NashTech

How THE OUT is disrupting the premium car rental industry

How THE OUT is disrupting the premium car rental industry

Industry
Technology
Introduction

By working closely and collaboratively with the NashTech development team in Vietnam, they were able to build a high quality, digital first, luxury rental car service. Looking ahead into the future, THE OUT is focused on their product roadmap and expanding their offerings to B2B customers including travel agents and concierge partners, and building a new portal to serve them.

Not just another car rental company

Roughly five years ago, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) saw a future riddled with challenges and opportunities for the legendary carmaker. As the world urbanised, significant shifts in consumer behaviours began to surface. In major cities, personal car ownership was declining and people were relying more on public transport, rental cars, and ride-share apps like Uber or Lyft to get them where they need to go. Missing from the equation? A true luxury car experience for those who wanted to travel in style. Senior leadership saw these trends for the challenges they were and began experimenting with possible ways of adapting.

When strategists at JLR cast their eyes toward the car rental industry, they saw a major opportunity for disruption and differentiation. JLR observed that the typical rental experience for drivers (including those who could afford luxury rental vehicles) was pockmarked with hidden costs and unnecessary friction.

Enter THE OUT, powered by Jaguar Land Rover’s internal incubator. From the beginning, THE OUT’s success depended on its ability to deliver a premium, seamless experience.

It wanted to remove the headaches people normally associate with renting a car and replace them with pricing transparency, a paperless process, a flawless digital experience, and remove all the friction people naturally associated with renting a car.

At THE OUT, the customer would not need to worry about picking up, dropping off, or refuelling the vehicle. However, to execute on this vision, the technology and systems supporting it needed to be exceptionally well designed and free of error.

“At the price point we charge … every step of the
customer journey needs to be perfect.” 

Jonathan Chong – Managing Director, THE OUT

Building a development team for complex needs and flawless delivery

THE OUT needed a team to ramp up quickly to meet their goals. However, hiring tech talent in central London is neither cheap nor easy. They began meeting with solutions providers capable of delivering on their needs, but NashTech stood out as being consultative, straightforward, and free of any unnecessary bloat in the sales process.

THE OUT began work in early 2020 working as a hybrid team of offshore NashTech developers in Vietnam and full-time Jaguar Land Rover employees in the United Kingdom. However, the decision was eventually made to shift all development work to the NashTech team.

Creating exceptional user experiences

From the beginning, the NashTech team was instrumental in THE OUT’s growth and evolution.

“We’ve had to deliver some really complex projects on really tight deadlines and they have not batted an eyelid. We wouldn’t be where we are today … without the team I have in Ho Chi Minh city.” 

Jonathan Chong – Managing Director, THE OUT

The development team had to balance the business need for detailed, often complex processes with the need for a low friction, high quality user experience. In one such case, the NashTech team was tasked with crafting the process for identification verification. THE OUT needed a way to gather detailed information about its customers to ensure only qualified drivers would be driving the rental cars while preserving a seamless, premium experience for a clientele that expects white glove service. Working closely with their partners in the UK, the NashTech team was able to build this functionality.

Another such example came when THE OUT decided to migrate their task management system to a new provider. This project was even more challenging in many ways because THE OUT’s task management system is very complex and, while it is an administrative process on the back end that customers never see, it has a major impact on their experience. This system is used to ensure vehicles are being delivered on time, collected, cleaned and maintained properly. If these tasks are not completed as planned, the customer experience is impacted.

THE OUT worked closely with the NashTech team in Vietnam to deliver a seamless transition. There was no margin for error when migrating task management systems so the NashTech team prepared by rehearsing the release many times in the lead up to identify any potential issues before the changes went live.

They also remained in constant contact with the rest of THE OUT’s tech teams to ensure a successful migration without issues or errors.

When it finally came time to take the migration live, “customers weren’t even aware of the transition and that’s a good sign!” said Chong.

Intentional partnership and mutual respect driving results

The question naturally arises, why was this partnership so effective? THE OUT spends a great deal of time collaborating with the development team in Vietnam for the four hours of the day where their time zones overlap. During this time, they focus on ensuring a clear division of labour and make time for the development team to ask questions and give feedback on how THE OUT’s goals can be best achieved.

Rather than just listing out requirements and turning the developers loose on them, THE OUT values feedback and actively asks the team in Vietnam to advise on and indeed, challenge its plans.

THE OUT has also spent time communicating its culture and strategic vision to the team. This extra step had the effect of bringing everyone together on the same page, increasing engagement and performance.

“A lot of [the developers from NashTech] have been with us for 3-4 years and feel like a part of THE OUT.” 

Jonathan Chong – Managing Director, THE OUT

Lessons learned

Throughout the process of establishing this successful partnership THE OUT learned several lessons along the way:

Go all in!

Engage your offshore team and bring them on the journey with you. When you have a team of passionate developers committed to your success there’s “nothing more to ask for in a partner,” said Chong

Make clear who is responsible for what.

When working with a distributed team, a clear division of roles is essential for operating effectively and efficiently.

Make communication a priority.

Keep in mind English is often the second or third language of these developers. Be empathetic to the fact that they are presenting to native English speakers.

Ask for feedback and counsel.

Your overseas team needs to feel ownership and responsibility for making a project successful. And, they often develop deep knowledge of the tech stack. Invite challenges to the way things are being done.

Building on success, building for the future.

Since first engaging with NashTech, THE OUT has grown by 300 percent and achieved a 4.8 rating on TrustPilot and the iOS App Store.

By working closely and collaboratively with the NashTech development team in Vietnam, they were able to build a high quality, digital first, luxury rental car service. Looking ahead into the future, THE OUT is focused on their product roadmap and expanding their offerings to B2B customers including travel agents and concierge partners, and building a new portal to serve them.

Interested in learning how NashTech can help grow your business? Contact us now!

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How THE OUT is disrupting the premium car rental industry

By working closely and collaboratively with the NashTech development team in Vietnam, they were able to build a high quality, digital first, luxury rental car service. Looking ahead into the future,...

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