Taiwan Taxi Case Analysis

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Whether one is in New York City, Singapore, Taiwan, or nearly any other large area, there is always a need for the taxi cab industry. One can make a fortune through what seem like simple operations involving picking up a person in a vehicle, transporting them to their requested destination, doing so and collecting the money. Managing a business in this industry is not easy, however, and careful coordination combined with proper technology and planning is necessary to stay ahead of one’s competitors. In Singapore, Comfort Taxi handled this challenge wonderfully, whereas Taiwan’s Taiwan Taxi company did not. Through detailed analysis, the reasons for this occurrence become clear. The most evident reason that the results of Taiwan Taxi’s implementation of the iCall system were not similar to those of Comfort Taxi is that the information system was not adapted for the needs and wants of Taiwan Taxi's drivers. It was also very problematic that Taiwan Taxi did not emphasize the significant value one would feel by becoming a driver for their company. This could have easily been done this by offering incentives to newly employed drivers. Taiwan Taxi could have also created value with external factors such as employing a marketing campaign, advertising the features of the new iCall system, as well as the added benefits of safety, security and efficiency. The needs and wants of the company’s drivers were not met because management did not recognize the cultural differences that existed between taxi drivers in Singapore and Taiwan. One would not have difficulty believing that several assumptions were made regarding iCall and its potential effects, the largest of which being that Taiwanese and Singaporean taxi companies operated in the same manner, had drivers with the same levels of technological proficiency, dealt with the same kind of customers, and ran the same types of routes. Many of the users of Taiwan Taxi's iCall system felt that it added no value to their service. Since the drivers felt this way, they had no reason to make the system work for them. This is where a major difference in perspectives arose because managers would associate the system with value and invest in it; however, drivers did not feel the same way and therefore the system was not used for the firm’s main goal: to maximize profits and efficiency. Another issue that plagued Taiwan Taxi when implementing the iCall system was the lack of adequately strict regulations in the industry, the most serious of which pertained to being able to enter the business in the first place. In order to become a taxi driver in Taiwan, all one needed to do was pass a basic driving test. No specific training or knowledge was offered beyond this, making taxi drivers appear unprofessional and undifferentiated from any other drivers in the area. In contrast, in Singapore, drivers were required to take a training course at a taxi drivers’ academy and then pass a theory test. These different requirements meant that there were completely different types of individuals driving taxis. Drivers from Singapore viewed taxi driving as a long-term job, whereas those from Taiwan went into taxi driving when there were no other jobs available. This phenomenon created professionals that took pride in their jobs in Singapore, which was very likely a factor that led to the attraction of 16,000 drivers for Comfort Taxi. Though these variables played a strong role in the process, this is not the only reason that the implementation of iCall in Singapore was so successful when compared to Taiwan. An external factor that made a difference in the number of drivers that joined Taiwan Taxi was the reputation of taxi drivers in Taiwan. As mentioned earlier, many people viewed Taiwanese taxi drivers as people that could not find jobs elsewhere, in addition to the track record of some drivers committing crimes against their customers, which created a negative image for all taxi drivers in Taiwan. Many Taiwanese...
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