Mission completed: BG.evolution smart glasses in use worldwide
The example of BG.evolution shows how a Start-in can successfully hand over innovative solutions to the parent company: The BEUMER Smart Glasses, which were tested and developed with the support of the Digital Hub Logistics, are now even being used by customer support and customers of the machine and plant manufacturer BEUMER Group during the commissioning of new machines.
In the Digital Hub Logistics last year, the start-up BG.evolution laid the foundations for a product that enables the Customer Support department of the parent company, the machinery and plant manufacturer BEUMER Group, to better support its customers in the event of malfunctions: the BEUMER Smart Glasses. The smart glasses have been in use since the end of last year: “Within a very short time, they have become an indispensable component of a modern, fast and efficient customer service,” says Christopher Kirsch, team leader of BG.evolution, happily. The principle behind the smart data glasses: The same image that the customer’s employees see on site through the data glasses is also shown to the service expert at BEUMER. In this way, the correct actions to solve the problem can be shown directly.
The Corona pandemic has given this solution another boost. As BEUMER Group specialists were currently unable to travel to customers due to travel restrictions, the BEUMER Smart Glasses are being used more frequently. Originally, the use was to be limited to Germany, Austria and Switzerland – all within reach of the company’s headquarters, so that in the event of any problems, it would ultimately be possible to intervene quickly at the customer’s site. In the meantime, however, the glasses are also being used by customers in the USA and China. Most recently, they were even used for remote commissioning of new machines. “The willingness of customers to try something new has increased significantly with the pandemic – and with it the demand for our BEUMER Smart Glasses,” observes Christopher Kirsch. “With the remote commissioning of a new machine, we were able to make an important contribution to the digitalization of construction sites.”
BG.evolution has been a member of the Digital Hub Logistics in Dortmund since the beginning of 2019. The BEUMER Smart Glasses are just one of a total of four developments that the start-in initiated last year. By mid-2020, four more projects have already been added. The basic idea is always the same: BG.evolution develops Minimal Viable Products (MVP) – i.e., products with manageable functions that are quickly ready for use – validates them in pilot deployments and then makes them available to the parent company as a “digital refinement” of existing solutions or services. “The hand-over of ideas or products is fundamentally a critical point for start-ins,” knows Christopher Kirsch, “because the solution itself can be no matter how good: it must also be able to be integrated into the company.” With the BEUMER Smart Glasses, this was achieved without any problems: Already in the pilot phase, the added value of the product became clear – and also the willingness of customers to pay for the additional interactive support. So: Mission completed!
BG.evolution’s latest projects in the Digital Hub Logistics include a smartphone app as a digital checklist for the maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment. Among other things, the app is intended to make the knowledge and many years of experience of the BEUMER Group available to customers during an inspection – an important element for BEUMER in providing innovative support to customers in their everyday tasks.
More drive through the ecosystem
To ensure that the app can be offered as a product as quickly as possible, BG.evolution relies on the ecosystem of the Digital Hub Logistics: While the core product is being developed in-house, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML has, on the one hand, taken over the preliminary analyses and, on the other, taken care of various additional functionalities. “This division of labor ensures that we are on our way quickly,” says Kirsch. For the next MVP that the start-in has on its agenda, two solutions are even to be developed directly in this constellation: one internally at BG.evolution and one by Fraunhofer IML. “Today, the ecosystem offers us the necessary possibilities to do work in parallel and thus create solutions quickly and leanly!”
The development of the MVP of the checklist app is already as good as complete. Unlike the BEUMER Smart Glasses, which were further developed in broad-based pilot studies with numerous customers, the app will first be tested by BEUMER employees and, in a timely manner, by selected customers. “There is no patent remedy for the validation of our MVPs,” says Christopher Kirsch. “Our priority is, of course, customer focus. But the acceptance of new products by our own employees is also important for a successful handover of our developments. That’s why we always decide – depending on the product – how to proceed.”
At a glance: the BEUMER Smart Glasses.
THE SOLUTION. BEUMER Smart Glasses are the solution for modern customer service. With the BEUMER Smart Glasses, customers enter into live contact with the service experts of the BEUMER Group. Through the audio-visual connection using the Smart Glasses, faults are quickly and precisely identified and rectified. Customers can reach the experts at BEUMER 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
THE BUSINESS MODEL. Customers can book the BEUMER Smart Glasses as an extension of their hotline contract or as a monthly subscription.
Find out more on the BEUMER Group website: https://www.beumergroup.com/smart-solutions/
Photo: BEUMER Group