Seconds on the clock usually seem insignificant. But Calvin Ingram knows better.
The Florida Polytechnic University junior deals in time and efficiency. It’s the basis of his study of Mechanical Engineering and Motion Intelligence.
Motion intelligence examines the movement of people and objects. For example, specialists use this science to plan the flow of fans leaving and entering a stadium, or to optimize bus routes and manage delivery schedules.
Calvin’s interest is in improving efficiency. He applied that interest as a consultant to Black & Brew, a coffeehouse and bistro in downtown Lakeland. The business hired him to examine the patterns of the servers and the customers and identify weak points.
Calvin, of Fort Myers, reviewed several factors, including processes in the kitchen, the time it took for servers to bring food to tables and the physical layout of the restaurant. As he points out, an extra minute walking between the kitchen and the table might not seem like much, but it adds up to hours every day. Based on that data analysis, he made several recommendations to improve the quality and speed of service.
“Most businesses are operating 10-15 years behind current technology and that’s tragic. We’re not acting sustainably or profitably. There’s an opportunity here to do better,” Calvin says.
Calvin recognizes these types of studies can be intimidating to the tech novice, so he deliberately crafts reports without Greek letters or fancy equations. Instead, the reports show a business’s deficiencies in plain language and charts.
Looking long-term, Calvin sees more Florida Poly students applying their knowledge in the community.
“I think this is a direction the University encourages students to take,” he takes.