Being a business based in Coventry Warwickshire, it’s pretty much part of the deal that as a company we have to big fans of Jaguar Land Rover. But it’s not such a hard enthusiasm to espouse: what’s not to like? For any petrolhead – and we have a few on staff – JLR’s products are special. That they’re homegrown, too, is just the icing on the cake.
So we were extremely pleased when JLR said they wanted to work with us on a variety of digital projects: not only was it a huge vote of confidence in our skills; it also meant we could get close to an X-series without having to act nonchalant in the posher sort of car park. (We have never done that, officer.)
In fact, one problem JLR were looking to solve digitally involved – imagine it – a surfeit of these wonderful vehicles. The company manages the whereabouts of 1850 vehicles a day at their Solihull plant. That’s a lot of cars to sign in, to drive to allotted car parking spaces, and then – most importantly – to be able to find again.
Three shifts undertake this work, with forty drivers per shift. That’s a lot of people driving a lot of cars across several handover points. At the moment, all that activity – out of the plant, into the compound, into the bays – is all kept track of on paper. By two guys with a clipboard.
The team-members tasked with this job are experts – they know what they’re doing. The drivers are professionals – they get the cars where they need to go, and they remember where they put them. But there’s a lot of pressure on any paper-based system in this sort of context: can someone read that person’s handwriting? Did you hear that bay number right? How quickly is Car A getting to its bay? It’s hard to know for sure.
That’s where digital comes in. Instead of a clipboard, we can arm JLR staff with an app. Instead of remembering and reporting which bay is home to which car, drivers can input the info immediately – and the cars can be logged and tagged in real time. Not only that, but the app can monitor driver activity, making sure that workload is spread appropriately across each individual.
Not only that, but the app knows where every bay is – and which are empty and when. It directs drivers automatically to the best bay for the vehicle they are driving, and stores that new location. It’s revolutionised how the company handles those 1850 cars every day – and made life easier on everyone.
Our task was to build an app that’s easy to understand, a pleasure to use – and, most importantly, slips right into the team’s daily worklife without causing any disruption. It’ll keep track of every car and take the pressure off those clipboards. In short, we think we’ve made a digital solution as beautiful as those Jags.
… OK, we’re off to look at the pictures in our JLR 2018 calendar for a while.
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