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Update: We've spoken with HYVE's Erik Feder, who is managing the Lufthansa Cargo campaign. Check out the interview here.
Last November, Lufthansa Cargo, a subsidiary of the behemoth German airline, invited its customers as well as strangers to submit ideas aimed at improving supply chain as well as general business processes. The competition proved effective -- the best ideas made it through the evaluation phase and are currently under development.
Hoping to build on last year’s success, Lufthansa Cargo has recently launched its second open innovation challenge, aimed at “improving customer service in the air freight industry.”
The contest has identified three specific categories it is collecting ideas for: customer service, apps, and customer loyalty programs. There is also, however, a “free creative ideation” category, which allows users to submit any idea they wish, as long as it’s related to improving Lufthansa Cargo’s operations. Anyone over the age of 18 can submit a proposal.
Those who submit the top three suggestions will have the opportunity to present their ideas to Lufthansa Cargo’s executives, receive flight training, as well as collect travel miles. Students who submit winning ideas may be offered an internship at the company to help with development. The ideation stage is open until November 7th, and the winners will be announced a month after that.
Thus far, more than 50 ideas have been submitted. Among the more ambitious ones is a cargo transport zeppelin that would not only help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also provide unique marketing opportunities. A more sensible suggestion proposes flexible cargo shipping dates, which may appeal to customers looking to ship their wares cheaper rather than faster.
Lufthansa Cargo turned to German-based open innovation firm HYVE to help operate the challenge. Thus far, HYVE has managed the campaign aptly.
The company has already attracted over 175 members to weigh in on the submissions, each idea has (on average) received nearly five comments, and over 200 messages have been sent among the members. HYVE has created a vibrant community around something as unexciting as airplane cargo, an especially impressive feat given there is no monetary compensation for any of the prizewinners.
We reached out to HYVE to learn more about the Lufthansa Cargo challenge and to get some tips on open innovation contests in general, and will update our readers when we hear back. Until then, check out some of the ideas that have been submitted, and read more of our coverage on open innovation here.