Sales Strategy for a Community Owned Public Transport Operator

Technology in ticket sales for public transport are changing rapidly. Here, electronic sales channels and data media play an integral role. One of the biggest challenges is, however, the migration of the transport company’s sales channels structures, as this means significant changes regarding the internal resource allocation which are to made under uncertainty. In addition, the transport association’s framework must be taken into consideration as well. In this context, BSL Transportation was commissioned to support a TOC’s transition as part of the strategy process.

Figures, dates and facts for a start

The project’s starting point comprised a comprehensive assessment of the market environment, technological and customer-sided developments as well as the ticket sales’ economic situation. This analysis of external factors also included expert interviews, existing studies from our customer as well as BSL expert knowledge from similar projects. In order to analyse the economic situation, cost and revenue related data was provided by the sales controlling department. Infrastructure and personnel data were also included in order to get a full picture of the sales channels. Results were summarised in sales channel related profiles which also included a SWOT assessment.

The assessment’s results were rated and discussed together with the transport operator’s project team. Initially, the discussion focused on conclusions which could be drawn from expected changes in customer behaviour regarding their choice of sales channel. Taking possible changes to the ticket structure into account, an agreed scenario was developed which was then used as planning assumption for all other project work.

Progressive strategy implementation

Following this, we developed a concept regarding the transport operator’s future sales channel structures. Different alternatives concerning the dimension of each sales channel were being discussed here. At the core the question was to what extent electronic self-service sales channels would replace staff-operated points of sale.

We have chosen a phase model which allows two approaches at the same time – an increase in self-service sales channels as well as a decrease in capacities for staff-operated points of sale. This ensured the sales strategy’s acceptance with customers/ passengers. Furthermore, we have developed a performance measurement and recommendations were given regarding the management of sales channels.

As a result, BSL Transportation provided the TOC with recommendations for action to achieve the targeted sales channel mix and a quantification of its monetary implications. All derived measures were collected in a time and activity plan (roadmap).

08. April 2019