I’ve traveled to Sweden numerous times and I’m always struck by the automation and simplicity of their everyday lives but also in regards to their attention to detail and consistently improving things. Most of it, I think, is borne out of the fact that there are only 9,000,000 people that live in Sweden and therefore for their survival, they all learn English at a very early age and are very entrepreneurial as seen from several global companies that came from Sweden including Volvo, IKEA, H&M, Skype, Spotify, Ericsson, and Husqvarna to name a few. In essence, they’re very efficient.
Take for example their blood donation system. When you give blood you can voluntarily give them your mobile number that will be attached to your donation. When your donation is used, you receive an SMS message saying,”Thanks! The blood you donated has been used to benefit a patient. Regards, The Blood Center”. This simple message encourages people to donate over and over as they get satisfaction knowing that their donation was just used to help someone.
On Blood Center’s website, geblod.nu , there is a real time graph showing the levels of all of the supplies of blood so that you can quickly see which kind is in need. It also shows you where the blood mobiles are located at should you wish to donate.
Lastly, it even trickles into the hotel industry. I stayed at the Quality Hotels in Stockholm and upon checkout received a simple printed receipt with all of the pertinent information. It was interesting that it wasn’t 2-3 pages of invoices stuck into an envelope but rather a simple, small receipt.
The travel industry took a large leap from printed ticket to etickets, I’m interested to see if they can follow the Swedish example and find ways to automate and simplify our travel lives.