While Covid-19 is changing business and life as we know it, it has also opened up an unprecedented moment in time for companies to test new ideas at rapid speed like never before.
In a recent webinar hosted between Uber for Business and IKEA, Michelle Ciddio, Global Travel, Meeting, and Sourcing Manager at IKEA, discussed how they have utilised this opportunity to experiment with a concept they’d been intending to explore for a while – how ridesharing compared to other ground travel providers, on a global scale. This included both commuting trips to and from the workplace and business trips (international and at home). The results? Read on…
For many, the unreliability and potential risks associated with public transport during the height of the pandemic added to these concerns – especially in markets where public transport was operating on a severely limited capacity. “Public transportation, with the sanitation and hygiene limitations in place today, and the schedule conflicts that we’ve been seeing in a lot of our markets, wasn’t readily available or safe,” Ciddio says.
After extensive research into safety, sanitisation, cost and sustainability, the data pointed IKEA towards ride-sharing solutions as offered Uber for Business. “It was the natural solution, on a global scale, with real-time availability, a high level of sanitisation, and high hygiene standards” says Ciddio.
Uber for Business was one of the services that IKEA found easy to partner with, Ciddio says. “And when it came to alignment on our sustainability goals, and the importance of sustainability as an organisation, we were able to find a great partner with Uber. So we were really excited about that opportunity,” says Ciddio.
The “seamless integration” of Uber for Business into IKEA’s expense process was also a key factor, Ciddio says, as was the fact that most employees were already using Uber for personal travel.
Getting Stakeholder Buy-In
In order to secure internal stakeholder buy-in, Ciddio and her team set to work. They recorded every incident reported via taxi, ground travel, and Uber, and conducted a thorough analysis of the data available – including that around the duty of care, carbon footprint, cost-effectiveness, safety, and security. With one single provider, it was possible to see all the information openly and with real-time tracking and visibility on the ground, it meant Uber for Business was safer and easy to implement into travel schedules.
“For IKEA, Uber for Business will become an integral part of how we get to work and travel. This is the first step into whatever will become this new normal, post-transition through COVID-19.”
Although this rapid shift towards Mobility as a Service was expedited by the pandemic, IKEA has embraced the opportunity to test Uber for Business as a future benefit for business travellers.
Ciddio sees it as a particularly positive addition to business travel in foreign destinations, post-COVID-19. The time between leaving an airport and checking into a hotel, for example, was sometimes an unknown factor in business itineraries, and language barriers made local transportation complex. But Uber for Business solves both of these pains seamlessly.
Partnering with Uber for Business is IKEA’s first move into the realm of mobility as a service, and the feedback from employees has been extremely positive. “We’ve received so many positive comments, so many people that are thankful that this is now accessible,” Ciddio says.