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Global Connection through Technology: A case of MAWAQIF
Mawaqif is an innovative and new value added services developed by Abu Dhabi‘s Department of Transport (DoT) to enable motorists pay for parking space through their m-mawaqif accounts. The core aim of the program is to deliver short or immediate benefits to drivers, visitors, residents and pedestrians across the main locations of the city center. Other services provided by Mawaqif include management services for those interested in outsourcing operations to experts, helping the city and its environment in addressing congestion through its comprehensive planning and designing programs, and finally towering services for airports, municipalities, cities and implementation of traffic and parking regulations. In this paper, we are going to evaluate the Mawaqif’s business operating model and also grade its relevant quadrant.
MAWAQIF’s Business Model
The value chain structure is a description of the activities and operations of a particular business. They include all the activities and operations undertaken by a service, or product as well as the processes that take place while these services are being created and sold. The service or product gains more value each time it passes through another level of the chain.
In order to utilize the mawaqif services, motorists are required to register with a Du or Etisalat number at the New User Registration icon of the mobile app while following the prompt. Upon registering, motorists must then top up their Mawaqif account which will enable them access the services they so require. When their accounts are successfully topped up, the funds can then be used by the motorist in making payments for their mawaqif permits through simply sending an SMS for the services needed to 3009 from their registered Du and Etisalat number. Moreover, there are various other innovative services that can be accessed by the registered motorists from their m-mawaqif accounts. It is also possible for a user to manage all the vehicles registered under his/her name, view transaction history, change password, and edit profile.
MAWAQIFs business model has a number of advantages. Among these is the elimination for the need to carry cash and finding a parking meter, access to m-mawaqif permit that have no expiry dates, thus avoiding concerns by motorists on the limitations of their parking permits, accessing and extending a parking permit right from the comfort of one’s home among others.
Strategy for Gaining Competitive Advantage
Strategy is a description of how a given company will establish and maintain a competitive advantage in the particular market. For instance, this may include the use of value-added strategy, low cost approach, growth strategy, pioneer strategy among others. Furthermore, a company can adopt a series of strategies, complex strategies or only focus on initial positioning of the services or products in the market. The business strategy employed by Mawaqif is the growth strategy whereby; new products or services are added to the market while features are also added to the extant products. Under growth strategy, a business may as well opt to modify or enhance their existing product/service line for the purpose of competing with or outwitting their rivals. Otherwise users may begin using more enhanced services from rivals (Suttle, 2017).
An assessment of Mawaqif Program showcases that it is conscious about its progress and development in the market. In this perspective, the management have introduced a new procedure of regulating and monitoring parking bays using cameras designated in different regions of Abu Dhabi. This procedure is focused at observing vehicles parked, as well as those parking illegally. This is a part of the firm’s continuous endeavors of regulating and improving the parking process. Furthermore, Mawaqif is consistently evaluating the system application while also working to enhance it for the purpose of improving its service provision and more so, customer satisfaction. In order to make their services appealing to many more customers, the fee for parking vehicles is made free for the first 10 minutes. In addition, those taking part in prayers have 45 minutes of free parking time while in the prayer as long as they park their cars correctly without obstructing other users.
It is also worth mentioning that Mawaqif has dedicated a number of its parking spaces to special populations the society. They include spaces for ambulances and emergencies, women, the disabled, and civil defense vehicles.
There are different ways in which revenue could be generated including but not limited to sale of services or products, paid advertisements on the businesses’ website and or subscriptions. The section also includes estimated profit margins, and overall cost (Magloff, 2017).
For Mawaqif, revenue is gained through fees paid by motorists and parking charges that are applied between set hours. Mawaqif charges are categorized into two white kerbstones for Premium Parking and black and turquoise for standard parking. Higher fees are charged for premium parking compared to the standard ones. Other sources of revenue for this company are also resident permits to owners, tenants or tenants living in paid designated parking areas. Residents are required to pay annual fees to Mawaqif in order to be issued with a resident parking permit.
An Evaluation of MAWAQIF Business Operating Model
MAWAQIF’s business model is the Coordination Model category. A business utilizing this model consists of unique business units that depend on one another for success. Furthermore, this approach depends on IT capability for successful operations. The key standardization approach for this model include but not limited to shared services, applications , standard technology interfaces, infrastructure system, service/product and customer data.
The key features of the Coordination Operating Model is essentially featured by supplier or product data, and shared customer but with business units that are operationally unique though impacting the transactions of one another. These independent business segments have a high level of control over the design and processes of the entire business to be to adapt to the particular business operation. There has to be a consensus for the design of the IT infrastructure, application decisions, and IT infrastructure services (Compean, 2016).
For MAWAQIF, users or customers in this case may qualify to access the different types of services offered by the company. However, each unit could have their own perception of customers that are important to their businesses. Among the different business services provided by Mawaqif include car park permits, provision, and parking space for public and private motorists, car tower services, comprehensive planning and designing programs, management of traffic jams, addressing congestion in cities and regulating traffic. As can be seen, the different services are linked to one, provision of services to motorists, thus operation of a particular unit has a significant impact on the other. For instance, car tower services, traffic regulation, effective designing and planning of parking space, management of congestion and traffic jams are all aimed at meeting the needs of motorists in the region.
For the coordination model, the IT, design of the architecture and the complexity associated with the IT ecosystem is an important element. In order to connect the outcome from the divergence of transactions into a reasonable view of the business intelligence, the systems across the business are guaranteed to utilize a set of core data tables mostly from a miniature of source systems. Similarly, it is apparent that Mawaqif heavily depends on technology and IT integration to conduct its businesses. In respect to this, the agency provides MAWAQIF Account services that users are required to open so that they can be able to purchase their permits through the use of the Du and Etisalat mobile numbers. Technology is also used in the new credit card facility, payment through sms, prepaid cards among others. What is more, there is also the use of a mobile GPS system that helps in determining parking slots that are readily available. The framework is represented in figure 1.3 below
This approach also involved coordinated transactions whereby: a particular business could affect the perception of a client in another business unit. For instance, a motorists relying on MAWAQIF for car park permits must also be assured that he or she will have a secure space for the same. It would be pointless to purchase a permit and then come to know later that there is no available space. Furthermore, there could also be situations where revenue from one customer has to be split to more than three business units for business reporting. For instance, one client may opt to buy a park permit, seek car space services, and may be require towering services in the event that his car breaks out. In this regard, the revenue generated from these sources may be split for each of the services for reporting services.
Another feature of the coordinating operating model is the integrated business model on clients, services/products and suppliers. In this regard, it is important that a business endeavors to regularly understand their customers. The core aim of this activity is offer insights into the behaviors and patters of clients, in terms of how these patterns work to the benefits of the company and how to deal with incidences of customer dissatisfaction.
With the ardent exploitation of the available information technology, MAWAQIF has been able to restructure the flow of its services to gain more efficiency. There is no doubt that the agency has understood that physical flows no longer need not adhere to information flows. Instead, the internet has made it possible for the flow of information to substitute for the physical flows that are largely inefficient. For instance, Mawaqif does not require its customers to line up in some brick and motar offices to purchase permits, resident tickets or seek their services. Rather, these processes can all be done via a mobile app which facilitates payments for car parking permits and other services provided by the agency. However, it is crucial that the company develops an integrated web to this end so that more customers such as those working online can be reached. Some people would prefer to use a computer and hence a website will make the agency and its offer of services to be more accessible to many users.
The Internet facilitates the searching of information so that various sources within a supply chain that within a specific time acted independently can now be simultaneously tapped for the purpose of satisfying the needs of customers. Examples include but not limited to untapped capacity, or unmet demand all of which can be pooled to establish a secondary market of virtual resources. This secondary market could create high value not only for users but also for the company through leveraging the imbalances between demand and supply while also reducing exposure to inventory obsolescence. Therefore, MAWAQIF should think of creating online based secondary markets consisting of such aspects as information about traffic, available parking space, car hire services, car garages, trade ins and car markets etc. These can be beneficial both for the users and the company at large.