TECHNOLOGY IS ONLY A TOOL
After completing some business in the LA area, I returned my rental car to the Avis parking lot at Los Angeles International Airport (lAX) As I started to get out of the car and unload my bags, an Avis attendant greeted me with a handheld computer and asked me for a copy of my rental agreement I said to him, “Don’t bother. I need to go to the check-in desk anyway, as I forgot to give Avis my frequent flyer number when I rented the car last week No problem he replied, “I can handle that here too, so-you don’t have to go to the desk.” Impressed by his ability to handle this non routine activity with his handheld computer I commented, ‘To day’s technology is truly amazing To which he curtly answered, “It’s only a tool Caught off guard by his statement, I asked him to explain what he meant. He continued “It’s only a tool. Just like a wrench is only as good as the mechanic who has been trained to use it, so technology is only as good as the people who have been properly trained to use it in their everyday work To which I could only respond, “You’re 100 percent right Source Mark M. Davis. The hand-held computer is just one of many technology tools that Avis uses to improve its operations in terms of both increased efficiency and better customer service. For example, customers now have a choice of making a reservation either online at the Avis website or by speaking with a customer representative at a call center. Technology in the form of software allows Avis to (a) use yield management techniques (which are discussed in a later chapter) to maximize revenues, (b) schedule workers. and (e) forecast demand for both cars and customer calls.