Page 4: Identifying a new location
Before selecting a new location for a branch, Enterprise undertakes a detailed analysis. Initially, local managers identify the potential of possible new locations. This is done through a detailed process of forecasting based on existing information, such as how many customers currently use each branch. This process enables the business to spot where existing branches are at maximum capacity and where there might be opportunities for new branches to win business from competitors.
At this early stage, managers look at the population in the catchment area of the proposed new branch. They assess how many cars have been rented by customers in this catchment area from surrounding branches. They aim to understand the amount of business in the area, as well as what level of business is currently being missed because Enterprise does not have a presence in that local market.
Enterprise sets a boundary for a new location aiming to be within a six-minute drive time for its customers. It also needs to be close to referral sources, such as vehicle repair centres, mechanics and dealerships. These are some of the places where Enterprise may acquire new customers, such as people who urgently need a rental car because their own car has broken down or been involved in an accident.
Once it has been decided to establish a branch in a particular location, Enterprise managers consider the suitability of potential sites. Enterprise needs its branch sites to have good access and parking space. They should be easy to get to at all times. If the area around the site experiences frequent traffic jams, this might inconvenience customers and create negative perceptions of Enterprise’s service.
Enterprise managers undertake an initial property analysis to see if a site is worth further investigation. They use a comprehensive checklist to evaluate each location. This includes looking at other planning applications being made in the area, estimating the cost of setting up the branch and considering the impacts promotional signs will have at and around the site.
Enterprise sets high standards
Enterprise sets high standards so that every new branch will provide a better service for customers. For example, the new Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch at Heathrow airport has a convenient and accessible position between the airport junctions on both the M4 and the M25 motorways. This means customers coming from different directions can find it easily. It also has prominent signage to make it easier for customers to see where they should leave rental vehicles that are being returned.
The new branch also has operational advantages for Enterprise. It is a bigger site and allows more efficient operations. Its location means that shuttle times to the airport terminals have reduced. It now takes 10 minutes less to transfer customers from the Enterprise offices to the terminal buildings.
The new branch also offers Wi-Fi and has a rest area for customers. The improved facilities not only mean customers generally feel more comfortable, but also that business people can keep using email and internet whilst waiting.