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Design thinking with SAP Intelligent Technologies

2 innovative use cases

  • David Pierre
    David Pierre

SAP’s Intelligent Technologies platform helps companies streamline their processes by providing them with next-generation tools. The platform seamlessly integrates with technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and blockchain. On top of that – and just as important – SAP Intelligent Technologies offers design thinking services and expertise, stimulating creativity and innovation in your organization. 

Design thinking

Every new technology – think of the Waze app, or Tesla cars – starts with a simple idea. But how do you get that idea? Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to innovation, relying on clever strategies can stimulate creativity in your organization. That’s what design thinking is all about: gathering experts into cross-functional teams, discussing pain points and creatively applying innovative tools to build a solution.

Design thinking is an iterative process built up of several phases:

  • approach the problem from different angles with a multidisciplinary team;
  • listen to your end-users’ needs;
  • present several possible solutions to your user;
  • select – together with the user – one or multiple ideas and turn them into a prototype;
  • gather feedback by allowing the user to test the prototype, and start over! 

To demonstrate how Flexso applies design thinking, we collected a few of the smartest ideas we recently crafted together with our customers. The first idea has already been implemented, the second idea is put on project priorities list for 2018.

Smart cameras for a logistics firm

The challenge
One of our logistics clients has 150 trucks loading goods on a daily basis. Manually registering all those deliveries can be time-consuming, slowing down shipment planning processes and creating queues at the site’s entrance. The language barrier between international truck drivers and security guards slows things down even more. On top of that, those guards lack the time to focus on their core task: guaranteeing safety on the site.

The Flexso way
Together with our client, we organized multiple design thinking workshops. We mapped out the current processes and brainstormed for possible solutions. Those were turned into low-fidelity prototypes and, eventually, into solutions.

The result
The company now uses automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to automatically identify, register and plan incoming deliveries and shipments in their warehouses. Smart cameras detect incoming or outgoing trucks, and drivers register themselves through a user-friendly kiosk application. That registration is directly sent to the planner, who then assigns the goods to their respective quay number. 

The benefit?
A fully digital process with less manual work and an optimized delivery planning process. Even more, ANPR has the potential to streamline other procedures as well. Why not use the technology to register company visitors?

Discover ODTH’s full story.

Smart classrooms with IoT

The challenge
For a university with over 50,000 students, hundreds of researchers and teachers and many buildings, making sure everything runs smoothly is a challenge. Planning the curriculum and infrastructure services (such as cleaning and heating), for example, is a cumbersome process involving significant manual work.

The Flexso way
Together with the university, we organized a multidisciplinary design thinking workshop with users, infrastructure services and IT. Our goal? Identifying the challenges and needs of the university and generating ideas to plan more efficiently using IoT technologies. After the brainstorm, all participants voted for their preferred idea, until the most valuable and feasible one remained.

The result

Sensors monitor classroom air quality and utilization rates and store the gathered data in SAP ECC Campus Management.

The benefit?
Efficient maintenance of all rooms, as infrastructure services can focus on the most intensively used ones. What’s more: the planning team has more insight into peaks and valleys in room use, which makes it easier to develop a curriculum. 

Want to organize a design thinking workshop to streamline your processes? Contact us. 

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