Designing in Context – A Perspective from Ancient India

Designing in Context – A Perspective from Ancient India

Designing in Context – A Perspective from Ancient India

WRITTEN BY

Kalyani Khodke
PUBLISHED​
15th November 2021
DESIGN THINKING​​
SHARE
In supermarkets across the world, vegetables and other organic produce is most often wrapped in plastic film. This is such a common occurrence that most of us rarely stop to think about it. Even those of us who are vaguely aware of some sort of negative impact of plastics on the environment seem to accept the status quo of plastic-wrapped vegetables. It is one of those things, we agree, that should be solved, preferably by someone else. I remember the short-lived thrill of excitement on hearing about supermarkets in Thailand and Vietnam ditching plastics and using banana leaves to wrap vegetables. It popped up on my Facebook feed, I received a brief burst of satisfaction, and moved on with my life, temporarily in an elevated mood. Remember your last attempt to reach the customer service of a large corporation over the phone? Say your Internet Service, Credit Card, or Phone Service provider? “For billing, press 1. For balance … To dispute a charge, press 463…” or “All our customer care executives are currently busy serving other customers. Your call is important to us. Please hold or call again later.” If you are exceedingly lucky, you may even reach a customer service person. But how lucky would you need to be for the service representative to not follow a script, but instead actually listen to your query, think over it, and quickly provide a response that satisfies you completely? Your trusty old car is seeing its final days. You’re thinking of buying a state-of-the-art model. “Better fuel efficiency,” you think, “More safety features. Hmm. And that reduced 0-60 time wouldn’t be bad either.” What if you have the choice between a proven electric hybrid car and just another gas guzzler. Would you at least pause to think about the former? What is actually going on here? Three seemingly disparate examples, but do they have something in common? Each product/service has a context – an ecosystem. An ecosystem comprising of many parts, like the customer, profit, environment, etc. The product/service has a relationship with each part. In a philosophical sense, that relationship could be one of “friction” or “peace”. Friction encompasses the negative relationships between the product/service and the various parts of the ecosystem it exists in. Peace encompasses the opposite. [Not peace as in ‘world peace’ but in the sense of ‘Shanti’ in Sanskrit – that inner calm of mind, body, and spirit.] Plastics introduce a relationship of friction with the environment, banana leaves promise peace. Tortuously delayed (or outright horrible) customer service leads to friction in the customer experience. Prompt and satisfying service causes peace. Humans have an instinctive predilection for peace. Within our scope of awareness, we have a notional hierarchy of concerns such as cost, reliability, safety, performance, uniqueness, (self)worth, etc. As consumers, we want peace for each concern; in practice, we settle for an overall sense of peace conveyed by an unarticulated, often unanalyzed, mixture of concerns. As companies, we are more focused. We make our peace with profits. An overall sense of peace in the customers is rarely the end in itself; it is a means towards profits. Companies often gladly accept the minimum amount of customer peace that maximizes profit. For design thinkers, this notion of friction and peace forms a framework to create a product or service. In essence: What is the extent of friction or peace that the product/service has with each part of its ecosystem? This can be assessed systematically and the literature is rife with methods for specific focus areas, for example, life-cycle analysis (LCA) or cradle-to-grave analysis for assessment of environmental impact, which is one important part of any product’s ecosystem. As designers, we have an imperative to maximize the peace across each part of the ecosystem. Not only does this cater to the instinctive human desire for peace in everything, but it’s also necessary to pass on a healthy planet to our future generations. The ancient world understood this well. As designers of the self, of society, and ultimately, the world, the notion of ever-flowing, ever-pervading peace is described in Vedic literature.

Om. May peace radiate in the whole sky as well as in the vast ethereal space everywhere.

May peace reign all over this earth, in water and in all herbs, trees and creepers.

May peace flow over the whole universe. May peace be in the Whole Universe.

And may there always exist in all peace and peace alone.

Om peace, peace and peace to us and all beings!

— Yajurveda 36:17 — (Translation by Swami Abhedananda, Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, India)

With modern technological advances, it is now more feasible than ever to design products and services that will maximize peace with each part of their ecosystem. The abstract concepts have been propounded for eons. Can we make them a part of our everyday reality?

– Kalyani Khodke For Design Mantrai (4th November 2019)

Related Stories
Building the Perfect Engine for a Global Delivery Race

Building the Perfect Engine for a Global Delivery Race

Building the Perfect Engine for a Global Delivery Race

WRITTEN BY

Incture
PUBLISHED​
2nd November 2020
OIL AND GAS
SHARE

Delivery systems have become the lifeblood of modern business. Think of the biggest companies in the world today and odds are that two of the first names that come to your mind will be Amazon and Alibaba. These are two companies whose core operations are based on flawless delivery systems and are together valued at over 1.1 trillion dollars.

There were multiple factors that contributed to their overwhelming success, but one of the major selling points from the perspective of a customer was ease of mind over the entire delivery process. They were constantly aware of the delivery status of the package, and the delivery time was in most cases impeccably punctual.

This helped Amazon and Alibaba set themselves apart and emerge as frontrunners in a highly competitive sector. There are about 750,000 e-commerce sites in the world today. In order to even make a dent in such a market, it is absolutely essential to ensure that a key operation such as delivery is highly streamlined.

The importance of delivery systems is not something that’s restricted only to the e-retail sector, it’s just that these two global giants are head and shoulders above the rest. The increasing relevance of an efficient delivery system can be plainly seen in a variety of other sectors as well. It is a key operation for companies dealing with products as diverse as food and beverages, IT products, groceries, furniture and even pharmaceuticals.

Product quality is, of course, the primary factor behind customer attraction and retention, therefore the primary question that faces any business is ‘What is my product?’ In today’s highly connected world though, there is a strong case that the next most important question should be, ‘How do I deliver my product?’

Incture Technologies is eager to play a major role in the digital transformation of the delivery process. We have worked with clients across the globe to help them digitize their delivery systems, thus helping them cut down on time taken per delivery, boost customer satisfaction and ensure efficient utilization of delivery resources.

One of the prominent clients who have been using this solution is SynnexMetrodata. It is one of the biggest Information and Communication (ICT) product distributors in South East Asia. It caters to various customer segments in over 123 cities and offers a one-stop shopping experience for a wide range of ICT offerings, from hardware, software, and telecommunication products, both for consumer and a total ICT infrastructure solution for commercial purposes.​

Due to the scale at which they operated, they needed a reliable and effective delivery system that could minimize potential logistics errors and maximize customer satisfaction. They realized that reliance on manual information exchange would not be efficient enough, so decided to opt for a technology solution that could help them smoothen out the whole operation.​

This is where Incture stepped up to provide a comprehensive solution. Our Proof of Delivery (POD) application provided them with 100% visibility in real-time, which helped monitor the delivery agent’s location and optimize routing and deployment. It also provided shipment verification, order details on-the-go and a dependable communication channel between admin and delivery team. These features helped to significantly simplify and optimize the task of effectively managing a delivery fleet.

To know more about how we can elevate your delivery process, reach out to us at marketing@incture.com.

Related Stories

Digital Transformation in the Oil and Gas Industry

Digital Transformation in the Oil and Gas Industry

Digital Transformation in the Oil and Gas Industry

WRITTEN BY

Incture
PUBLISHED​
17th October 2021
OIL AND GAS
SHARE

The roadmap of many oil and gas companies today stands on the cusp of digitization. While other similarly sized industries such as aeronautics, renewable energy and manufacturing have successfully adopted technology to help boost business and processes, oil and gas still loses money due to a lack of efficiency in operations. According to Deloitte, this loss stands at a whopping $35 billion reported by listed upstream, oilfield services, and integrated companies worldwide in 2016.

The same report also states that even an increase of 1% in capital productivity is enough to write off this cumulative net loss. The empirical data seems to clearly indicate that the oil and gas industry is primed for a digital transformation. The easy availability of connected devices, combined with smart apps that can streamline all aspects of the production process by utilizing the latest cutting-edge technology, makes the choice to go digital a no-brainer.

We at Incture Technologies are actively working towards aiding this digital transformation. Our apps and solutions have helped transform operations and processes across multiple industries, and quite a few of our marquee clients are working in the oil and gas sector.

One of the prime examples is an ongoing project with a leading multi-national oil and gas company. The company works with thousands of resources taking care of day-to-day operations, repair, maintenance and many other such tasks.

The staff provided data on pen and paper, which resulted in very low visibility for the company’s admin team, as well as process inefficiency and an inability to accurately predict costs of operations. They wanted to improve operational efficiency, reduce manual paperwork and digitize the entire process.

This is where Incture stepped in to provide two solutions in the form of the Digital Field Ticket (DFT) and Integrated Operations Platform (IOP) apps. DFT is used for tasks where third party vendors are involved. Earlier the whole process of invoice creation and verification would take weeks, due to geographical difficulties. But with DFT, the vendor staff can upload data from any location, even while offline!

The company now requires less than 8 hours to create a digital ticket, seek approval and document in the service center sheet. DFT has been adopted for 40 vendors so far and plans are in place to implement the solution for the company’s operations with more than 400 vendors.

The IOP app, on the other hand, is a one-stop solution to monitor all aspects of the production process. Earlier there was no system in place to effectively monitor requirements, task assignments and task completion. The data about operations was also scattered across multiple systems, making data anlytics a difficult task.

IOP helped the company communicate more effectively, assign tasks to the best suited teams, achieve real-time visibility and capture data across the board. This helped them reduce turnaround time by as much as 40% in some cases.

The apps were also integrated with multiple process points; thus adding transparency, accuracy and predictability to all invoicing functions undertaken by all stakeholders.

This just one example of how our technology is helping industries adapt to a brave new world and boost profitability while they’re at it. If you want to see what kind of value we can create for your organization, reach out to us at marketing@incture.com for a free demo!