In August of 2016, the Hytch team began an adventure that would solidify a lasting connection with Vanderbilt University. Mark Cleveland, our CEO, and Christian Bruckman, our Director of Business Development, teamed up with the Vanderbilt University Engineering School to represent Hytch as a client for the students in their Enterprise System Design class. Christian was paired up with three students to help take the Hytch application to the next level.
The purpose of the Enterprise Systems Design class is to provide experience to Vanderbilt Students who are pursuing the Engineering Management Minor in the Vanderbilt University Engineering School. The Enterprise Systems Design class provides students who are divided into groups the opportunity to work with a real-world client as a practical application for the lessons taught in class. Christian would meet with the three Vanderbilt students once a week to discuss a way to design a new system to improve the Hytch application. Luckily, I was one of those students!
Paulina, Asa and Austin took a look at the business process involved in fulfilling the need of a person in the community that wants to carpool through the Hytch application. First, the need or want to carpool is established by the user. The user then downloads the Hytch application on their smart phone and logs in with Facebook. After entering his or her method of payment, the user goes on to create the trip he or she is intending on taking. Having entered the trip information, the user matches with another person on a similar route. The rider and the driver negotiate a price, and then the ride is completed.
The team looked at this process and realized that there was no easy and concrete way for the driver and the rider to negotiate a price. Our project for the semester was to create a negotiation tool. We decided to create a pop-up window function within the app after the trip match was completed. This window would provide a three round bidding process for the rider and driver to agree on the price instead of negotiating in person or in endlessly in the chat window. We presented this to Mark Cleveland, Christian Bruckman, and other members of the Hytch team at the end of the semester. We are looking forward to seeing some of our ideas implemented into the Hytch app!