Posti is constantly seeking to develop its operations and further the digitalisation of its working environment. At the moment, Posti’s parcel drivers make use of various mobile devices. However, the aim of the company is to reduce the number of devices in use and to achieve this change as smoothly and flexibly as possible.
In order to achieve this, two students from Aalto University School of Business carried out a project for Posti. They investigated the usability of parcel drivers’ mobile devices and the wider changes to the digital working environment. These two students were Sofia Kousa, a master's student in marketing, and Natalia Repokari, an IDBM master’s student. The project was carried out as part of the Customized Student Business Projects concept.
The aim of this business project was to examine the user experience of parcel drivers in the piloting of a new mobile device and to investigate their overall experience of the changing working environment. At the same time, the students created a framework for improving the digital working environment that takes the drivers perspective into account.
The students conducted a user survey for parcel drivers in which users of the device being piloted were interviewed before and after the pilot began. At the end of the project, the students gave Posti action proposals based on the analysed results of the user survey.
Valuable information for developing Posti
During the project, the students were able to deepen their knowledge and skills in the field of business digitalisation and the introduction of new technologies. ‘We are both interested in the business processes and changes connected with digitalisation, so the project was a unique opportunity to explore the subject from the employees' perspective. We carried out a number of telephone interviews, then compiled and analysed the results from these. In the analysis, we took into account both the users' experiences of the functionality of the mobile device itself as well as their experiences of how it changes their work,’ Sofia and Natalia explain.
Posti Oy’s Vocational Education & Training Coordinator Elina Timisjärvi and Program Manager Mari Laukkonen were both closely involved in the project and both very satisfied with the project implementation and results:
‘The cooperation with the students was straightforward and went very smoothly. From the start, they took a self-directed and active approach to the research, and this continued throughout the project. We held a few meetings during the project and we always received in these an update on how the work was progressing. At the end of the project, we received a comprehensive report on the results of the work and a splendid, concise presentation with accompanying conclusions.’
‘All in all, the cooperation with Aalto University and with Natalia and Sofia was a success and was carried out in an expert manner. We received from the user survey valuable information for our development work. Various items from the results of the study have been added to the project’s list of items for further development, and the results of the study will also be utilised for training and implementation as the project progresses.’
The project was supervised by Esko Penttinen, Professor of Practice in Information Systems Science at the School of Business, who commends the students particularly for their dependent approach to the work. The importance of independent and proactive work was heightened in particular by the prevailing coronavirus situation, which meant that the whole project had to be implemented remotely.
‘It was a pleasure to supervise the project. Posti had defined the research question well and the students worked in a truly self-directed manner. The introduction of new technology and the related threats and opportunities make particularly good subject matter for this kind of business project,’ Penttinen concludes.