Neurodiversity Employer Wins ACS Digital Disruptor Award
auticon is an IT consulting firm that only employs consultants that are on the autism spectrum. Last night they received formal recognition of their truly innovative work with national retailer Woolworths when they won the prestigious Skills Transformation of Work Teams Award at the Digital Disruptor Awards hosted by the Australian Computer Society.
ACS Awards Video
(24 February 2022) — auticon, a social enterprise with a vision for equal employment opportunities for autistic people, won the award for a pilot program that proved thinking differently is a real strength.
The IT consulting practice worked with Woolworths on how best to support autistic colleagues in the workplace, how this could lead to innovation and better outcomes for the business. Woolworths agreed to a six-month pilot program where auticon consultants would be embedded into the Supply Chain IT Quality Assurance and Testing team, reinforced by auticon’s 360-degree support model.
The initial project brief for the consultants embedded in the organization was to review and improve upon the software being used to test their in-store bar code scanning equipment. The intent was to improve this software to reduce the time in testing their machines.
However, Woolworths got a lot more than they expected.
Using an unconventional approach, the consultants combined their knowledge of software with their knowledge of robotics to automate a large part of the bar code scanning process creating even greater efficiencies.
This was a great result; the project team had achieved not only the ability to deliver the required work by enhancing the software, but they had also delivered on the brief of providing real innovation and improvements outside of what they were expecting through introducing diversity.
auticon Australia Managing Director and CEO Bodo Mann spoke about the pilot and winning the award.
“This program demonstrated the real strength of thinking differently, the team look at the problems wholistically and uncover every opportunity to enhance the solution.”
“This project was a great example of our team working with an organization like Woolworths to create an autism friendly environment that enhanced the skills and strengths of people on the spectrum. This in turn led to a high-quality outcome for the business and one we can all be proud of.”
“It’s fantastic to receive this award, but it wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our Job Coaches, Consultants and of course Woolworths. I’d really like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that made this possible and look forward to building our continued relationship together.”
The pilot program with Woolworths led to the signing of a further 12-month agreement with the retail organization and the delivery of some real step change technology.