Our company is a high technology innovative company. Our monitoring system will provide an ecologically viable collection system.
The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you
Country of residence of entrepreneur
Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?
Myself and my partner Sinéad Murtagh have created a mail monitoring system. I am a business student and my partner an engineer so we have the necessary skills to make this project a reality. I am the leader in this innovation. Our personal ambition is to help reduce pollution via reduced emissions and foster sustainable and green business practices in the postal and waste management industries.
About Your Organization
Ireland, DB, Clontarf
Country where this project is creating social impact
Ireland, DB, Dublin 3
Is your organization a
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The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
We aim to reduce truck-roll in the waste and post industries. This involves vans driving to each post-box/bin to check for content. This is labour and fuel intensive causing large quantities of emissions. By reducing truck-roll we will reduce emissions and pollution. We wish to minimise the truck roll environmental impact which will lead to a cleaner planet. We aim to facilitate optimal route planning in both sectors which will decrease truck-roll. We aim to foster this sustainable business solution in Ireland and leverage it into the wider European market within 2years.Our monitoring system contains a modem which is currently battery powered. We also aim, in time to harness solar power ans piezo to recharge the batteries in the post-box making it an environmentally friendly solution.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Smartmail monitors the number of items put in each post-box/bin. There will be four sensors inside that count the number of items placed in the post-box/bin. This data is transmitted via mobile network to a central database.
Our customer can see from this which boxes/bins are fullest and therefore collect them first.
As our four switches monitor activity within the post-box/bin, our project is based on embedding intelligence electronics into a post-box/bin, monitoring activity and providing information to a central database upon which collection can be organised By presenting multiple events online, the service operator can create effective truck roll management, - increase operational performance, and control key spend.
The key elements of this project are: facilitates optimal route planning forcollection, enabling efficiencies in cost and level of service while reducing truck-roll and emissions therefore reducing carbon footprint and pollution.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Our primary activity is the monitoring of post/waste to reduce truck roll.
We plan to implement this first in the postal sector then migrate it to the waste management sector.
Our monitoring system informs our customer of the full material collection sites. This means they can collect the full boxes/bins and not go to empty ones. As there is no requirement to manually check every box we can greatly reduce truck-roll therefore reducing fuel consumption, emissions and impose the most ecologically efficient systems. .
Reduced truck roll also improves the logistical operation and enables companies to impose sub logistical allocation of resources. Sub logistical allocation would involve locating vans in busy areas to save truck roll from a central location. This will enable postal operators to effectively reduce further truck roll as the minimum transportation to a central location would be required. This has optimum ecological efficiencies in all resources particularly the time and motion efficiency. Greater ecological efficiency makes Smartmail a green solution to acquiring intelligence and optimizing resources.
We can install our system easily into all existing post-boxes and bins. We will arrange “Hotswapping” of our modems with our customers. The modem would beep three times on the data base if it is low on battery or will stop working and we can arrange for employees to be able to simply pull out the old one and place a new one in much like replacing a standard battery. All modems will have our address on the back so employees can leave them in the post box and we will receive them by freepost and be able to either fix them or recycle them appropriately. As our system is made entirely of recyclable materials it is an ecologically viable solution.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
We currently have no direct competitors. Escher Group Holdings in Ireland are our most likely competitor.
Escher Groupare registered under postal because they provide “retail and message-based software solutions to the global postal industry. This software enables post offices to expand their services and transactions. With over 30 countries using Riposte suite of products, we’re the largest supplier of such technology to Posts in the world today.”
They currently only provide software and our product is hardware based so they are a minimal threat.
Select the stage that best applies to your business
Operating for more than 5 years
This Entry is about (Issues)
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?
We are still in the prototype development stages of our project and therefore have yet to impact society as a whole. As ours is an environmentally sustainable solution to reducing emissions and pollution we will impact society with cleaner air and an overall cleaner environment.
Smartmail can effectively reduce truck roll while also improving efficiencies and cutting costs. Smartmail offers a green business practice through reduced truck roll and its future development roadmap focuses on developing environmentally friendly practices and solutions. Currently the Smartmail system runs on long life batteries that last for up to two years. The first step in the green development of Smartmail is to develop the usage of solar power and piezo electricity as previously discussed.
What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?
Our main barrier is the degree of union involvement in postal operators. Trade unions are very strong and often opposed to changes that reduce labour intensive procedures as they fear job losses. We intend to overcome this by up-skilling employees to monitor the material collection sites through the data base interface and change the modems. This will add to employee skill base and overcome any issues the unions might have with new technology changing their working environment. Out aim is not to reduce the workforce, Smartmail aims to optimise resources locating a denser workforce in busier areas on a local scale.
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?
Our model is a platform technology designed for use in the postal sector that can be migrated to associated verticals such as waste management.
We address environmental stability in our ability to reduce truck-roll therefore reducing pollution and emissions. We are also investigating powering our modem with solar power and piezo making our solution 100% ecologically viable. All components of our design are 100% recyclable enabling Smartmail Ltd to provide an environmentally sustainable product. Smartmail Ltd is developing the usage of WiFi to replace the mobile network as GSM has the potential to become expensive on a large scale. WiFi would be installed in the post box available for local access but also used to securely transmit data to postal operators for analysis. Smartmail Ltd is in discussions with a Spanish company Alter Core (http://altercore.com/) to develop a moisture sensor at the pit of the post-box which will monitor if any excess moisture finds its way in. This feature will be particularly useful in times of adverse weather conditions, for example snow and/or heavy rainfall. With this Smartmail can monitor air quality.
We can offer financial sustainability to our customers by offering them cost savings of up to 40%. This is due to reduced running costs (fuel etc) that are involved in postal and waste management. As we can offer cost savings we are offering financial sustainability to our customers.
Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?
I can see this impacting positively on developing countries particularly in waste management. By optimising waste management routes developing countries will enjoy more sanitary living conditions. If waste management companies can collect full bins first it eliminates the problem of unsanitary overflowing leading to a higher standard of living for those living in the vicinity.
With reduced truck roll and emissions Smartmail offers an improved air quality, lower pollution levels and reduced carbon footprint. As companies can operate with a cost saving through the usage of Smartmail, capital can be reinvested into the economy. Smartmail is primarily an ecologically sustainable solution which aims to reduce environmental impact particularly in the areas of carbon footprint and air quality. This has a positive impact on all countries and economies but will have significant benefits in developing countries also.
What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?
I feel that it may be challenging to hare ideas and sow the seed for sustainable change in a different environment. I believe it will be very rewarding to see our impact in a developing country and see the positive results. I believe it will be both challenging and extremely rewarding to work in an entirely different country and culture, to meet new people and work together to have a positive social, environmental and financial impact in Uganda.