Humber College research team works closely with Toronto-based industry partner in order to optimize their deployment process, shortening the duration by 60%+
When people think about innovation, they often think about new products and less often about new services. In the book “Ten Types of Innovation,” patterns of innovation within industries were explored to identify new opportunities and evaluate how firms are performing against competitors. The authors explored these innovation insights, and the resulting innovation principles and framework detail ten types of innovation—one of them is “Process Innovation.”
A Humber research team, led by Professor Timothy Wong, PhD, Faculty of Applied Sciences & Technology, was recruited on a project with one of Humber’s valued industry partners.
"Being able to investigate and analyze an industry partner's active deployment plan has been an incredibly insightful and rewarding experience. With process innovation in mind, my team and I carefully curated an optimized workflow compiled from our research and proposals. We are elated that the project has resulted in a positive outcome for our research partner and will continue to promote innovation in the technology industry." –Chloe Chai, Research Assistant
The main challenge faced by the industry partner was finding methods of optimizing the current process of pairing Internet of Things (IoT) devices to backend data collection and analytics.
The research team first mapped the current deployment method and identified three stages:
- Pre-deployment preparation
- On-site deployment
- Post-deployment validation process
The Humber research team optimized the core on-site deployment process in the following steps:
- Benchmarking was completed by observing the typical on-site deployment process at two different site locations while recording duration and actions taken.
- The retrieved data was utilized in generating a process flow diagram, including the associated timings.
- Repeat visits to site locations were scheduled to confirm the validity of benchmark timing, procedure documentation and flow diagram.
- Evaluating areas of improvement, a new workflow was created with the team’s suggestions.
- Documentation was updated to reflect and compare the proposed process with the current deployment process.
- Tested deployments were conducted using the optimized process, with the duration for each action taken being noted.
After careful testing, it was found that the optimized process reduced the duration of the deployment process by 60%. Through repeated testing, this new process was confirmed to be viable and practical in an actual deployment setting.
The research team concludes that this process innovation, in effect, will generate significant savings in efficiency and labour costs for the industry partner.