to access a cab from the comfort of your mobile phone at any location. They sought to use technology to give the people what they need. They developed the Uber app which made travel from point A to point B very simple and comfortable.
The company has made a remarkable difference in strengthening local economies, improving access to transportation and making the streets safer. Apart from that, it also benefits the drivers by enabling them to make more profit in their line of business. Uber Singapore has been operational since 2013 and experienced some of these benefits. By partnering with local transport providers, it has energized the local economy. It has also made the Singapore streets safer from drunk and disorderly driving while fostering a connected and less congested environment.
Operations of Uber Singapore
It all begins with a click in the Uber application on your smartphone and sign in. When sign-in is successful, the app will display a map showing all the available transportation vehicles in the area. The vehicles range from everyday service to premium service. Tap on the vehicle icon at the bottom of the screen to view the transportation rates. Set the pickup location by moving the set pick-up location pin to a point on the map or just type it in. Also type in the destination so that the cab driver can know where you are going when he picks you up.
The rider can view the total cost of the ride by getting a fair quote. Once the rider sees the fee, the vehicle can be requested. The driver receives the request and once received the rider can be able to view the driver details such as phone number, car type, the physical appearance of the driver, the car’s license plate and the time left till pick-up.
The ride is cashless as payment if made via E-transfers. One can change the payment method on the application and choose one that is suitable or more to his/her liking. Uber works by riders initially depositing money into their Uber account which is $1000 at first. It allows the rider to move from place to place without the trouble of payment. Payment is cheaper by $47 which is 20% less than that regular cabs charge. Also, the company does not charge the 10% surcharge fee when using a credit card. When the rider, reaches his/her destination, he/she simply get off as payment will be deducted on the arrival of destination.
There is the constant availability of transportation vehicles with the driver working full-time hours or in 12 hours shift. Those working on full time get relief drivers who are on a part time basis so no matter what the time you require transportation, there will be an Uber vehicle available. Uber does background checks on their driver to ensure efficiency and productivity.
Operations Management Theories and Practices
Operations management involves managing raw materials and converting them into goods and services. It ensures that the business operates efficiently using least amount of resources while meeting the consumer needs. The operational management theories implemented in the operations of Uber Singapore are such as six sigma, lean, reconfigurable manufacturing and BPR (Alexander, 1996).
Six Sigma focuses on the quality of the product of services and reducing defects in the process. The transportation sector had a lot of defects one of them being to expensive to own a car and expensive pricing of taxis. Apart from that, at certain times, it was tough to access a taxi since practically everyone depended on them. Uber made it convenient by having a ride at any time and any place for the rider. Also, the pick-up is fast one does not have to wait for long before the ride arrives. The price is convenient and cheaper than standard taxis. It was also more accessible as it was within a touch of a button.
Lean theory mostly focuses on the amount of waste in the operation process. It considers the expenditure of resources other than adding value to the consumer wasteful. Uber vehicles do not require a medallion to operate, unlike most taxis. It prevents drivers from having extra costs from tax burdens which could be up to 1,000,000 for taxi operation leaving drivers getting fewer benefits in their line of work.
Reconfigurable manufacturing allows the company to rapid increase in capacity and continued production. It also allows a certain function to be efficient in response to market change (Bisen & Srivastava, 2009). Uber Singapore has a high demand and to ensure consumer satisfaction it has come up with promotions, discounts and surcharge-less rides to its riders. Also, its drivers get many benefits as the company gets only 20% of the payment leaving the rest to the driver. Taxi driver gets an average of 30k per month as compared to an Uber driver who can get 90k per month.
BPR (Business Process Redesign) enables the company to restructure the business process from ground up (Monks, 1977). Uber has done this by providing an easy means of access to transportation through the Uber app and apart from this set a preference structure that is not familiar with other taxi companies. Preference is the range of cars used for transportation. The cars are UberTAXI, UberX, UberSUV, UberLUX, and UberBLACK. The vehicles are categorized from every day to premium services each with a different transportation rate.
Operational sustainability is a process of evaluation whether a business can maintain its activities and practices without any future resource at risk. Sustainability ranges from economic, ecological and social. Environmental sustainability is the ability for the company to use natural resources efficiently without depleting them (Fisk, 2010). An example if fuel, which is used mainly in the transportation industry. It is a requirement for the usage of transportation. The sustainable practice implemented is the usage of cars that can operate on a low fuel of use of renewable sources of energy. Most of the cars owned by Uber are cost effective, especially in the fuel sector.
Social sustainability is the ability of all persons in the community to access equal and similar resources. Uber has achieved this concerning preference; no complaint has come forward about the difference in administration of services (Heizer & Render, 2001). The company also does background checks on their driver to ensure that the person behind the wheel is safe. The prices are similar and depend on the car preference, not looking at a person's class.
Economic sustainability looks at the long-term strategies the business has put in place for development and growth. The practice implemented here is branching out. Uber has set out different branches providing its services in the various regions. It will assist not to depend on one branch when the long term strategies are a 50-50% chance.
Since 2009, Uber has expanded considerably, in less than five years it has set up branches in the US, in France, Australia, and Japan. It has used technology to ease transportation providing a service that is beneficial to the rider and drivers while making money out of it. The success of Uber has enabled people to have a different view of transportation where it cannot be expensive and hectic but cheap, comfortable and enjoyable.
Alexander, K. (1996). Facilities management: Theory and practice. London: E & FN Spon.
Bisen, V., & Srivastava, S. (2009). Production & Operation Management. Lucknow, India: Word-Press.
Fisk, P. (2010). People, planet, profit: How to embrace sustainability for innovation and business growth. London: Kogan Page.
Heizer, J., & Render, B. (2001). Operations management. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
Monks, J. G. (1977). Operations Management: Theory and problems. New York: McGraw-Hill.