Mobility systems specialist thyssenkrupp Elevator has launched a new, fully digitalised process for the stairlift industry called HoloLinc, which aims to transform the way the industry delivers customised mobility solutions to end users.

Developed in coordination with Zühlke and Microsoft, HoloLinc will be used by sales representatives to significantly speed up the production process for stairlifts, from measurement to delivery.

HoloLinc uses a combination of mixed reality and a cloud-based configurator to accelerate delivery time for stairlifts and improve customers’ experiences.

Mixed reality is a combination of real and virtual worlds to produce new visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real-time. For HoloLinc, this will allow customers to see exactly what a product would look like in their home and customise it to their specific requirements.

The new technology has improved processing times so that they are four times quicker, says thyssenkrupp Elevator, as what used to take 40 to 70 days to produce will now be reduced to 14 days.

Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator, commented: “The need for a stairlift can arise very suddenly. The customer may be in distress – and if we can deliver a solution quickly, this can provide enormous relief and comfort to enhance a customer’s quality of life. From this point of view, it’s an emotional matter, too.”

After a pilot in the Netherlands with more than 300 successful installations, the solution is being rolled out in October in the UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, and France, with Norway and Japan to follow next year.

HoloLinc also transforms the way space is measured and digitised, allowing sales executives to immediately trigger production. Accurate measurement during the first visit allows thyssenkrupp Elevator to factor in individual user ergonomics and obstacles unique to that user’s home.

After that, the data captured is sent to Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure and is then used to configure the most suitable stairlift for the customer. This can be visualised, configured to customised preferences, as well as priced and quoted, in near real-time, ensuring a much faster ordering process.

Thorsten Herrmann, General Manager at Microsoft Germany, commented: “Choosing trusted and powerful partners is a critical success factor for companies aiming to digitally transform their businesses.

“With HoloLinc, thyssenkrupp Elevator has truly created a best practice for an end-to-end digital transformation story empowered by Microsoft’s cloud platform: They have built a digital value chain optimizing production and service processes and providing customers in their homes with the best possible sales experience at the same time.”

thyssenkrupp Elevator, part of the thyssenkrupp industrial group, is a mobility systems specialist, with a wide-ranging portfolio including passenger and freight elevators, escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts as well as tailored service solutions for all products.

Zühlke is a service provider for innovation projects, including developing financially successful products, services and business models for today’s digital world – from coming up with the initial idea through to the implementation and operation. This company says it has delivered over 10,000 successful projects.

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