Lessons from ‘Mobility as a Service’ for Profit Today

by Nisha Manaktala, Head of IT, AutoProtect

‘Mobility-as-a-Service’ (MaaS) is increasingly becoming a buzzword in our industry. While the use of the word ‘mobility’ to describe integrated travel options may be confusing, especially for consumers, who simply want to get from A to B easily and enjoyably, it does point to the possible direction of travel in the future (in every possible meaning of that expression)!

Intrigued as I am about the future, for many dealers it is likely to be far more short-term than for some of the speakers I have heard and whose articles I have read. We should not avoid the possibilities for the future, hence AutoProtect’s engagement with the issue; however, the thinking behind MaaS has potential for dealers today to unlock additional profit and set up your business for the future.

MaaS Defined

The MaaS Alliance provides a neat definition as follows:

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand. To meet a customer’s request, a MaaS operator facilitates a diverse menu of transport options, be they public transport, ride-, car- or bike-sharing, taxi or car rental/lease, or a combination thereof.’

These services also extend to providing access to charging points, car parking and more.

The Entrepreneurial Side of MaaS

Amongst those looking into MaaS are a number of entrepreneurial companies including Uber.

Uber is monetising MaaS’ principle of solving inconveniences and makes travel easier today while making money doing it.

Rather than just focusing upon what is, in essence, a taxi proposition, Uber is developing a range of convenience creating services; rideshare, bikeshare; e-scooters, a food delivery programme (UberEATS) and in the US in partnership with Barclays, a co-branded rewards credit card.

Uber is in the ‘making peoples’ lives easier business,’ something that is also very definitely at the heart of MaaS. So How Can Dealers Benefit from MaaS Principles?

I’m going to answer a question by posing some questions:

  • What services have you got that can make your customers’ lives more convenient and easy?
  • What app technology have you, or your partners got, that would make those services more accessible and easy to use?
  • What changes would you need to make to embed greater convenience as a core part of your customer proposition?
  • What additional services, or new partner collaborations could you add to enhance customer convenience?
  • How effective is your business in leveraging the potential of its customer data?

Convenience and ease of use delivered successfully have a significant value to customers; look at Deliveroo’s success as an example. The immediate opportunity for every dealer is to start addressing the questions above, widening their proposition to include all the possible services you could offer and importantly with whom you could collaborate to deliver them. Naturally, I believe there is a greater role here for the type of services and service support technology we provide at AutoProtect!

By thinking differently and from a customer perspective, many of today’s disruptors have simply made a traditional need easier to solve; Uber, Just Eat, Deliveroo being a few examples. How could you ‘Uberise’ your customers’ motoring to make it easier, more convenient, more rewarding and to benefit you?