Innovation Sighting: Amazon’s New Delivery – The Division Technique in Action 

Innovative Advances in Pricing
April 9, 2018

Innovation Sighting: Amazon’s New Delivery – The Division Technique in Action 

Amazon.com Inc., the largest internet retailer in the world, is paving the way for another delivery option by bringing packages directly to a customer’s car. As part of the Amazon Key Program that launched in 2017, customers with certain GM and Volvo models can now download the Amazon Key app, link their Amazon account with a connected car service, and allow Amazon drivers access to their vehicle for package delivery. This service provides an alternative for customers concerned about the safety of packages left on their porch or who need quick access to a delivery. It also serves as an example of SIT’s innovation template known as the Division Technique.

The Division Technique works by dividing a product or its components functionally or physically and then rearranging them back into the product. Division is a powerful technique in the SIT Method because it forces you to break fixedness, especially structural fixedness. In the case of Amazon’s Key Program, they have rearranged the delivery location component of their online services to a customer’s car. The benefit?

As Fortune.com states,

It’s part of a broader push by Amazon to expand delivery options and make those deliveries more convenient for customers. Amazon’s new in-car delivery takes that a step further by offering the option to have packages delivered to wherever a customer’s car is. So rather than wait to get home to pick up a package, customers can walk out to the car and get that product they’ve been waiting for all day.

The Amazon Key program is just one example of the Division Technique. To get the most out of the Division technique, you follow five basic steps:

  1. List the product’s or service’s internal components.
  2. Divide the product or service in one of three ways:
  • Functional (take a component and rearrange its location or when it appears).
  • Physical (cut the product or one of its components along any physical line and rearrange it).
  • Preserving (divide the product or service into smaller pieces, where each piece still possesses all the characteristics of the whole).
  1. Visualize the new (or changed) product or service.
  2. What are the potential benefits, markets, and values? Who would want this, and why would they find it valuable? If you are trying to solve a specific problem, how can it help address that particular challenge?
  3. If you decide you have a new product or service that is indeed valuable, then ask: Is it feasible? Can you actually create this new product or perform this new service? Why or why not? Can you refine or adapt the idea to make it more viable?

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use all three forms of Division, but you boost your chance of scoring a breakthrough idea if you do.