Upon analyzing the case, alternatives can be proposed for ATB to address the existing situation effectively. In proposing alternatives, it should be considered what different options the company has to deal with the growing competition from mobile parking services providers. Since ATB does acknowledge that mobile parking services will be playing a more and more significant role in the market, the company should engage in such services, and the proposed alternatives are associated with this area. Three alternatives can be identified: creating a mobile application, expanding it toward providing more municipal services and attractions, and acquiring small mobile parking companies.
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Creating a Mobile Application
The first proposed alternative for ATB is creating its application for mobile parking services. The recommendation is justified by the idea that focusing on products instead of focusing on the needs of the market and the customers generally tends to hinder the development of companies and make them fall behind competitors. In the case of ATB, the product is parking meters, and the customers’ need is to receive more convenient parking services. If the product does not satisfy the need, the company should reconsider what it produces.
An influential business and economics theorist Theodore Levitt has been arguing that defining correctly the industry that a company is in is the crucial component of development (Boone & Kurtz, 2013). ATB should define the industry that it is in as parking services, not parking meters manufacturing. Today, providing parking services requires providers to operate in a way that ensures that a customer receives a wide range of services through a mobile device. This perspective demonstrates that ATB, as it is in the parking business, should not neglect the technological advancements and opportunities of the modern age. After launching its mobile application, ATB will be able to address the same customers with new solutions, thus preserving and potentially widening its customer base.
Expanding the Mobile Application
Another suggested alternative is to expand the mobile application to meet a vaster array of customers’ needs. It is mentioned at the end of the presented case that municipalities may be willing to enable in the future paying for various municipal services through mobile applications. For example, these services and attractions will include using public transport and visiting museums. Those people who have been using ATB’s services face the need to pay for different municipal services, which is why ATB should recognize this additional demand and move toward addressing it.
The shift toward mobile parking services as opposed to operating parking meters represents a case of environmental uncertainty, i.e. changing conditions where businesses need to come up with new solutions to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. An important component of adapting to environmental uncertainty is the strategy of planning, forecasting, and responsiveness. It is indicated in the presented case that ATB expects mobile parking services providers to occupy a larger portion of the market in the nearest future, which means that entering the sphere of mobile services is a matter of surviving for ATB. Moreover, the proposed alternative of expanding the mobile application toward meeting the additional needs of the customers will allow the company to not only stay in the game but also be ahead of its competitors. With the existing customer base and experience of dealing with people who regularly use parking services, ATB already possesses an advantage compared to mobile parking services providers, most of which have no background in the parking meters industry. This advantage should not be ignored.
Acquiring Small Mobile Parking Companies
Finally, it can also be proposed that ATB can acquire small mobile parking companies. On the one hand, this potential decision pursues reducing resource dependence. The resource dependence theory states that companies strive for minimizing their dependence on suppliers making resources available in different ways. By acquiring new companies with small market shares, ATB may make more resources available for providing mobile parking services. At the same time, this suggestion fails to acknowledge the need for successful change. To succeed in an industry that is affected by technological development, companies should implement organizational change, i.e. the adoption of new ideas and behaviors, and organizational innovation, i.e. the adoption of ideas and behaviors that are new to the industry (Benn, Dunphy, & Griffiths, 2014). There is a threat that ATB will overlook the importance of necessary change by merely acquiring mobile parking businesses. Therefore, the company must not only acquire those businesses and rely on them to address new needs of the market but also apply organizational changes to itself to be more oriented toward mobile parking services because their importance in the business is growing.
With the proposed alternatives, ATB can see several ways for its further development. Creating and promoting a mobile application, expanding it toward additional services, and acquiring small mobile parking companies are proposed options for the company to consider. All three have been supported by theoretical evidence, which makes them valid alternatives. Upon examining the alternatives thoroughly, recommendations for ATM can be proposed.
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Benn, S., Dunphy, D., & Griffiths, A. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. New York, NY: Routledge.
Boone, L. E., & Kurtz, D. L. (2013). Contemporary marketing. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.