Virgin Train and First ScotRail adopted the click and mortar e-business model to ensure efficiency in their operations and provide their customers with improved services. This enables them to operate through physical geographical presence at strategic locations as well as an online web presence that makes their services more accessible to increased group of customers across the world. Virgin Trains Virgin Trains started its operations on 9th March 1997.
The brand operates as the West Coast passenger rail franchise and is a join ownership between Virgin Management having a stake of 51 percent and Stagecoach Plc having a stake of 49 percent in the company. It employs nearly 3134 people and runs 246 trains per day serving approximately 56,463 passengers per day. The train service provides its passengers with high tech facilities providing power points for charging mobile phones and laptops and an at-seat audio entertainment system.
The company began to venture into ecommerce applications in the early 2000 and its online website www. virgintrains. co. uk enables customers to purchase tickets online, make their travel plans, access information related to train schedules and route networks. Additionally the website also delivers information on travel related needs like hotel accommodation and sight seeing services at various destinations. Scot Rails The First ScotRail company has been a significant part of the railways in United Kingdom.
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The company has established its online presence through its website http://www. firstgroup. com/scotrail that enables customers to plan their trips, make bookings online, and access information on train schedules, and networking routes. The company of late has launched new initiatives using e-commerce application to provide its customers with paperless ticketing system that facilitates customers to make seat reservations online and the confirmation of the reservation is sent to the customer’s mobile and email address.
E-commerce business model in railways E-commerce has transformed radically the way railways operate across the world. The traditional reservation and booking system where the customer had to form queues in the railway stations to make bookings have been replaced by online booking and reservation system. Initially when the Internet was introduced in business establishments its role was limited to accessing information online. Customers could search for relevant train routes and seek information on the train timings and operating schedules.
However, advancing technology has made it possible for passengers to book tickets online through their credit cards. “What characterizes the current technological revolution is not the centrality of knowledge and information, but the application of such knowledge and information to knowledge generation and information processing/communication devices, in a cumulative feedback loop between innovation and uses of innovation” (Castells, 2000; pg 31).
The telecommunications technologies has undergone three stages of development in the past few years – the automation of work where the user task were made easier through application of technology, experimentation with possible scope of applications that the technology can be used in, and utilising this technology in new areas of applications. Hence, this process is a continuous loop between learning and applying in new scenarios.
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