Bikes, Quokkas and Digital Transformation…

I was lucky to spend Christmas & New Year in Australia with family.  While away I noticed a great example of digital transformation which I wanted to share.

No visit to Perth is complete without a trip to Rottnest, an island some 18KM off the coast of Freemantle. It is home to dugite snakes, ospreys and quokkas, possibly the world’s cutest animal. A small macropod and only member of the Setonix family, the quokka exists no where else in the wild but Rottnest. Called Wadjemup by the local Nyoongar tribes, Rottnest (literally “Rat’s nest”) was named by a Dutch sailor after mistaking the quokka population for giant rats…

Meet the Quokkas…

But I digress, Rottnest is now a summer playground where tourists arrive to cycle the island, snorkel the beautiful waters, hike and bird watch, paddleboard, surf and take the obligatory quokka selfie. A traditional visit to Rottnest often meant queuing at the bike rental shop in long, chaotic fashion. Most ferries arrive at similar times and people head straight to the bike rental. Frantic workers would try to match bikes to people and payments and deposits and sign all the hired items out.

But not this time. The entire store has been improved thanks to a new digital system. Customers register on tablets for what they want to hire while in the queue. Payment is made at separate EPOS units, bikes are organised in size and customers can help them selves or wait for help. All the items for hire now have bar codes which are scanned out and back in quickly. Tracking the whereabouts of inventory and keeping a maintenance record must be so much easier now.

I did think how the new field service module for MS Dynamics would be the perfect accompaniment to all this tracking but stopped short of inquiring on what they were using, it was a holiday after all. I was really impressed to see how digital transformation had improved experience for customers and staff on a tiny island in the Indian Ocean. Great inspiration for 2017. 

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