user experience design

Embedding on a Barge to Design a Solution

Problem

Our client, the leading carrier on America’s inland waterways, has been moving products along waterways for nearly 200 years. As companies grow over time, it’s inevitable that systems change and evolve in a sometimes-haphazard way that can be enough to solve an immediate problem, yet lack critical foresight for growth and scalability.

This is exactly what happened to Ingram Barge Company as it developed its system for monitoring and locating its 4,000+ barges and the products they were carrying.

They came to us with a simple problem they had been trying to solve for decades because of the complexities of their system – how do we monitor and share locations of our barges that are continually moving?

strategy

We quickly realized that solving this problem would take more than a GPS tracker or a spreadsheet. Our team needed to fully understand the company and use our outside perspectives and expertise to create a solution that would work for everyone from Captain to CEO to customer.

We sent our product team on-site (on the river barges) to experience it for themselves and witness the challenges of the client’s team in the field. From there, we continued to meet with the stakeholders to ideate on the best possible way to visualize data and build a system that would help them manage their operations efficiently.

Results

The system we designed and developed improved operational efficiency and reduced overhead. No more spreadsheets being sent back and forth or additional outreach to determine locations. It also enabled key personnel to make better decisions in real-time.

In short, our outside perspective and experience paired with access to stakeholders allowed us to provide a solution that not only met the customer’s needs but allowed them to scale it in the future.

We provided a custom and complex solution to a simple yet unique business problem. .

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