Outpacing the Competition

By Eileen Feretic  |  Posted 2009-09-09 Print this article Print

The Avis Budget Group believes that customer satisfaction and business success are built on a foundation of technology innovation.

In the competitive, fast-paced car rental business, technology is the fuel that keeps companies running. That’s certainly the case at the Avis Budget Group, which includes Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car. In fact, the company, which has more than 6,900 rental locations, more than 400,000 vehicles and some 24,000 employees, constantly strives to outpace its competitors by testing and implementing leading-edge technologies.

“We’re always on the cutting edge for new technologies that can help us improve the customer experience or cut costs, so we’ve established a process that enables us to pilot technologies in order to gauge customer reaction to them,” says John Turato, vice president of technology for the Parsippany, N.J.-based company. “We’ve been the first to market with some of these technologies, including our Rover and WOW systems.”

Rovers are wireless handheld devices that Avis uses in its lots to electronically process car returns by connecting to the company’s data center. “Recently, as part of the Rover system, we introduced E-Receipts, a system that sends electronic receipts directly to a customer’s e-mail so he or she doesn’t have to worry about losing a receipt,” Turato explains. “We’ve gotten really good reactions from our customers on this program.” The

E-Receipts application uses Avis’ OMEGA (One Merged Enterprise & Global Architecture) service-oriented architecture (SOA) components.

The second technology, Wizard on Wheels, or WOW, is used on Avis’ airport shuttle buses. “Basically, WOW allows us to handle the rental agreement paperwork for people enrolled in our preferred customer programs while they’re on the bus and then drop the individuals off right at their car, bypassing the check-out counter,” he says.

Eileen Feretic is the Editor of Baseline Magazine.

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