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Case Studies

Learn how our solution is used in the field

Our solutions are put into practice by customers worldwide, in a wide range of industries. We are happy to share some of their stories and experiences in these case studies.

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Construction and Engineering

Company

Morof Unternehmensgruppe
Althengstett, Germany
Head of IT and Marketing
Volker Günther

Sector

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Background

The Morof Group has been successfully offering a multi-layered and customer-oriented service for many decades. They are well established in the fields of landfill construction, road construction, concrete restoration, and civil engineering.

Problem

Providing a range of construction and engineering services, the high amount of incoming and outgoing equipment presents a problem. Before ginstr, their workflow was unstructured. Requests could come by telephone at any time and there was no real system of documentation for staff to keep track of equipment.

Solution

With ginstr’s asset location management system, managers can know exactly where their assets and equipment are, or last were, and the machine operators on site and transportation staff ensure that all movements of the equipment are recorded and up-to-date. The app is also maintenance-free and requires minimal training of staff because of its easy-to-use design and layout.

The transportation staff at Morof use the app multiple times a day on at least 25 mobile devices. The machine operators and foreman use it from once a month to once a week, and in the back office two employees use the software associated with the app to analyse the recorded data and locations. “Through the implementation of the app, we have limited the search for accessory and small-sized equipment to a minimum. We now have a clear overview of the asset inventory.

Unwanted stockpiling no longer happens since we know exactly who is in charge and in possession of each asset. We specifically liked the accuracy of locations, the app’s ease of use, and its efficiency. As soon as we started using the app we found a lot of missing equipment and we were able to cancel planned purchases.”

Conclusion

In ginstr, the Morof group found “a maintenance-free, uncomplicated solution that worked with standard (Android/NFC) devices and also offered better overview, inventory protection and traceability of movements. We chose the ginstr solution over its competitors because it is easy to handle, and most other products on the market are not maintenance-free. If any company has similar problems to us I can highly recommend this product.”

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Guard Tour Management

Company

Bergische Bewachungsgesellschaft m.b.H
Solingen, Germany
Assistant Managing Director
Evelyn Neuhaus

Sector

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Background

For six years, Evelyn Neuhaus has been the assistant managing director of Bergische Security, a company that provides mobile security services for many businesses in the Solingen area.

Problem

The guard monitoring system previously in place consisted of a wand that read a barcode and then was returned at the end of the shift to a central location where it was then uploaded. The system was expensive, couldn’t provide real-time data about where the security guards were, the barcodes weren’t readable in poor weather conditions, and the replacement parts for the readers were very expensive because they could only be purchased from one supplier.

Solution

The old system was replaced with ginstr’s guard tour monitoring system that uses the ginstr security report app with NFC technology. “The ginstr solution is more affordable compared to our previous system and other industry-specific solutions, for both the initial package and the running costs,” says Ms. Neuhaus. “Moreover, with the exception of the software, ginstr’s system is supplier neutral, only requiring off-the-shelf, NFC-capable Android smartphones.”

The wands were replaced with NFC-capable smartphones, improving the communication between the dispatcher and guards while allowing the guard-tour data to be transmitted and viewed immediately by Bergische Security and their clients.

Furthermore, since the replacement parts are supplier-neutral, the company is able to find affordable replacements easily. “The permanent data transmission and localisation of the devices are big advantages,” adds Ms. Neuhaus. “If checkpoints are missed, we immediately receive an alert message. When security guards require assistance, we know their location instantly. When we have special requests, we can send the nearest security guard. Other big advantages are the ability to
use a combination of different tools on one smartphone as well as the flexibility that we gain with the system.”

Conclusion

For Bergische Security and their clients, being able to monitor security guards in real time has led to better communication, response time, guard safety, and flexibility within the company, as well as a more transparent partnership between the company and their clients. The inexpensive initial setup and upkeep of the system make the ginstr security report app the most affordable and effective guard tour monitoring system available.

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Meter Reading of Power, Water, Solar, and Gas Meters

Company

GSG Gewerbesiedlungs-Gesellschaft mbH
Berlin, Germany
Managing Director Hofnetz & IT-Services GmbH
Mr. Christian Kröger

Sector

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Background

The Gewerbesiedlungs-Gesellschaft mbH (GSG) is one of the leading providers of office and commercial space in Berlin, involving approximately 900,000 square meters. Approximately 1,800 small and medium-sized companies with more than 15,000 employees are situated at 45 locations.

GSG is regarded as a forward-looking company. In the last few months, GSG has installed the largest photovoltaic system in the capital on 140 roofs.

For the calculation of energy consumption costs of all communal amenities, GSG operates electrical power sub-meters for various types of current, such as solar energy produced, its own electricity consumption, and tenant-specific electricity. The regular readings of the power meters with pen and paper proved to be error-prone. As a consequence, significant efforts were made to correct these errors.

Challenges

In the summer of 2015, GSG decided to address the inaccuracies in the recording of electrical power consumption.

The focus was on the following requirements:

– Reliable identification of the electricity meters

– Plausibility checks of the recorded meter readings at input

– Revision-proof data collection.

Solution

The choice fell on the ginstr app – Electric Meter Cabinet Reading.

  • Important reasons for this decision for ginstr were: The flexibility of the ginstr platform meant that the ginstr app could be fully adapted to existing workflows and interfaces so that after a brief introduction to the app, readers were able to use the software confidently.
  • The implementation of the app was offered at a flat rate of 790 Euros, including graphics (e.g. inserting the GSG logo into the app), implementation of the business logic, and monthly usage fee for the data storage in the ginstr cloud
  • Only a few days were estimated for the delivery of the customer-specific GSG electrical power meter app. With the software modules available in the ginstr platform, ginstr can typically provide ready-to-use smartphone apps within a few days including connection to the ginstr cloud and the functions for filtering and evaluation of the detected backend data. So a timely implementation of the project was ensured

To detect the meter numbers, it was decided to use an NFC tag per meter cabinet. These are inexpensive stickers with built-in radio chips, which uniquely identify each meter. A shorttouch with a standard Android smartphone is all it takes to read the chip. Each meter cabinet contains several meters, which are automatically displayed for recording the meter count after reading the NFC tag.

For the recording of the meter readings, the idea in the first place was to take the recording by means of Ocular Character Recognition, OCR. In this method, the meter reading is photographed and then converted into a computer-readable value using a computer program. However, field trials have shown that this method is still susceptible to errors. The results did not show the expected improvement in the data quality compared to the previous manual method.

It was therefore decided that the meter reading would be typed into a mobile terminal and that this value would be checked as soon as possible during the recording as follows:

  • Double entry of each meter reading with adjustment of the entered data
  • Comparison of consumption in the current period with the consumption in the previous period and indication of a warning with considerable deviation
  • Error message if the current meter reading is lower than the meter count read in the last period
  • Photographing each meter with automatic storage of the photo, including the time and all other meter data in the ginstr cloud. Thus, at any time, it is possible to trace the actual meter reading in the event that all other measures for ensuring the quality of the data were questionable.

The ginstr app offers the on-site readers a number of additional help, such as:

  • An overview in the app, which shows all meters that have not yet been read in the currently property in the current period
  • A special function that records the exchange of a meter with the appropriate final reading and subsequent adjustment of the current meter reading
  • Registration of installation and removal of meters

All data captured with the ginstr app will automatically be immediately transferred to the ginstr cloud as soon as an Internet connection exists. Until then, the data is securely encrypted and stored with a password protected in the smartphones. In this way, the employees at the head office can always monitor the progress of the work and further process the data promptly to invoices.

Since the rollout of the app at GSG, all meters have been read in several periods. In practice, the following improvements in the process have proved to be particularly advantageous:

Immediately after entering the meter readings in the app, the caretakers are finished with their task. Previously, the data collected manually on a slip had to be laboriously added to an Excel spreadsheet that every caretaker needed access to. There was the danger of a further source of error in the renewed transferring of numbers from lists in Excel.

  • There are no errors when reading the meter count because the input is verified
  • There are no transfer errors due to obscure or unreadable numbers on the previously used notes
  • All recorded data is immediately available live in ginstr and is available for further processing

Conclusion

After GSG’s fully positive experience with the supplier of the app as well as with the success of the app in daily use, the GSG team went a next step further with ginstr: the app was further developed so that the recording of the readings of water meters, gas meters, heat meters , solar cell meters as well as the meter in block-type thermal power stations has been integrated since spring 2017.

Christian Kröger, the managing director of the GSG subsidiary Hofnetz and IT Services GmbH, had already been working on the implementation of a new type of data collection for a while. “Each electricity meter is read several times a year, after which manually recorded data is recorded in Excel, administered several times and passed on. Everything is then summarized to a large table with all the errors that can occur.”

After the ginstr team proposed an app solution, he immediately became enthusiastic: “We expect the digital recording of the meter readings to be much faster and more accurate.”

After the development and implementation of the GSG electricity meter-reading app in the GSG operating procedure, Mr. Kröger is delighted about the smooth handling: “All of our expected targets have been fully met. The familiarization period for our caretakers was unexpectedly short. The app has been created perfectly for the operational procedures and checks for incorrect entries. For me, the most important advantage is that the data is available digitally directly after acquisition. Within a very short time, our controlling department is in a position to work on the figures and compare them with our supplier contracts. Per meter acquisition, we save an enormous amount of time and thus also cost, and can make our cost transfers much earlier than was previously the case.”

So, overall an all-round successful implementation and a big win for GSG.

Berlin, 30.05.2017