Hitchhikers Guide to Disintermediation

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# Data Pulse 42

When I was a student at Durham University  we’d walk up to the A.1 , stick out our thumbs and Hitch a ride south. Sometimes we waited for a long time, and sometimes we had a very odd ride, but we had time and little money.

I’ve just driven my daughter back to Bristol University and things have changed dramatically in the last 30 years.

Bla Bla Car is a digitally enabled ride-sharing network, connecting travellers who are making similar journeys so that they can save on travel costs and meet like-minded from trusted community of more than 20 million verified members. it’s a great example of understanding customers stories and then developing a brand story using data and digital that works for customers , fitting for them .

Drivers who want to offer a seat in their car submit the details of their journey online and set a price per passenger. Someone looking for a lift can then search the offered journeys and book a place. After meeting at an agreed point and completing the journey, the users then rate each other. The feedback system promotes trust within the community so that people can feel safe and secure when sharing a journey

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A fast growing example of a community sharing organisation that brings together users with excess capacity for their capital investment (someones car) with a user who has a need for that excess capacity, at in improved value for money . 

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Quick in, quick out. I like

Vikden groceries

#data pulse # 41

Easy in and easy out are key elements of convenience retailing, and Robert Ilijason a 39 year old IT expert has used digital and data to create the first unstaffed convenience retailer in a remote part of Sweden.

It was a chaotic, late-night scramble to buy baby food with a screaming toddler in the back seat that gave Robert Ilijason the idea to open Sweden’s first unstaffed convenience store.

Home alone with his hungry son, Ilijason had dropped the last baby food jar on the floor, and had to drive 20 minutes from the small town of Viken in southern Sweden to find a supermarket that was open.

Now the 39-year-old IT specialist runs a 24-hour shop with no cashier.

 Customers simply use their mobiles to unlock the door with a swipe of the finger and scan their purchases. All they need to do is to register for the service and download an app. They get charged for their purchases in a monthly invoice.

The shop has basics like milk, bread, sugar, canned food, nappies and other products that you expect to find in a small convenience store. It doesn’t have tobacco or medical drugs because of the risk of theft. Alcohol cannot be sold in convenience stores in Sweden.

“My ambition is to spread this idea to other villages and small towns,” said Ilijason. “It is incredible that no one has thought of his before.”

He hopes the savings of having no staff will help bring back small stores to the countryside, so you can have more distribution with longer opening hours in remote areas.

Ilijason receives deliveries at the shop and stacks products on the shelves. Then he lets the customers do the rest.

He has installed six surveillance cameras to discourage shoplifting in the 480-square-foot store. Also, he is alerted by a text message if the front door stays open for longer than eight seconds or if someone tries to break it open.

“I live nearby and can always run down here with a crowbar,” Ilijason said laughing, but added that hasn’t been necessary since the store opened in January.

A bigger challenge has been getting some of the elderly residents in Viken, a town of 4,200 people, to get the hang of the technology involved.

Tuve Nilsson, 75, said there were many more shops in the town when he moved here with his family in 1976. He welcomed Ilijason’s new store, saying it could be convenient for elderly people living alone.

“But if they can manage this (technology), I don’t know,” Nilsson said. “Sometimes I don’t understand it.”

Ilijason is considering other ways to unlock the door that wouldn’t require using an app. He’s ruled out face-recognition or fingerprint scanners, but is thinking of installing a credit card reader like some banks use. He’s also considering having one person man the store for a few hours a day to help customers who aren’t comfortable with modern technology.

Other customers loved the speed of the no-service store. Raymond Arvidsson, a friend of Ilijason’s, did his shopping in less than a minute.

“No queues,” he said, smiling. “Quick in, quick out. I like.”

Vicken sweden

 

Data driven vision for Social Security in Bolanzo

 

data pulse #32

SMART sensors keep Italian seniors living at home

There have been significant step changes in Healthcare in the last few years through their use of predictive and algorithmic data , data segmentation and technology to solve organisational problems

Limited budgets and resources posed a challenge for the city of Bolanzo, with elderly citizens representing almost a quarter of the population and nearly 50% of social budget. With ongoing medical advances, greater numbers of the elderly are living longer and staying in their homes, often alone. The city wanted to ensure their safety and provide the required services, but needed a cost-effective way to know when people needed help.

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The city has implemented an advanced mesh-network of sensors that monitor the home environment – temperature, CO2, water leaks etc – of elderly citizens living alone. Remote interaction with medical professionals via touchscreen and mobile devices provides healthcare advice, saving trips to the doctor.

The technology will also alert ‘angels’ – friends or relatives of the user – if there is a problem, so they can provide assistance until the appropriate services arrive.

This enables social service and health staff to concentrate on people who really need a physical presence with them, while maintaining excellent quality of life for those in the monitoring programme.

If you’d like to checkout a short film that talks it through, here’s the link through to youtube

data driven Volvos

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The problem at V.W. caused by the scandal of emissions testing shows just how far car manufacturers have changed from being mechanical and electrical engineering companies to being software companies. A modern car is now a moving computer emitting data like a Boeing 747.  V.W. leadership are all great mechanical and electrical engineers but they just didn’t quite understand software and data, and hadn’t made the transition in organisational culture , systems processes. Hence the problem that crept in through the corporate governance.

Car companies will need to retell their brand stories to customers and become part of customers’ own stories.

One company that has started to tell its “brand story of safety” consistently to customers using data and technology is Volvo.

‘Volvo on Call’ allows Volvo owners to control their car through their phone. The app allows the driver to perform a range of checks and commands without having to be near the car, such as: check the cars maintenance levels, create and track a personal driving journal which can be transferred into an excel format as data, identify the car’s location, lock/unlock the car, call an operator for roadside assistance using your GPS location.

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Volvo are also using data to improve road safety for drivers, introducing a new system that warns drivers of potentially hazardous road conditions ahead. This is achieved through pulling data from wheel sensors to detect the presence of black ice. When this happens, the car transmits a GPS location to the Volvo Cloud platform, which sends the data to other vehicles nearby that are equipped with the system. These cars then see an icon on their dashboard warning them of the risk. Similarly, sensors are attached to Volvo cars’ hazard lights to detect when they are activated. At that time an alert is sent to nearby cars, warning them of a hazard ahead.

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Icy road data gathered during the pilot was shared with road authorities so they can improve road safety through gritting or public announcements. Using data and technology as an integral part of the brand story and customer journey / customer experience is a critical skill organisations will need to build. The implications for Insurance companies will be significant, as the risk factors will significantly change from who I am, where I live , and what i buy to more how and where I drive….. one to watch.

Predictive analytics running shops

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Energy usage accounts for 60% of the operational carbon costs in running shops. In with its 2020 vision for sustainability, Sainsbury’s set in motion a series of CSR strategies. A revamped refrigeration strategy prioritised carbon reductions, although not necessarily reduced costs.

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Fridges and freezers were all fitted with devices to monitor performance (primarily energy usage and temperature). This information, pushed every 15 seconds, provided an alarm strategy so that any unit that strays from its optimal temperature can be identified immediately. This systematic approach ensures that all food types are kept at the right temperature for as long as possible, so that customers always receive the freshest goods.

Sainsbury’s then transitioned from active management to predictive management. With the data being produced by refrigeration units, it was possible to identify which types of cabinet performed best, which refrigerants are most efficient, and to predict which units would need to be serviced and/or have parts replaced. In this way, Sainsbury’s could stay ahead of the curve and react before technical failures caused serious losses.

Data and digital technology is being used to deliver solutions to business problems making it Better for customers ( more environmentally friendly and always available fridge and freezers) Simpler for colleagues in store ( central predictive control means fridges are never down and have to be emptied and repaired) and Cheaper for the organisation ( less energy, better refrigeration contracts less stock wasted)

cutting the corners using data

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data pulse #22

UPS generates rich data through devices, vehicles, tracking materials and sensors throughout its operations. Using advanced data analytics it aims to ‘turn that complex universe of data into business intelligence’.

Route optimisation delivers immense value for UPS – a reduction of one mile per driver per day results in up to $50 million each year. Telematics sensors in UPS vehicles monitor speed, direction, braking, RPM, oil pressure, shifting, idle time, seatbelt use, and hundreds of other data points, including geographic and map data. The analytics team now runs advanced algorithms to crunch all of this information, factoring in delivery routes, customer information, business rules and employee work rules. These algorithms can determine the vehicle’s performance and condition, and can even recommend driving adjustments.

Through these analytics, UPS reduced total miles driven per year by 85 million. Idle engine time was also reduced by 10 million minutes. The information UPS receives allows fully informed decisions about vehicle replacement, and helps determine best driving practice so that drivers get the best possible training.

“We don’t look at initiatives as ‘analytics projects,’ we look at them as business projects. Our goal is to make business processes methods, procedures and analytics all one and the same.” – UPS Senior Director of Process Management.