The Internet of Things for Craft Businesses
In close collaboration with the world market leader Bosch we connected tools with the internet and by doing so developed an optimal service for craft businesses. Since October 2015 the digital inventory management system TrackMyTools enables Bosch devices and external devices to communicate through applications on smartphones, tablets and PCs and can be managed online via Bluetooth and GPS. Storemen keep a clear view over their operational inventory and access to all relevant data at any time. The development of this solution focused clearly on the individual client and user needs, which were validated in accompanying customer surveys and observations in everyday working life. Our Service Blue Print helped cluster and prioritize the procedures in the service design process both in the front and backend. This made the virtual operations in the abstract world of the Internet of Things easily perceptible and usable for craftsmen and storekeepers.
ClientRobert Bosch GmbH Power Tools
Project Date2014 - 2015
The Bosch inventory management system is tailored for the specific needs of craft businesses and automates manual activities as a digital butler.
Digital Connectivity: Tools 4.0
With TrackMyTools we created an intelligent system, that supports craft businesses in efficiently distributing valuable tool inventory as required and thus to optimally coordinate workload, availability and maintenance. Manual, error-prone activities are avoided through automatic functions. Craftsmen know where their devices are at any time and will be informed which required tools are missing for the daily changing tasks on site. As a result, TrackMyTools saves time, enhances workflows and sustainably increases the productivity of medium-sized craft businesses. The highly automatic system takes the role of the ‘virtual tool belt’ for craftsmen and storekeepers.
“Bosch Powertools made an innovative contribution to the group’s positioning as important player in the field of the Internet of Things by establishing the solution set TrackMyTools.”
Agile Processes for Innovation and Speed
At the end of 2014 we were commissioned to support Bosch Power Tools in expanding the ecosystem on professional tools of the world market leader in the area of Internet of Things. The aim of this software and service solution was particularly to strengthen the customer loyalty through new added values. Tools, vehicles and teams of craftsmen are interconnected for a more efficient administration and intelligent maintenance, whereby everyday problems are smart-solved in the background. Together with Bosch Power Tools we shaped a vision based on an initial idea and developed a strategy to guarantee a short development time and thus a fast, successful market launch. Especially in the proof-of-concept phase designaffairs took on the leading role in the agile, iterative software development and through the user centered design process ensured that the technical possibilities were according to detected user needs and provided added value.
Making virtual connectivity perceptible
It is the main challenge in new service concepts to make abstract interactions between various user roles and technical systems tangible and thus assessable to all stakeholders. Therefore, we applied comprehensive visualizations of touchpoints as well as personas, customer journeys and experience maps. Next to prototypes, screen designs for mobile and web applications, visual guidelines and user interface kits we also delivered usability concepts for the implementation of the tracking tags on the devices, consisting of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) modules. In order to prevent any kind of feeling of loss of control and trust through the virtual processes running in the background in the later use, we designed interaction processes that connect physical elements, such as BLE-modules, seamlessly with virtual processes and applications. To top everything off, we designed the user experience with an “end-of-work mode” which enables the user to consciously log off the interconnected system as required.