Hermes hackathon provides glimpse into future innovations

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A unique safe place device and a social media-powered subscription service for fashionistas were among the innovative ideas presented by students at Leeds Beckett University in the UK during a hackathon organized by delivery specialist Hermes.

Five ambitious teams were granted access to the carrier’s development portal to devise potential future solutions that could make an impact on the retail and home delivery sectors.

Hermes, which has a dedicated Innovation Lab in the center of Leeds, hosted the event in conjunction with the university to encourage the innovators of tomorrow to create pioneering ideas combining e-commerce and delivery.

The judging panel include Hermes’s chief information officer Chris Ashworth, Missguided’s head of distribution Karl Harwood, and the university’s head of subject – school of computing, creative technologies and engineering, Paul Doney.

The panel awarded first place to team ‘Ad Infinitum’, who created a unique safe and secure location for parcel deliveries for when people are not at home. The judges explained the team showed great understanding of Hermes’s business model and the importance of final-mile delivery. Each team member took home a Google Home Mini device.

Second place was awarded to ‘The Outfitters’, who each claimed £30 (US$43) Amazon vouchers after their fashion-led social media platform and subscription service earned praise from the judges for its use of big data. ‘The Immutable Legends’ came third with a universal tracking tool.

Commenting on the day, Ashworth said, “I am thoroughly impressed by the ambition and innovation on display today that has allowed these talented students to create a number of pioneering ideas in such a short space of time. The retail and home delivery sectors cannot afford to stand still and we must continue to invest heavily to push the boundaries and satisfy the growing demands of the everyday consumer.

“We’re currently recruiting for talented IT professionals to join our team at all levels, and it’s great to see local talent that should be nurtured.”

Richard Blown, head of innovation at Hermes, said, “We have a commitment to nurture the innovators and business leaders of tomorrow, who in turn will help to shape the future of retail and logistics for many years to come.

“These fantastic ideas have undoubtedly given us food for thought and we look forward to exploring how we could further develop them and potentially bring them to market, while continuing to offer employment opportunities for graduates.”

March 26, 2018

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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