Many people say that the changes in business, such as disruption or applying design thinking, are because technology has advanced. That is one side of the coin. Yes, technology has advanced. The reason we are able to do what we do is because we have the tools. The reason we have the tools is the constant drive to go further and learn more. But this isn’t the only reason. Technological innovation is one tool, the other is human centered thinking.
Let’s take ride sharing apps or taxi apps for example, this was to create a better experience for both client and driver. No longer waving down cabs or wasted hours driving around to find a client, the apps allows a service loop to happen in the palm of both client and driver’s hand. It is the same when we design and develop IoT apps at Polymorph. Our clients come in with real world problems, some are of the big, hairy and audacious goal type and some are about easing the strain of paperwork and finding better, and safer, tools for communication.
A new example and part of our Leased Model of products is Linebooker. Linebooker is a process tool alleviating the stress of constant communication between the transport company, driver and client. In this business process, the stress point is all about whether the load will be delivered on time. To know whether a load will arrive on time, one has to know where the driver is and what their estimated time of arrival is. Previously, this was managed by frequent calls from the transport company’s controller to the driver and the controller logging hours, calling and updating the client. An admin heavy and labour intensive approach that endangered the driver who was taking calls while driving, as well as frustrating the controller and client as they tried to predict the driver’s whereabouts and had to field calls from each other.
“We have the technological tools to create and develop previously unimaginable solutions, but without a truly human centered approach we do not have great innovation.”
Our solution was to create three apps. The Linebooker Driver app on a smartphone that allowed the driver to log their steps through all stages of the workload from pick-up to delivery with a signed proof of delivery at drop off. The Linebooker Controller app which is desktop browser based, gives an overview of all the loads currently in transit. This allows one controller to manage several deliveries. The last part of this puzzle which is yet to be developed, is a Linebooker Client Dashboard which allows the client to view the updated status of all their loads in real time. These three apps have massive cost saving and time saving implications for a company, as well as lowering stress and creating a better work environment for the employees and clients.
Linebooker is a great way to show how product innovation is always a two pronged approach. We have the technological tools to create and develop previously unimaginable solutions, but without a truly human centered approach we do not have great innovation. At Polymorph, we focus on delivering great products with a human centered core. We have helped many companies implement business transformation through product innovation in areas such as insurance broker process, location tracking, signing up new clients in retail and banking. I have seen how digital transformation with innovation and human centered design has created cost savings, alleviated pain points and created flow in the business.
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