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Tradition and digitalisation - modern glass construction company plans and manufactures virtually!

© Foto von Adrien Olichon von Pexels

From the office to the exhibition to planning and production: An Allgäu glass construction company specialising in conservatories and glass houses relies on comprehensive digitalisation. The company works completely paperless in the office. All documents are archived digitally. Paper folders are reduced to a minimum.

In production preparation and manufacturing, we work with the "digital twin". This means that all projects are completely planned in 3D and automatically manufactured by CNC on the basis of the data. The conservatories and glass houses are only assembled at the customer's premises.

VR (Virtual Reality) technology has also long been a standard feature of the company's individual customer planning. The customer can thus experience "his" project, including sun simulation, virtually in advance. The VR data is also used for internal discussions of complex parts with the employees in planning and production.

The construction sites are mapped in real time with the help of a digital schedule, while the customer can follow changes live. A chat function enables digital exchange. Digital construction site files and project documentation run via a mobile app. Employees can create measurements directly on the tablet. Project documents are digitally available at any time via cloud access.

Curiosity and initiative

From the entrepreneur's point of view, digitalisation is an ongoing process. His maxim: to support the business as best as possible with the help of digitalisation, to make it easier, better, faster and more attractive.

Example VR planning: Often there was the problem that customers wanted to invest a lot of money in a glass house. However, there was uncertainty about whether it would also suit them and their house and how light conditions would change in the existing building. This led to delays in decision-making.

With curiosity and initiative, the entrepreneur identified and tested the right VR solution. Today, VR is a standard service of the business, which is gladly used by the customers and thus also ensures significant turnover!

Inspire employees

When the VR technology was introduced, the employees were already enthused during the test phase. The sales department was also trained with the technology. In order to be able to communicate and sell the added value to the customers, the "customer journey" from the initial contact to the decision to place the order was completely redefined. The advantages for the customer, but also for the company, had to be worked out. Since then, sales and advice have taken place almost exclusively in the (virtual) showroom. This saves a lot of time.

Impulses and support from outside

For many digitisation steps, the company also called on external help. There was help from programmers, developers and digital pioneers. However, the ideas mostly came from the entrepreneur or the employees.  A bar camp on the topic of wood and digitisation at Kempten University of Applied Sciences was also initiated to get qualified input.

Pure benefit

Conclusion of the entrepreneur on "his" digital journey: The business is now faster and thus more profitable in many areas. Employees are relieved of routines. Error rates have been reduced. Processes become more visible and comprehensible. The processing of orders becomes more transparent, and the customer, for example through VR planning, gets the certainty that he has made the right decision even before completion.

His overall verdict: Ultimately, digitalisation must always positively support the people (in the company). The more people benefit from an innovation, the easier it is to implement.

The forum “A practical guide to digitisation for craftspeople“ is the crucible of implementation-oriented digitalisation at FENSTERBAU FRONTALE and HOLZ-HANDWERK 2022 in Nuremberg. There, from 12.07.– 15.07.2022, you will find the right path to your own digitalisation for yourself and your company over four days. Information, inspiration and concrete knowledge on this and many other topics will be available live in the form of power interviews and personal exchanges with digitisation experts and fellow craftsmen.

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