Virtual queue and check-in service
When Covid-19 forced New Zealand into lockdown in March 2020, Satellite recognised an opportunity to help. Drawing on our experience in providing technology to the event industry, we quickly prototyped a software solution to allow people to get out of the weather and safely social distance while they waited for their turn to access essential services, like grocery shopping.
No more queueing
No one likes queueing to access everyday conveniences like supermarkets, or fast food. During the Covid lockdown, people were being told to social distance while also being told they had to stand in a queue — with other people! Then add New Zealand’s unpredictable Autumn weather to the mix and queueing became unbearable, to be avoided at all costs.
It was under these circumstances that Satellite entered the scene with a simple virtual queueing product, NextUp. Instead of standing in line exposed to the weather (and other people), customers would use their mobile phone to txt a keyword promoted at the store to a shortcode. They’d get an immediate reply txt confirming they were now in the queue, with an approximate wait time.
People visiting stores using NextUp were able to wait in the comfort of their car, or any other sheltered location nearby. Once they were to the front of the queue, they received another txt telling them they were at the front of the line and inviting them to come to the store.
Throughout NZ’s lockdown NextUp was used to replace physical queues at New World, Pak’nSave, McDonalds, Ports of Auckland, 2degrees, ASB, Auckland Museum, Auckland Zoo, Little Creatures, DHL, Woodhill Mountain Bike Park and UberEats Drivers collecting from McDonalds.
WFH — Working from home
NextUp was built and rolled out in a matter of days, with a tight team of Account Directors, Business Analysts, Software Developers and Project Managers all working remotely. Through a process of continuous improvement, the rapid prototype became a minimum viable product and was launched at a variety of New World and Pak’nSave stores in Auckland.
Keeping New Zealanders working
Not only did Satellite keep all their staff employed through lockdown without requiring any wage subsidies, Satellite was also responsible for organising the design and manufacture of PPE (personal protective equipment) in the form of Operation Booths using a local retail solutions company Retail Dimension.
Satellite reached out to our friends from the Event Industry who had lost most of their business as a result of lockdown, and were able to redeploy their staff to help manage one of the approximately 50 locations that used NextUp.
In this project
- Rapid Prototyping
- Remote Working
- Product Design
- Software Development
- App Development
- Access Control