Monday, October 15, 2012

PROJECT 2 - Product Service System

“Your task is to design a sustainable product service system that would encourage changes towards environmentally positive and socially responsible behaviours in the community.”

Online shopping is a rapidly increasing means of purchasing goods, with no slowing down in sight. Convenience and a wider choice range are driving consumers to buy more and more goods online. A side effect of this trend is that more and more parcels are being shipped all the time, transporting these increasing online purchases to consumers. Even through mass increases in parcels being sent, and increases in technology, the traditional parcel delivery service has not adapted to keep up, leaving this an area screaming to be looked into further.

Traditional methods of parcel delivery involve items being packaged into plastic bags or cardboard boxes, which once used, are often recycled or thrown in the garbage. This one use mentality is not an environmentally sound one.

I created a product service system to better fit a rapidly increasing market in parcel delivery, that not only brings new technologies to a traditional system, but also teaches the idea of reuse beng the most environmentally friendly approach to used products.

My design gets rid of the current cardboard and replaces it with plastic. This might not sound like an environmentally friendly move, which it is not on a one use basis, but where cardboard can only be effectively reused in parcel delivery up to 5 times, the use of plastic along with the structural integrity of my design means that my design will last for a much longer life, eliminating the need to continually be recycling cardboard, or having it end up in landfill.

An RFID tag is inserted into every parcel, which allows not only for more accurate tracking of parcels, but also reduces errors in sorting, which can lead to lost parcels.

The way this system works starts out much the same as the current system. A customer will make an online purchase, which will be sent to a warehouse for processing. The warehouse will pack the items into a re:Parcel, and send the RFID tag information to the customer, who can then track progress via the re:Pacrel app. The delivery will happen much the same as currently, but if the customer is away from home, then they will be able to see if their parcel has been left at the door, or taken back to the post office, via the app. Once the customer has taken their items out, they place the re:Parcel back at the doorstep, and via the app activate that their used re:Parcel is now ready to be picked back up and used again. Once the “pick up now” function has been activated, it will send a message to delivery drivers in the area of the location of the used parcel, so they can pick it back up on their rounds. Once picked up, the parcel will be returned to a warehouse to be used again.