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Students May Prepare a Written 1-2 Page Briefing About Enterprise Systems / Erp Extended to the Supply Chain

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Since 1916 when the United States first car rental business begun by a Nebraska man named Joe Saunders, car rental business has grown to over twenty four billion dollars industry. The major players include Hertz, Avis, Enterprise Holdings (Includes Alamo Rent- A- Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and National Car Rental), Avis Budget Group (includes Payless, not Zipcar), Fox Rent A Car1, Advantage Rent-A-Car2, and ACE Rent A Car. Also there are other players like U-Save Auto Rental System (owned by FSNA), Rent-A-Wreck of America, Triangle Rent-A-Car, Affordable/Sensible, ZIP car, and many other independent car rentals. Most of these car rental companies have similar business modules. Customers make their reservations online, over the phone, or at the car rental location. After the reservations process, customers have stand in line to fill out the rental documents. Zip car’s business model is unique because it eliminates all bureaucratic delays that are synonymous to the traditional car rental companies. According to (Forbes.com, 2011), “Zipcar is currently the leading market player in the segment with first-mover advantage and significant brand cache.” Competitive advantage is sustainable for Zipcar because of its strong information system and technology. Zipcar currently has over 9000 cars for rent in over eighteen cosmopolitan areas and over two hundred and fifty campuses. This allows Zipcar to provide a car on demand and offer a variety of models for use while spreading its cars around so that one is often located an easy walk from where its customers live or work. Zipcar prides itself on providing easy to reserve cars, while saving the customers money related to car ownership. Zipcar as a first-mover advantage company has a strong competitive advantage. Thus, Zipcar became synonymous with car sharing having been the first to that market. One of the most significant attribute of Zipcar is its second to none and cutting-edge technological advancement. When the company was launched in June of 2000, the technology platform solution was fairly unsophisticated. Wireless network was not well developed and, consequently, billing records and driving logs are done manually leading to a big challenge. As wireless technology evolved, Zipcar engineers created a special “black box” device, mounted in all Zipcar vehicles, that obtains reservation information through a wireless network. Every customer is issued a radio frequency identification (RFID) enabled card called “Zipcard” which allows drivers to unlock their reserved car by holding the Zipcards in front of a window decal that validates reservation information. The black box in each vehicle is designed to record hours of usage and mileage, which is retrieved on a central computer through wireless data broadcast. Customers have the capability to view their relevant charges, print receipts, and view all billing information. Zipcar also created the software to remotely monitor the performance, engine functionality, battery voltage, and maintenance issues with their fleet in order to ensure grander customer experience and reduce maintenance costs. Another information system that is used well by Zipcar its iPhone apps. Customers are able to see nearby Zipcar locations and make reservation on their smart phones. Also, Zipcar also launched a Facebook application which allows members to make car reservation through social media. Conclusively, Zipcar’s competitive advantage in the car sharing industry is sustainable and would be for a very long time. This quote by (businessinsider.com, 2011) “In our view, ZIP has one of the more compelling revenue growth trajectories across our travel/hospitality, and internet coverage universes, brand value as a market leader, & first mover with technology expertise in the new car sharing segment, as well as significant margin improvement opportunity” depicts that Zipcar has a business model that has the potential for long lasting growth.

Bibliography http://www.businessinsider.com/should-you-be-cashing-in-on-zipcar-2011-05#ixzz3e6tYxkLI businessinsider.com. (2011). JPMorgan Weighs In On ZipCar. businessinsider.com, 1.
Forbes.com. (2011). Zipcar: A Maturing Business Model That Holds Promise. http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/08/09/zipcar-a-maturing-business-model-that-holds-promise/, 1.

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