HYPOTHESIS

A Fortune 500 company wrestling with the need to stay competitive or risk elimination by online retail giant Amazon, determined it must transition from solely a distributor / supplier to an integrated service provider capturing customer’s needs and identifying opportunities for growth.

Like many large companies, our client was faced with the understanding that disruption within their industry is a very real possibility and they were worried about being knocked out of the space. With this knowledge, they knew the company had to innovate and think about delivering more value to their customers.

As an “innovation for hire” team, Digital Scientists was able to design and build a voice-activated inventory management app and ordering interface, similar to Alexa but proprietary to the company.

SERVICES UTILIZED

IoT app development
UX design
iOS & Android app
Hotword detection
Voice recognition

EXPERIMENT

Currently there is not an integrated system in place that allows property managers a way to identify and manage assets, inventory and / or tasks assigned to maintenance personnel. The client realized there was an opportunity to create one platform with the ability to predict inventory replenishments and part malfunction, search for and buy parts on the spot, and collect facility data along with integrating their e-scommerce and distribution systems. This could be a game-changer.

Working with our client, we went through a detailed exercise of predicting what the job of a property maintenance manager would look like five to 10 years from now. Instead of focusing on the transaction of buying supplies, they zoomed out. They envisioned property maintenance managers using augmented reality to diagnose maintenance problems in a unit, image recognition to identify specific parts, and voice recognition to be able to place orders. They saw technology being used to predict facilities supply needs, and having the products delivered just in time.

Through this process, we worked to identify the first-phase solutions that could be developed and launched with relative ease and speed. We determined that, because the technicians themselves had limited access to technology, the best way to start was to make the store room smart. So we worked with the company to create a beta test of an app that would run on an iPad located in the store rooms.

TECHNOLOGY STACK

logo React Native

React Native

Our team built the primary app interface and  workflows in record time using components available in the React Native library.

App Store icon with a hammer and an Android Icon

Native App for Apple, Android Devices

Prototype built for use on iPad and Android devices in a hotel / facilities management context.

Logo Snowboy Hotword Detection

Snowboy hotword detection

Highly customizable, Alexa-style hotword detection engine.

Swagger

Automates the output of documentation of the API

ANALYSIS

One of the main outcomes was that our client was able to open the lines of communication alerting customers that innovation and efficiencies are on the way. In just over 90 days we built a working beta app that showed our client’s customers they were serious about innovation and adding value.

While no hard numbers yet, the client expects to see:

  • A more efficient inventory management system
  • Increased customer and guest satisfaction scores
  • Better inventory planning 
  • Detailed customer data around where and what inventory items are needed

While other companies start in the wrong place and build an app without talking to customers first, our client understood that the focus was on the customer and started the process toward new technology and innovation.  

BY THE NUMBERS

30 Days

From idea to funded project in 30 days

90 Days

Functional prototype launched for testing within 90 days