Rebecca Kemp, senior product leader at EROAD spoke at the IT Professionals (ITP) event in Auckland last night, sharing her experience in nurturing ideas through to commercial launch.
The theme for the evening was how to foster innovation, delivering the next great product innovation or solutions that enable businesses to operate faster. Academics and professionals working in information technology congregated in downtown Auckland to listen and learn from Rebecca’s real-world experience.
Rebecca explained how EROAD enables innovation through energising staff within a dedicated 24-hour Hackathon. Small working teams are formed, with staff able to investigate any area of their choosing, working in an open environment. The Hackathon culminates in a formal pitching session, from which ideas are implemented, entered in the commercialisation workflow, or relegated to the box of ‘that was an interesting learning opportunity’.
EROAD has completed five internal Hackathons, delivering multiple solutions either directly or indirectly, that have included new services, improved the customer experience or internal business systems.
These aren’t all the benefits these intensive 24-hour periods are delivering. Already this year EROAD has won company of the year in the NZ Exporter Awards and is a finalist in several other awards to be announced in the coming months. This includes the prestigious Brake Fleet Safety award, which EROAD won last year in acknowledgement of the difference EROAD’s product and services were making in enabling safer drivers and roads.
The company appears on the Deloitte’s Master of Growth list for technology companies and the past financial year has served up another double-digit year of growth.
Rebecca puts this success down to an inclusive approach that fosters experimentation and rewards learning. All EROAD employees are encouraged to participate in the Hackathons, not just those working in engineering. “Ideas can come from anywhere. We’re all invested in making our roads safer, more productive for everyone and opening Hackathons up to all our staff has helped identify areas for innovation” said Rebecca.
This inclusiveness transcends beyond the 24-hour Hackathon period, strengthening inter-team relationships and broader company knowledge.
Rebecca’s presentation at the ITP evening outlined practical tools and techniques that can be applied in any organisation. You can watch the fun of an EROAD Hackathon here: EROAD 2019 Hackathon
- EROAD believes every community deserves safer roads that can be sustainably funded. This is why EROAD develops technology solutions (products and services) that manage vehicle fleets, support regulatory compliance, improve driver safety and reduce the costs associated with driving. EROAD also provides valuable insights and data analytics to universities, government agencies and others who research, trial and evaluate future transport networks. This data enables those who use the roads to influence the design, management and funding of future transport networks.
- EROAD launched with the purpose of modernizing New Zealand’s paper-based road user charging system. By 2009 EROAD had introduced the world’s first nationwide electronic road user charging system and now around 46% of collected heavy vehicle road user charges in New Zealand are being collected using EROAD technology. By March 2019, this had delivered NZ$2.5B to NZTA for the sustainability of the NZ transport network. In the USA EROAD introduced the first electronic Weight Mile Tax service (2014) and the first independently verified Electronic Logging Device service (2017).
- EROAD (ERD) is listed on the NZX, employs over 250 staff located across NZ, Australia and North America.
About IT Professionals NZ (www.itp.nz)
- IT Professionals NZ (Te Pou Hangarau Ngaio) is the largest and most trusted tech body in New Zealand. A not-for-profit Incorporated Society, ITP represents around 10,000 tech professionals and sets the standards for those working with computers and technology.