2. A LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. Historical Review
Uber runs its business operations entirely online. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp came up with this idea back in 2009 in San Francisco, California. Kalanick had thought of this idea when he was in Paris, France, back in 2008. While in Pars, Kalanick struggled to find a cap, and his efforts were futile. When he traveled back to San Francisco, he partnered with Garrett Camp to create this service, later launched in 2010. The Uber service has increasingly gained momentum across the world. The idea that was first developed in Paris back in 2008 has increasingly rolled out its service to more than fifty countries, and more plans are still underway to take the services to many more other countries.
2.2. Theoretical examination
Drivers who want to join Uber must do so by first sending their applications to the company. If they are accepted to be part of the Uber driver cloud, they download the Uber mobile app and can either stay connected online or not. These drivers have no schedule that they operate on; when they are online, one receives a customer notification that requests him or her to pick the customer. The drivers have been allowed a period of 15 seconds to accept the request or it will be sent to another driver. The customer must ensure he or she has downloaded the Uber mobile app, signed in and has connected his or her credit card to the account that he or she has signed up with. He or she cannot make a ride request unless he or she first registers in the app.
Uber is an e-commerce business company that operates its business based on a brokerage model. The broker, in this case, is the Uber driver. He acts as the intermediary between the customer and Uber Company, in this case, the seller. The driver is the leading supplier, and the rider is the consumer.
3. UBER’S BUSINESS STRATEGY FITS WITH HR
Uber has enacted policies to be observed to ensure that every individual who interacts with the company feels safe. After several reported cases of sexual harassment from both the customers and the drivers, the CEO Travis Kalanick, together with other keyboard members, working hand in hand with the head of HR, have begun to carry out investigations into the sexual harassment cases that have so far been reported. In 2016, the CEO, Travis Kalanick, assumed HR as the channel to use to recruit the companies’ staff that would initiate faster growth. By the end of 2016, the company had recorded about 20 HR, with over six thousand employees. However, a number of high-level HR leaders left the company, a move that forced Ryan Graves, the head of operations, to take over the leadership of HR in addition to other duties that he was performing. HR exists in such big organizations to deliver the services that the leadership board is able to easily monitor.
The Uber company has also created an Ethics and Culture Committee that has been tasked with overseeing every action that the company and its leaders undertake. A 24/7 support line has been instituted for use by every other employee at the company for the safe reporting of any act of unprofessional conduct (Amaxopoulou, Durovic, & Lech, 2021). This strategy has pointed out the accountability that the company is taking up to ensure that all its HR are well catered for and prevent them from walking out as partisan members of the company. Uber UK has also written a policy that permits the company to have access to the personal information of every person who signs up with it. The company then uses the information to carry out marketing, market research, and other legit business activities.
In Uber UK, the HR is the drivers of the taxis that ferry customers to their various destinations. The tax driver is the sole supplier to the Uber company. This is not a good strategy since if the HR realizes that he is the leading supplier to the company, he can make life very hard for the company. The only strategy that Uber UK has put in place to lure the HR has been to give them some incentives on the trips they make and a small commission. This technique may tend to fail to work as HR can still get better incentives and commissions from the other service providers like the zip cars. Uber UK has strategized to offer training to many drivers so that if such incidences do happen, they can easily find a quick replacement. This strategy is still not the best to curb the issue of driving leaving the company.
Uber UK does not offer permanent employment services to its drivers. They prefer to work with contracted drivers so as to avoid incurring some tax expenses. The company needs to come up with strategies for employing its drivers on a permanent basis. Some Uber drivers in the US have been to the courts to push the Uber companies to help with paying the maintenance fees of the vehicles they use. They are working with contractual drivers as HR has raised a lot of conflicts not only in the Uber UK company but also in the countries where the Uber services are found. The company should rethink of how to relate well with the local tax service providers.
3.1. Return strategies
Since the formulation of strategies to help deal with key areas that needed to be addressed, Uber UK has begun to reap big. These high returns have been as a result of the company not setting fixed prices for the riders, but instead offering very low travel prices. This strategy has pulled a reasonable number of people to prefer using the Uber service. The customers who are using Uber UK feel catered for by the lowered prices. An increase in prices could put customers off, who would then prefer to use other services like zip cars for travel. Although there have been reduced prices offered to customers by the Uber UK company, there are other customers who have complained of the hike in prices during periods when the demand for the Uber taxes is high.
Another return strategy that Uber UK has put in place is the provision of a platform to carry out dual business operations. The drivers have been given more value just like the customers by the company, and this has led to increased quality output, a strategy that yields both reduced employee churn and higher customer satisfaction. The Uber UK company has saved its drivers from the strenuous process of procuring a driving license from other tax services providers and the tediousness of getting a cab from the cab companies. The company had to initiate a system whereby it paid its drivers 80% as commission calculated from the fares as opposed to the traditional hourly pay (Berger et al 2019). This system has allowed the company to realize an increase in its analytical capabilities. The company allows tax drivers in the UK to use their own personal cars to carry their customers. When drivers use their own cars, the company saves a lot of capital that could otherwise be used in buying a fleet of cars to be used as cabs. The company also saves itself from incurring the high mentainace expenditures of the cars and the supervision of the driver’s usage of the cars is not necessary. Because the cars belong to the owners and he or she is fully responsible for the state of the cars, this strategy has reduced the occurrences of internal conflicts between HR and the company.
3.2. The strength and weaknesses of Uber UK
The SWOT analysis of the Uber UK transport company
The SWOT analysis intends to show the strengths that the company currently has and the weaknesses that it also has. It also aims to point out some of the opportunities that the companies have grabbed while in operation. Lastly, it will analyze the weaknesses that the company has had to live with.
- Uber UK has a very big capital base, which has enabled the company to open branches in other cities and towns in the UK.
- With this data, Uber has been able to monitor the trends of its customers.
- The offering of incentives to the drivers encourages them to work even harder. The drivers are the key suppliers to the company and need to be treated and handled well.
- The Uber business structure is easy to copy. The company should find out how it can add more value to its mode of operation for it to stay on board in the future.
- Handling their drivers. It has been challenging to keep drivers who are the main suppliers of the company for long for the company. Many will opt to go for other lucrative offers when they crop up.
- Rapid cases of sexual harassment amongst its employees, which sometimes go unattended, have sometimes reduced the total revenue collection of this company.
- Strict government policies that drivers may find hard to follow, hence they shy off and go for the more lenient local service providers.
- Does Uber still do well in towns that are still small and growing? This is possible since the residents of these small towns would prefer to rush to the big cities and well established towns to carry out their businesses.
- This company has a big capital base and, hence, can easily expand at a very fast rate.
- Collaborating with other types of service providers that are readily available allows the company to learn from their human resources.
- Uber UK faces very strict laws from the government on its operations in the town. These policies tend to slow down the growth and expansion of this business.
- Regular tax providers face stiff competition and threats. The regular tax providers tend to think that Uber UK charges low prices, spoiling the market for them.
Uber-UK has continued to face stiff competition from other tax service providers. Zip cars keep on pulling Uber drivers to their side by giving them lucrative incentives and commissions. The regular tax drivers are constantly at odds with the Uber UK drivers. The regular taxi driver claims that the Uber drivers are undercharging their customers and this spoils their toil (Adams-Prassl, Adams-Prassl & Coyle, 2021).
The Uber Company has a large capital base, following the analysis given above. It is in the best position to ensure that it has lived long enough to maintain a good working relationship with the local municipal and government. This is so as it seems to have many challenges in keeping to the law of the land. The company should also consider collaborating with the local tax service providers in order for them to create a good relationship with them. They can achieve these goals by offering training to the local tax drivers on how to join their team and sometimes giving them some incentives and lucrative commissions. They can also table to the local tax drivers some of the merits they would get if they choose to work with them. This will encourage a large pool of drivers to choose from.
Adams-Prassl, A., Adams-Prassl, J., & Coyle, D. (2021). Uber and Beyond: Policy Implications for the UK.
Amaxopoulou, M., Durovic, M., & Lech, F. (2021). Regulation of Uber in the UK. In Global Perspectives on Legal Challenges Posed by Ridesharing Companies (pp. 101-135). Springer, Singapore.
Amaxopoulou, M. (2020). Sticks and Carrots: Lessons from Regulating Uber As A Private Hire Operator in England. King’s Law Journal, 31(2), 260-274.
Berger, T., Frey, C. B., Levin, G., & Danda, S. R. (2019). Uber happy? Work and well-being in the ‘gig economy’. Economic Policy, 34(99), 429-477.