A demonstration implemented in an agile way accelerates product development
In March this year, Protacon organised a 24-hour Proof of Concept service design implementation for Kiirake Oy providing a concrete demonstration of an RFID payment system. The idea of the new service product of Anneli and Mikko Keeninen, entrepreneurs of Kiirake, is to facilitate work of restaurant owners or festival organisers, for example, by replacing the traditional paper based drink coupons with a simple electronic payment system.
The entrepreneur couple, Mr. and Mrs. Keeninen, relate that the idea of the new service product came about last autumn. Engaged in the import of RFID devices, they started to consider whether it could be possible to pay drinks and meals at festivals, for example, with an electronic wristband or voucher instead of cash or slowly functioning banking connections. In this way, the event organiser would also easily receive a specified sales report.
“I think that the idea originally stems from my own experience. Being a festival visitor myself, I have often wondered how it is possible that there is a huge queue to each stand even today in the 21st century. Is there not a way to speed up the purchase process somehow”, Anneli Keeninen says.
Protacon was known to Mr. and Mrs. Keeninen in advance by both name and good reputation. The couple contacted Protacon and together they started to analyse whether their business idea could have the potential for a real-world application. The demonstration was partly financed by the Innovation Voucher of Tekes, a financing support worth of 5,000 euro for business development.
Customer feedback gives a new direction to service design
The 24-hour Proof of Concept implementation was organised in March. These 24 hours were distributed over three working days, during which two Protacon’s software designers immersed themselves in work. The target of the day was to create something visible: a concrete product that could be presented to customers and partners. This target was successfully achieved, and the Keeninen couple have already gathered feedback for the demonstration.
“The feedback has been mainly positive and enthusiastic. With a concrete demonstration, people have found it easier to understand what the service product is all about. We have received constructive ideas regarding other areas of application for the product; for example, contractual lunch service provision, storage management and renting business”, Anneli Keeninen lists.
According to Mikko Keeninen, the service product of Kiirake both speeds up and reduces the work of entrepreneurs, as well as reduces the margin of error in reporting.
“For example, contractual lunch restaurants may still keep manual records of lunches served to each employee. If this process can be taken care of by an electronic RFID device, there is no risk of accidentally recording a meal to a wrong person. The lunch experience of consumers will also improve thanks to a simple and fast process. In addition, the work of restaurant entrepreneurs is facilitated when an electronic report can be printed out once a month by pressing a button.”
Next step forward
The first pilot trial of Kiirake’s service product will take place in the Finnish round of the World Rally Championship Neste Ralli in Jyväskylä at the end of July with an ”electronic drink voucher” as an element of VIP packages offered to companies. In addition, the product will be piloted in cooperation with lunch restaurants and at summer festivals in the more distant future.
The cooperation between Kiirake and Protacon will also continue. An agreement has already been made on the next steps to develop the service product, and the parties have a shared vision of the larger picture.
“We have been satisfied with our cooperation with Protacon. Work progresses swiftly and we have been able to test the business idea immediately with quick tests in practical use instead of waiting for a year or so during the coding process of the application before the first pilot. We are confident that the future collaboration with Protacon and taking the next steps together will also be easy”, Mr. and Mrs. Keeninen state.
The feedback has been mainly positive and enthusiastic. With a concrete demonstration, people have found it easier to understand what the service product is all about. We have received constructive ideas regarding other areas of application for the product.
Anneli Keeninen, Entrepreneur,