Hermes has ‘hackathon’ at Leeds Beckett Uni

University students in Leeds participated in a ‘hackathon’ with delivery company Hermes where they came up with some pretty interesting ideas. These included a multi-platform live chat application and an enhanced GPS tracking solution that would drive down fuel consumption.

Leeds Beckett University hosted five student teams who competed against specialists from Hermes’ Innovation Lab (based in Leeds) as an attempt to ‘create the next big delivery solution’ in six hours of brainstorming and development.

Team 404 were the winning group, who devised an application to streamline the shipping process for myHermes customers. This would improve functionality when printing multiple shipping labels, as well as looking at how the application could potentially integrate with external APIs to include eBay and PayPal.

Runners up on the day (The Wolf Hack) focused on bringing Hermes’ ‘Live Chat’ platform to a number of different devices, including smartphones and digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa.

The judging panel was formed of: Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes; Chris Ashworth, CIO at Hermes; Zoe McClelland, Head of Business Strategy, Operations and Enterprise at Leeds Beckett; and Sean Davis, Technical Consultant from Google, who flew in from Switzerland specifically for the event.

David Turner, Head of Innovation at Hermes, said: “Taking part in events like this gives us access to students who are thinking outside the box. They’re not constrained and we see some ideas that we would never have thought of.”

Such brainstorming and outside prizes for ideas is not new in the delivery industry, with DHL leading the pack in its annual Innovation Day. New blood and new ideas from outside the box can often bring about the ’next new thing’…
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