What Solution Needs To Be Made to Reduce the Length and Longevity of a Line, Particularly in this Time of Covid-19?

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Overview

Schools around the world suffer from a particular problem within their cafeterias, long lines. To elaborate on this idea, these lengthy lines act as a hindrance to anyone who steps into the linear group of people. The hindrance of these lines is: time being wasted and close contact with germs that can result in the spread of germs. The first problem is the students of school staff in these lines have to wait a long time to get their food, and that takes away time from these individuals to do other activities: studying, completing assignments, or even hanging out with friends. The other issue surrounding lines, particularly in school cafeterias, is the close contact with individuals of the linear group known as lines. It is a known fact that Covid-19 “spreads mainly among people who are in close contact”, and this situation is not ideal particularly in schools, due to teachers, students, and potentially families being infected with the virus (CDC). Thus, how does the problem of these long lines can be fixed indefinitely, the answer lies within the up-and-coming product known as “Line Trimmer”.

The Business Model Canvas (businessmodelgeneration)

Graphic of the Business Model Canvas, taken from Digital Business Consult

In my class we learn about the Business Model Canvas, which is a model that contains requirements and parts that are used to design a product or service, which are:

  • Value Proposition – The product or service itself with its description
  • Customer Relationship – The relationship a company has with its customers: personal assistance, dedicated personal assistance, self-service, automated service, communities, and co-creation
  • Channels – How a product gets distributed to customers or how to make potential customers aware of a product
  • Customer Segments –  groups of customers in a particular market that a company serves
  • Revenue Streams – The money that is obtained by businesses from their customer segments
  • Key Activities – The important activities that businesses must do in order for their business models to work
  • Key Resources – The important things that businesses need in order for their business models to work: physical, intellectual, human, and financial things
  • Key Partners – Businesses important relationships  with partners and suppliers that are needed for their business models to work
  • Cost Structure – The costs and revenue of businesses that are due to their business models

Important Information of Line Trimmer

Value Proposition of Line Trimmer: 
Two people designing a product, taken from Bplans

Line Trimmer is a software/website that allows people to purchase food and pre-order food online, from the cafeteria, on their phones, a big touch screen tablet, or a laptop. By using any one of the three methods of ordering, Line Trimmer provides the ordering student/customer with a number (the next person to get served their food is indicated by their number) where they get their food which is numbered with the same number as the one who purchased the food. This theoretically reduces the length of the line and how long a person stays in line to get food and reduces the need for having a separate line to pay for the food.

Customer Segments of Line Trimmer:
Group of students, taken by Javier Trueba
  • Schools (teachers, office staff, and students)
  • Parents
Customer Relationships of Line Trimmer:
Image of Self Serving Kiosk, taken by tapbox
  • Automated services – members of the school serve themselves by purchasing food from their respective cafeteria through the software by using mobile devices, laptop, or self-serving kiosk
  • Self-service – trained individuals/staff belonging to the school that purchased the software, are trained by the company that owns the software, so they are able to assist members of a school or organization if something is wrong when the members are using the software
Channels of Line Trimmer:
Image of person handing out flyers, created by Erika Giraud
  1. Awareness – Organizations can become aware of the software through advertisements on Instagram or youtube
  2. The school or organization transfer money (through a bank or maybe PayPal) to the software company
  3. Send a hard drive of the software to the purchasing school or company
  4. The software company teaches suitable members/ staff of a school or organization to help other members of the school or organization that are facing problems with the system
  5. Website so people who do not have access to a mobile device, but have a laptop, can use the software
Revenue Streams of Line Trimmer

Schools with cafeterias belonging to organizations pay the owning company of the Line Trimmer by subscription fees, so they pay a certain amount of money per month.

Reasons for Line Trimmer

First Image: Image of people losing patience in line, created by Aloomy; Second Image: Diagram of that shows how Covid-19 spreads, created by The Conversation

To elaborate on the reasons for needing Line Trimmer, the first reason is the negative effects of waiting for a long time have on the members of school waiting in the line and the business of the cafeteria. It should be known that waiting in line is painful, and it makes a customer leave that line and leaves the customer to summarize their entire shopping experience with negative feelings associated with waiting in line (Kirill). So this “waiting” will definitely add the desire of students wanting to leave the school line and make the school cafeteria lose potential customers on that particular day.

The other problem involving is lines, is the spread of germs within the linear group of students, especially in this time of Covid-19. It is known that Covid-19 is spread “through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected people” with the virus (World). Therefore, this catastrophic situation does not make lines ideal when members have to be huddled up in a linear group in order to get food, and of course, schools do not want to run the potential risk of their members and their families getting sick.

Customer Research

Effective customer research is when a company “get out of the building”  and ask potential customers questions to test out hypotheses, which the answers are used for the design of the companies product (Will). Through my own research, a student believes that there is enough staff in the cafeteria to provide food and staff to work at the cash register where students pay for the food are the reasons why the lines are long in his/her school. Another student suggests that why the lines are long is that there is a large number of students belonging to his high school and space where the lines are formed. This suggests that the possibility that school cafeterias do not provide or do not have the resources to reduce the longevity and length of the lines that members of a school wait in.

What you can do

  • Please fill out this form on Line Trimmer linked here
  • Please answer these questions in the comment section below:
    • If you had the opportunity to develop the solution to reduce the length and longevity of lines, what would the solution be, and how and why would it work?
    • What other problems do you think should be focused on that Line Trimmer should also solve and why?
    • What areas besides schools need a line reducing software and why?

Citations

The link to the citations are here.

2 Comments

2 comments

  1. Zoë Waechter

    Hi Caden! Your project was clear and laid out your BMC and thought process very well. I think that your idea is great and since other businesses (such as Starbucks or McDonalds) uses online ordering, maybe you could partner with them so that users could order to a lot of different places through your software. Thank you for sharing your project!

  2. Avatar

    Hi Caden! You clearly have put a lot of thought into this project and I learned so much about the process to develop a service. Your idea is also really interesting and I think that it is great how you were able to consider the more modern-day implications and relevance of certain technologies. Great work!

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