DI Hackers Day - corona edition

March 31st 2020
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A few times a year we have DI Hackers Day, a day were DI employees work with a selection of projects that are somewhat outside our daily focus. These projects may be to learn a new technology, to develop a new function that we haven't prioritized earlier, or to explore the possibilities for a new service.

We had a DI Hackers Day on Thursday March 26th, where the overall theme was to explore the possibilities and useful improvements relevant to the ongoing situation. We see that the corona crisis is enhancing the megatrends we have seen the last few years: People are using alternative ways of communicating and socializing, and they are ordering home deliveries of ready-made food and other products. We must all do what we can to help the society get through this, and we are adapting great services.
About half of the DI employees and consultants spent their day on this, and the projects we worked on were:

  • Home delivery service for local stores
  • Activity kits for families
  • Coverage numbers for newspapers over a longer period
  • Automatic maintenance of addresses
  • Interface for changing the edition number for newspapers

Home delivery service for local stores To help local stores to deliver their products home to their customers we have created a service enabling the stores to use the carrier network to deliver their products. The stores sends an order list to DI, which secure the handling of the products by the distribution network. The distribution collects the sold items (or the store can deliver them to a nearby distribution hub), and bring them to the customers. At Hackers Day we made the routines for getting the parcels into DI Flow, and a web page to promote the services to relevant stores. The solution may also be used by restaurants, where the food deliveries are delivered by drivers using DI Plan & Go. In Linköping, Sweden, SVHL is now using a solution for importing orders to drive lunch home to subscribers of the newspaper Corren. In Norway, Morgenlevering may use the service for an easier handling of gifts to “everybody in the company”. Please contact DI if you want to take a closer look at this concept.

Activity kits for families This project was to explore if families with school kids (specially now, but also after the crisis) wants to subscribe for an activity kit with games and entertainment. We conducted a small survey and got several great ideas for games and entertainment products that a service like this could contain. The families receives a parcel in their mail box or at the door mat, and can use the games in a given time period, before returning the kit from the same door mat. At the website they may also buy the products they have received. We created a simple service and hope that we can take this idea further with the right partners.

Automatic maintenance of addresses We explored the possibilities to help the distribution by automate larger parts of the maintenance work of completing the address coverage for each route. The concept we made was to suggest which addresses that potentially could belong to a route. To easier see the value of linking the addresses to routes, the coverage checking routine from online stores was also expanded with more logging. This enables us to present to the distribution which addresses that could get more volume if the address had been placed on a route.