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BT Hub 5

Alloy Ltd.

BT Group Telecommunications


Team: Alloy Ltd., BT Group Telecommunications
Project: BT Hub 5

Telecom networks have evolved rapidly over the past 20 years as they delivered digital content, connections, and services to millions of users. It’s a complicated service system of network and user devices, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners, engineering, marketing, installation, service delivery, and customer care, all of which need to collaborate to deliver a desirable service. With millions of customers throughout the UK, British Telecommunications Plc. (BT) is the country’s leading service provider. It is a hugely competitive market, with Liberty Media (Virgin) and News Corp (Sky) competing with BT.

Alloy has acted as BT’s industrial design team for more than a decade, designing hundreds of telephones, sensors, baby monitors, and routers that deliver the BT service. After undertaking a customer experience audit, Alloy and BT identified elements of the proposition that could deliver better customer experience and reduce costs.

Key to the improvement was the need for the device to fit through a letterbox in its packaging. This would allow it to be delivered straight to the consumer and installed with simple instructions. The challenge required an integrated approach to design, packaging, installation, and customer care. The results of redesigning the product experience were stunning:

  • A net revenue increase per customer in saved packaging, mailing, distribution, installation, and engineering costs.

  • In the period December 2012 - December 2013, BT gained 530,000 new subscribers, and is expected to continue at a similar rate in the near future. Extrapolating such growth and cost savings, BT will extend its revenue increases well into the future.

  • Collectively, through product design and software, packaging, and production costs, the BT Home Hub reduces upstream Co2 emissions by 13,147 tons per year.

Such results were achieved because BT recognized that the greatest opportunities lay at the intersections between the traditional departmental teams of marketing, product development, manufacturing, and packaging. Furthermore, BT also designed as the driver of change – not just as a tool to help express the solution, but as a strategy to define the challenge more comprehensively.



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