Enterprise for Business

Utilizing an outdated booking platform to re-position Enterprise business services.

Before Enterprise Car Rental purchased Deem in 2019, they had contracted with the company to build a custom platform for their business rentals called EHI Direct. Enterprise account managers would onboard business accounts onto the platform, which included benefits like user management, monthly billing, and rentals for both Enterprise and National car inventory.

However, after the purchase of Deem, and even though the platform had substantial booking volume, enhancements and prioritization had basically gone stale. Built on an old tech stack and competing with newer, funded initiatives within Deem, EHI Direct was a revenue-generating product that had lost its focus and attention.

Company: Deem + Enterprise
Role: Product Design Director
Dates: June 2022 - Aug 2022

  • Design Strategy & Leadership

  • Research

  • Journey/Experience Mapping

  • Information Architecture

  • Concepts & Prototyping

  • Stakeholder Management

  • Presentations

Figma Presentation

Plotting out the journey

The initial goal was to fully understand the usage and needs of the 5000+ business customers on the platform and evaluate the feasibility of redesigning and rebuilding the platform to increase engagement and conversions for the businesses customers it was serving.

The initial team consisted of me (design, research, & strategy lead), a senior product manager, a biz dev partner, several technical experts, and former Enterprise account managers recruited for support.

Getting a full understanding of the problem

Pausing Initial Plans

With some knowledge from our biz dev partner, we learned that marketing had already been involved concerning the EHI Direct platform. As marketing understood interest was the problem, an email campaign had been created to remind customers of the benefits of EHI Direct. Another initiative had begun to rebrand the EHI Direct platform to match Deem’s new Etta brand, giving it a new look and feel.

In my experience, these inside-out initiatives generally lead to negligible outcomes. No amount of marketing would matter without understanding the customer usage and goals. Additionally, EHI Direct users were Enterprise customers...an Etta rebrand would disconnect them from the Enterprise relationship and cause confusion.

We convinced marketing to hit pause on their plans and began working to uncover more information, consisting of interviews with former sales account managers, exporting booking and customer data, and mapping out the beginning-to-end experience for business users.

In-progress plans by marketing to update the EHI Direct brand and create more awareness.

In-progress plans by marketing to update the EHI Direct brand and create more awareness.

Data Mining & Research

Sifting through the historical data, we uncovered a few stories that would soon lead us onto a different path.

Our research quickly uncovered that the EHI Direct platform was NOT just a smaller, Enterprise-branded version of our booking platform as everyone had assumed. In truth, although flight and hotel booking were available on the platform, it collectively consisted of less than 5% of overall bookings.

We were also able to find a major use case for the platform that had gone unnoticed. Although it appeared travelers were booking lots of cars, for a large subset of customers, company admins actually performed the bookings themselves. The traveler on the reservation was simply being appended at checkout. Meaning, the traveler never actually logged into the system.

Second, after mining data and categorizing each of the company accounts, we then noticed that a majority of the bookings were one-way, and of course 20% of the companies in a few categories made 80% of the bookings. The vast majority of the bookings were a specific type of customer and rental.

The outdated EHI Direct platform.

The outdated EHI Direct platform.

Reframing the Initial Goal

Roger Martin, author of “Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works” describes a situation in which most companies are focused on making this year’s product incrementally better than last year’s product. Winning companies, however, focus on making their product better than the market leader’s product. Deciding to be a market leader forces you to start with an outcome and think about what would have to be true in order for you to reach that goal.

Deem and the EHI Direct initiative had made very little progress upselling Enterprise business customers with air and hotel bookings. As we knew more about the platform customers, we learned that the type of customer that needed Enterprise cars and trucks wasn't the same as those that needed hotel and flights.

Now that we had a good defense of why that was wrong, we set out to reframe the goal for the platform, and turn our attention toward a strategy to make Enterprise the market leader in business mobility.

After aligning the team on this new aspiration, we went to work on a proposal to build “Enterprise for Business”, a new one-stop shop for Enterprise business customers.

The pitch to reframe the goal for EHI Direct.

The pitch to reframe the goal for EHI Direct.

Auditing Enterprise's Business Services

As we surveyed the Enterprise business, the priority was clearly car rental. However, truck rentals, subscriptions, car sales, commuting, and fleets were all separately branded and available, operating and managed under different business units, almost separate companies.

Other than the Enterprise stamp and some color similarities, the branding, websites, and messaging were all very different, including account creation and onboarding.

By bringing all of those services into a single business experience, we could create a one-stop-shop for businesses to manage everything they needed for business mobility.

Additionally, with a new business platform, Enterprise Holdings’ investments in future endeavors like ride-hailing and autonomous vehicle fleets would be a clear integration.

Enterprise's many business services.

Enterprise's many business services.

Understanding the Market

Car rental companies used to have one major competitor, the taxi, and mostly in high density locations. Once ride hailing came to the scene, a nationwide fleet of drivers offered competition and rides-on-demand to travelers that didn’t like the troubles of car rental.

Uber and Lyft both offered no lines at the counter, no parking problems, simple transactions, better technology, never getting lost, and rides as a utility. Car rental companies like Enterprise began feeling the strain of being left behind.

Since their launches, Uber and Lyft have both continued to offer more than just their ride hailing services, moving upstream into business markets. Uber in particular launched options like Uber Freight, Uber for Business, and Uber Central, a concierge-like experience to book for others.

Lyft has its own business portal as well, with varieties of programs directed toward companies, like Lyft Concierge. 

Both companies were integrating car rental through partnerships, intentionally becoming the hubs for business mobility.

Enterprise needed get a foothold in this space.

Market and competitive analysis for business mobility.

Market and competitive analysis for business mobility.

Stakeholder Buy-In

Keeping mindful of the existing Enterprise business processes and the needs of the current customers, we modeled new account creation flows, setup, and program activation. Giving businesses the ability to learn about and activate different mobility options from a single experience would mean each of the business units could work together to drive traffic and onboarding through the same paths instead of being siloed.

Once we had a good conceptual strategy, I began creating conceptual screens flows and clickable prototypes for the exec team, laying out the strategy for “Enterprise for Business”. This would be a completely new endeavor, ultimately consuming the EHI Direct customers.

For Enterprise, it would allow them to compete with Uber and Lyft within the business mobility market.

Creating new sign-up, onboarding, and booking flows for Enterprise for Business.

Creating new sign-up, onboarding, and booking flows for Enterprise for Business.

Final Outcomes

The pitch landed well with our executive team at Deem, who were excited to show Enterprise how we could add value to their business in a clear strategy for the marketplace, and at a time where they were searching for the next phase of the EHI Direct platform. Our team believed this was a big opportunity, we just had to convince Enterprise.

With several big areas of focus to bring to Enterprise for the coming year, our executive team championed the final pitch to Enterprise, which gained lots of interest and enthusiasm from those involved.

After several weeks of discussions and deliberation, we finally learned that Enterprise decided not to move forward with the project, but were planning to move all EHI Direct customers over to a separate platform they had built for their European group.

Almost 5 months later, we received news that shed light on Enterprise’s decision. At the time of our proposal, they were in discussions to sell Deem, which eventually led to the acquisition of Deem by Travelport, a global GDS.

A few of the conceptual designs for the new Enterprise for Business platform.

A few of the conceptual designs for the new Enterprise for Business platform.

Ryan Arp

Chattanooga, TN

Ryan Arp

Chattanooga, TN

Ryan Arp

Chattanooga, TN