Water is the most precious element of the universe and over the period water is getting scarce due to its increasing uses. Countries are trying to promote the importance of water and create awareness about its scarcity among the people so that the people uses water cautiously and reduce the wastages of water to the minimum. The sustainability of water supplies and its consumption has become an important and serious issue in many countries and organization, across the globe. Several companies have given a serious thought to the scarcity of water and have thought of alternate method of meeting the requirement of water. One of such company has been Ecowash Mobile which has recognized the excess problem of water consumption and has found out alternate method of car washing (Stark 2015).
Ecowash mobile is a leading waterless, car-washing franchise in Australia and also in the world. It was started by Jim Cornish and Stewart Nicholls, who were formally the rally and race car drivers. It is a Sydney based company started its business in March 2004 and have a vision and motto of “Save water, love life”. The company believes that people should not waste time in cleaning their cars and should not worry about water being wasted when cleaning their cars. Today Eco wash is an international franchisee company that has won several awards and have 100 mobile servicing units across 14 countries across the world (Slack 2015).
The case study explains the business of Ecowash Mobile by explaining the company’s technique of removing stains without using water and by using some advanced techniques and special chemicals that removes dirt without using water. The company propagates the cleaning without water. It also has vision of protecting environment from the harmful use of technology and thus provides its customer always with environment solution of high quality sustainable commercially. The twin vision of water preservation and sustainable environment has become the integral part of the Ecowash Mobile Company and also has also been pledged by all the franchisee companies (Sabherwal et al. 2013).
The case study explains the expansion strategy of Ecowash by increasing the number of products that it served to the customer, beyond car washing and also by expanding the number of franchisee under Ecowash. Further the transparent business culture and good branding of the company has been the key to its growth. The company has also given importance to corporate sustainable responsibility and taken several steps towards the sustainability of environment and reducing global warming. Various pro-active efforts by the company toward building the sustainable environment have created awareness among the consumers which was important to sustain good environment and reduce global warming. Ecowash has expanded its business by using several strategies. Two of the main strategy were developing competitive advantage in its service and products and second is to create awareness among the customers about the depleting environment and scarcity of water in the world. The company success lies in the manner it is able to pull customers by creating the awareness of the requirement of waterless cleaning and In today’s competitive world of market, each company wants to capture larger market share and earn more profit. One of the most common strategies to capture larger market share is to attain competitive advantage in its product against its competitors. The different approaches adopted by the companies to gain competitive advantage are generally, product differentiation, cost leadership and market focus (Rosemann and vom 2015).
Cost leadership concept has been developed by Michael Porter to attain competitive advantage for the firm’s product. It means lowering the cost of production by using advanced technology and increasing the efficiency of production. The company can attain cost leadership through its scale of operation, size and scope of its investment and through its cumulative learning that is reflected in its learning curve. If the scale of operation expands, the company gains cost advantage in terms of economies of scale. It is obtained due to the output, size and scale of operation. Some of the examples are discount on bulk purchase of raw materials, use of freight transport to avail special offers, getting loan offers due to large investment from banks etc. Hence a company can attain competitive advantage by establishing cost leadership in the market (Nordin et al. 2013).
Another way of attaining competitive advantage is by product differentiation strategy of the company. Product differentiation means the firm’s product is close substitute of its rival firm’s product but is not identical. The firm differentiate its product in respect of colour, quality, packaging, price, offers and discounts with that of its rival product to gain competitive advantage in the market (Menon et al. 2015).
Competitive advantage can also be attained by focusing on a particular type of product and market group. It implies, firm should research on the need of the customer and then find out the product which has potentiality in the market and which has not reached the saturation point. Knowing the product, the company should develop it accordingly and enter the market as the first mover (Jeston and Nelis 2014).
Ecowash is a famous waterless, mobile car-washing company in Australia. The company has identified the need of alternate method of cleaning cars due to the rising scarcity of water. It has found a market which has huge potentiality if dealt with proper and prudent strategy. The product introduced by the company was unique and also had a concern for the depletion of the world most precious natural resource. Given the vision and product idea of the company, the best strategy for creating competitive advantage in the market will be product differentiation. The company’s product outline is strong and is a better substitute for car washing with water. It has to create awareness of the goodwill of its product and the future necessity of the world to shift to such alternate products for preserving the water, a scarce commodity. The differentiable qualities of the product need to be highlighted and advertised in details, so that the people realize its importance and shift to waterless car washing from normal car-washing. Proper demonstration of the effects of the chemical used for car-washing will help in removing the fear from the customer’s mind of shifting to new product (Hitt et al. 2012).
Further, Ecowash need to highlight the manner the product will help in protecting the environment from further depletion from global warming. The concern of the company toward environment protection should be propagated among the customers. The customers should be made aware of the quality of the product that helps in the sustainability of the environment. The other service which comes in package with car-washing, like carpet shampooing, superficial scratch removal , leather seat treatment and bumper renovation need to be focused in the promotional activities of the product. The offers for protection services that includes leather seat protection, carpet protection, paint protection and warranty given for one year, requires promotional support, so that the people get aware of the benefits and variety ranges of product along with car-washing. Such strategy will definitely create competitive advantage for the Ecowash product in the market (Hitt et al. 2012)
The industry of waterless car-washing is indeed profitable and unsaturated, thus attracts new entrants. Ecowash need to have sustainable competitive advantage for the product so that it can survive in the competitive environment and be a long-run player in the market (Verbeke 2013).
As the core business of Ecowash is professional car cleaning, it has innovated a special compound that removes the dirt from the body of the car without scratching the paintwork. Later, a residue of the polish is left behind that could be removed with a soft cloth. This has added to the competitive advantage of the firm against its rival firm (Hill and Jones 2014).
The company’s one of the important visions is to be “environmental without any compromise”. This has created a competitive advantage to the company it shows the company’s concern for the society welfare. Ecowash want to give high-quality environmental solutions to the society that is sustainable commercially. They have made this vision to be the integral part of its business culture. The biggest challenge to Ecowash has been to change the mindset of the people towards the concept of waterless car-wash. The customer feared about deteriorating their car outlook in long run due to this new method. To combat this fear, Ecowash strengthen its competitive advantage position by offering additional services along with waterless car-wash like carpet shampooing, bumper renovation, scratch treatment and leather seat treatment and also protection services in terms of providing warranty (Harmon 2015).
Ecowash has developed a sustainable competitive advantage in form of making it capable of providing service not only to small and private cars but also to large commercial vehicles and has exhibited its service in motor vehicle exhibition to attract large car dealers and manufactures for its service.
Ecowash has always given importance to its service quality and delivery to the customers. It has created long time goodwill and given competitive advantage to the company.
The key to Ecowash mobile sustainable business and sustainable competitive advantage is the transparent business culture that is followed by the company. The franchisees are free to contact anybody in the head office during time of need, this include even the co-founders of the company. Such an attitude of the company has given it highest rank in the survey conducted for knowing the satisfaction of the franchisee. Further, the company is very over protective in choosing the franchisee as it affects its brand value. Taking the right franchisee that believes in Ecowash product and keeps the same vision as Ecowash towards the protection of the environment automatically strengthen its position as competitive advantage (Hammond et al. 2015).
Ecowash has strongly concentrated on creating brand equity for its product. It has always given importance to make the customer aware of its products and objectives and also created brand loyalty by giving its best service to the customer. It further gives a strong competitive advantage which remains sustainable over a long period. The company has attained it through new method of promoting i.e., conducting charity events and making its service available in events where generally monetary sponsorship is provided. The company promoted its service y giving gift vouchers and donating the profit from the services provided to the customer, for charity purpose. It also supported its franchisees in promotional activities to strengthen their competitive position in the market (Grover and Kohli 2013).
Ecowash has strengthened its competitive position by promoting environmental sustainability and winning number of awards in this respect. Such things have given push to the image of firm’s ideology in the customer’s heart and earned the customers loyalty towards its brand.
Ecowash has developed its popularity though being active in corporate social responsibility. It has taken sustainability as one of the company’s principle and has tried to maintain sustainability towards environment, business and people. Several productive strategies were adopted that has strengthen its competitive position and has assured its survival in the industry despite of the entry of new firms (Foss and Knudsen 2013)
Ecowash is looking ahead for global expansion after getting well established in the local market with implementation of prudent strategies. It has spread its business in the country by increasing the number of franchisees. To expand the business in the global market, Ecowash should increase its franchisee all across the globe. The franchisees should be made to follow and adopt the strategies of the company. They should made to believe in the vision statement of the company which highlights special care towards environment and customers future need (Eden and Ackermann 2013).
Ecowash has been running its business successfully for about five years and increasing its turnover from A$ 500,000 in the first year to A$7.88 million in the fifth year. Due to this rapid expansion Ecowash has won the award of BRW Top 100 Franchisee models in Australia. This award can be used to promote its success model in the global market and attract the international franchisee to expand the business in the world market. Moreover, the franchisee from the international market will get attracted towards the company due to its comparatively low initial cost of investment and a high return on investment (Drnevich and Croson 2013).
Ecowash need to give importance to three aspects for growing successfully in the global market. The first aspect is the concern for the betterment of environment. The world is concern of global warming and there is an increasing need to make important changes in the environment through changes in the economic actions of the companies and countries. The future sustainability of environment needs future sustainability of economic conditions. Any further depletion of environment will increase the problem of water scarcity in the world and under the situation uses of water should be reduced and environment should be protected. The vision of Ecowash towards maintaining sustainable environment and reducing the use of water by using advanced methods of waterless car-washing should be promoted in the international market to attract the consumers towards the company’s product (Carraher and Paridon 2015).
The steps taken by Ecowash toward environmental protection should be propagated in the world economy to create its image as a environment protector which will make the customer get attracted to its product. The use of biodegradable products for its service and the guidelines strictly followed for environmental protection in its operation are to be highlighted in global market as one of its strategy to expand. Further the use of recyclable bottles and reusable cloths should be given importance in the preparation of global strategy. The step towards maintaining paperless office for saving environment should be promoted in the global market. Such strategies will definitely enhance the company’s image in the international market and help it to expand further (Burlton 2015).
The second aspect of concern in the global market should be towards the commercial sustainability of business in the world market. The two factors that plays a major role in maintaining commercial sustainability is competitive advantage against the rival firms and delivery of proper knowledge about the product to the consumers. Ecowash has been successful in establishing competitive advantage in the local market and the similar strategy it should adopt to develop competitive advantage in the global market. However, it should first make a survey on the requirement of the customer of the target market and then mould the strategy accordingly. It may happen, due to the different requirement, the same strategy for establishing competitive position may not work (Bozarth and Handfield 2015).
Ecowash should educate the global consumer about the smart, environmental friendly method of washing car to make them feel good about preserving environment and saving water. It will create awareness among the customer and also promote a new outlook of doing business that takes care of environment and natural resource (Yang et al. 2015).
The third aspect for successful global strategy should be to develop sustainability of people towards Ecowash that is important for the company’s successful operations and growth. The company need to make the franchisee believe in what they are doing, this will make them stay with the company for longer period and promote the business with full heart. The franchisees need to be trained about the company and the products details as they are the people who are going to make the product success in the international market by implementing the company’s strategy. Further, Ecowash need to support the franchisee completely for promoting the product in the international market, which in turn brings uniformity of strategies and create goodwill and customer loyalty (Bharadwaj et al., 2013).
In the international market, the major roles is played by the franchisees so they should be take proper care by Ecowash. Awards are o be given for best performer franchisee, trips should be arranged for the franchisee as a gift towards their good performance. This will motivate them towards the company and they will promote the company’s product in much better manner. The feedback of the franchisee need to be handled with care and should be worked upon to improve the global position of Ecowash (Alstete 2013).
Though Ecowash has been able to develop good competitive advantage in the local market and has a good number of satisfied franchisees, it does not mean that the same may follow in the global market. Hence proper care should be taken to learn the behaviour of the customer, the need of the customer, the demand for the type of products and the living style of the people. All these aspects affect the consumer purchase and the company may lose its competitive position against a local firm, if it does not make itself fully aware of the consumer habits and requirement (Alexander 2013).
In conclusion the brief is given in terms of the issues discussed above. Ecowash being a waterless car-washing company needs to introduce the idea in the market through different market strategies. It has to work hard toward developing competitive advantages not only in the local market but also in the global market to expand its business worldwide. However, the company has been successful in capturing the local market to a large extent by showing its concern towards environment depletion issues and water scarcity problems. Its unique product has made him create its own position in the industry and also have attracted new entrant due to the high potentiality of the industry. Despite of the new entrants and increasing competition, the company is able to sustain its competitive advantage in the industry due to its prudent policies and strategies with long term goals.
The company believed in attaining sustainable position in the industry not only in the local market but also in the global market. Hence, to achieve it has taken special care to trained its franchisees and linking the franchisees with the growth of the company. Ecowash has made the franchisee be the integral part of the company and made them believe in the company’s policies with utter development of trust between them
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