Flexibility Matters: Choosing the Best Technology Platform for your Transportation Service.

From free-floating and station-based sharing to ride hailing, pooling and last-mile deliveries – how do you choose a technology platform that offers the best fit for your service, now and in the future?

Simon Schoen
June 11, 2019
Technology platforms minimise development time and help staying flexible

New mobility services don’t have it easy starting out in a competitive market in which it’s about eating or being eaten. Reducing time-to-market to get ahead of the competition and the ability to rapidly expand and adapt to new market conditions are essential factors determining long-term success. A strong technology partner is the best way to ensure that your focus can stay on the business side of things, such as acquiring new customers, while maintaining a strong product-market fit along the way. The question is, how do you identify which technology platform works best for your venture?

The power of technology platforms

With the right technology partner you have the option of building large-scale transportation services even without an own dedicated engineering team. It’s your technology partner’s job to provide the infrastructure and systems your business needs to launch and scale a competitive product. This doesn’t mean however that the technology powering your new mobility business has to be built from the ground up. In fact, apart from the obvious financial difference there are several reasons that speak against starting from scratch and instead relying on established technology platforms to launch your business.

Technology platforms help you launch your business faster, with tried and tested components and apps that can get you up and running within weeks. With the right technology platform as the backbone for your business, you can rely on a complete technology solution, from hardware, mobile and web apps to integrations with your existing software systems.

Choosing the right technology partner and platform can be a difficult process, as it’s not only important to look at your short term requirements and goals, but also your long-term strategy to determine the best fit. And this is where it gets tricky. Every business will evolve over time and although it would be nice, iterations of your business won’t always adhere to a pre-planned roadmap. And as such, there won’t be one technology solution that fits all of your current and future requirements without hands-on collaboration with your technology provider. That is why flexibility matters to ensure that you and your technology partner stay aligned along the way.

A problem with many technology platforms is that you are forced to adapt to a pre-made solution that in turn doesn’t adapt to your requirements. This can result in your business lacking a unique selling proposition, distinctive customer experience and the ability to adapt to new market conditions. Standard solutions only make sense up to the point at which they hinder your competitiveness. In a sea full of copycats, in which high growth and customer satisfaction are key, these can be make-or-break factors determining your long-term success.

Here are important short- and long-term factors we’d recommend you to look out for in the search for the right technology platform:

Time to market and customisation

The right technology platform should offer a balance between off-the-shelf set-ups, pre-built components, configurable branding and custom feature development. With the right mix, development time can be held at a minimum without making compromises that restrict competitiveness.

For most new mobility services an off-the-shelf set-up can create a strong basis that can be up and running in a matter of weeks. These solutions should already include the main components you need, such as mobile apps, web dashboards and depending on your business hardware, such as telematics systems. It’s important that these components offer the necessary amount of customisation and white labeling options, from adapting onboarding and booking flows to ensuring branded customer touchpoints. Additional integrations to tools, such as CRM systems, analytics platforms and customer support software transform your service from a purely technological stack to an end-to-end business solution.

Long-term competitiveness and the ability to expand your service over time

The success of your new mobility service is determined by the strength of your product-market fit and the ability to adapt your business over time. Paying customers and high retention rates aren’t easily obtained overnight –  they require testing out your service in real market conditions as soon as possible. Customer feedback and real-world learnings can then be leveraged to iterate all parts of your business, from your marketing strategy and target markets to the service offering itself. This is also invaluable for building up a sustainable USP to differentiate your service from the competition.

That is why technology platforms that are designed with a modular infrastructure that can be changed and expanded are so powerful, as they can keep up with this kind of active/reactive behaviour. It’s also important to ensure that your technology stack isn’t a closed system, but open to collaboration and in support of your business development. As you scale up your business, this kind of flexibility gives you the freedom to expand your offering by building and launching additional services on top of your current technology stack.

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Looking for a highly flexible technology platform?

Launch and scale new mobility services in record time with M‑TOOLS. Our flexible architecture and modular components enable you to launch free-floating and station-based sharing, ride hailing, pooling and last-mile delivery services in a matter of weeks. With powerful mobile and web apps, backend services and integrating the world's leading telematics providers and marketing tools, M‑TOOLS offers the full technology stack for your business.

Learn more about M‑TOOLS here.

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Simon Schoen
Growth Manager at M-TRIBES

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