Philips maintain

Automatic groceries restocking service


The project was part of a design assignment led by Philips. The brief was to design a new business opportunity for the company. The final designed product is a conceptual product-service hybrid that monitors and automatically deliver products when they are out of stock. The product is aimed at busy households or individuals (e.g. households in which both parents have a full time job).

Market research

As the brief was business oriented, the process started with a market research. We discovered that the demogaphics of most Philip household-product consumers fell in the category of middle class to upper middle class. Several interviews were conducted with people within those demographics. The goal of those interviews was to understand the lifestyle of those people and identify problems present within the household.

Key finding

An interesting problem was the frustration of out-of-stock products. The majority of the participants had a full-time job and did groceries on the weekends. However, in some occasions some products were out-of-stock, resulting that they had to do some groceries after work, while they preferred to do something else instead.

Business model

Based on the defined problem, business models were generated using the business model canvas. The final idea was a business model that aimed in monopolizing the area of household products. The idea was a docking system that would monitor the status of groceries, and household goods based on weight. Philips would then establish partnerships with suppliers and logistic companies to create a delivery service that would “automatically” do groceries for the users. 

On the other end, the data collected from the docking system could be sold to companies. Furthermore, when the service gains popularity, Philips can charge suppliers a fee in order to make their products compatible with the docking systems.

User flow

A list of tasks and requirements were defined. A card sorting session was conducted to prioritize the product’s functionalities and establish the information architecture of the companion app.

Final solution

The user has several “docks” installed in her home. These docks monitor the status of the products based on weight. The data is collected in the system. When a product is almost finished, the product will be added to the weekly package. Every week a delivery is made including products that are in need. Consumer data is filtered by Philips and sold to businesses for effective marketing purposes.  

Status of products

The companion app show the status of the products and an estimate of when it will be finished.

Modular system

New docks can be added to the existing docking system. The battery life of the docks are visualized.

In essence the docks are scales that compares the product’s weight with its packaging weight. Data is then visualized in the companion app and stored in the system.