The client

ZIpcar, a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, is the world’s largest car sharing and car club provider with a network operating in 50+ countries throughout Europe and North America.

The club gives members access to maintained cars and vans as and when they need them, saving them maintenance, insurance, and tax costs.

It has been estimated that one Zipcar helps take 17 privately owned vehicles off the road in the UK.

The challenge

Zipcar was growing rapidly in North America, but its operating model had not kept up with the changing profile of its customers.

While field operations looked to expand into city centres and sales, and sales focused on winning corporate contracts, Zipcar’s large and growing market in universities was being overlooked.

Amongst a rush of innovative projects, few were aligned to the core business needs. The leadership team asked Change Associates to realign activity with key priorities.

What we did

We met with the leadership team and agreed some common goals and three core objectives:

  • Grow the university market
  • Consolidate in existing city markets and explore new cities for opportunities
  • Improve the IT infrastructure.

We used orgvueTM to model the structural and process impact of this approach to help the leadership team understand the interim changes needed.

In addition, Zipcar launched Continuous Improvement in Member Services to ensure positive customer experiences were, as a minimum, maintained during a period of rapid growth. We worked with the Continuous Improvement team to transfer our skills in process mapping and improvement.

A large portion of the Field Sales team was retrained and moved away from trying to sell corporate contracts towards supporting the expansion into universities and new cities.

The success of Zipcar’s entry into new markets was increasingly hard to predict, partly because of new entrants to the market and Uber’s increasing threat to the car sharing model. Zipcar chose to avoid defining an end state for the company and instead adopt an agile approach of testing operating models

The result

  • 12% improvement in the cycle time for resolving member cases, allowing the Membership Services team to redeploy resources to focus on new markets.
  • Membership growth exceeded target in the following year, and member retention increased, resulting in a net increase in membership of 19% in the US.

“Change Associates helped us make the organisation more effective by refocusing onto the activities and markets that really matter – and in particular the experience of our members.” 

Kaye Cellie, Former President

Zipcar (America)