Building the technology needed to serve customers remotely during the global pandemic

Global automation partner to leading companies.

Grenzebach is a global expert in helping businesses with customized automation solutions who work with several markets including glass, wood, insulation materials, gypsum, and intralogistics. Their primary goal is to support their global customer base during a period in which physical meetings and face to face interactions became extremely limited. The customer care experts at Grenzebach know how crucial their support can be, especially in the case of unplanned downtime. Despite their remote support capabilities, customers often prefered having an expert on- site. They knew that Grenzebach service technicians would resolve the failure if they could get their eyes and hands on the equipment themselves.

Collaboration during hard times.

COVID-19 Pandemic.

In early 2020, the world had to shift the way it worked as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials around the world recommended that international travel and in-person meetings weren’t a good idea. It became clear to business owners around the globe, that in order to survive, they needed to adapt swiftly. It became apparent that taking advantage of existing technology in more prominent ways could provide the solution needed.

So far, Grenzebach and their customers used standard remote support and emailed pictures back and forth while on a phone call or while using a chat app to prepare for on-site visits. But that was both inefficient, time-consuming and prone to error which was frustrating for customers and technicians alike.

Luckily, Grenzebach already had the foundation of an app that would help them better collaborate with customers. However, they still needed support in taking this app a step further with something they could use, and fast.

That’s where Santex came in.

Leveraging time zones to iterate quickly.

The decision to work with Santex in this ambitious and important project was an easy one for Grenzebach. They had already been working together for three years, so they knew how Santex worked, what they were capable of doing, and were confident that they help take the app to the finish line.

Even with Grenzebach being based out of Germany and Santex being in Argentina, their international partnership has been greatly successful throughout the years.

There were two big challenges that the teams were faced with:

Santex wanted to incorporate features from the existing app and their time was short.
Grenzebach wanted to be up and running as quickly as possible to help their customers reduce any risk to their productivity.
First

Challenge.

The first problem was solved by allowing Santex to determine the best way to incorporate the key features of the existing app into a new, updated version. After all, they had a starting point. Now, the focus was in combining the elements that already worked well with the new features that were needed to help improve collaboration, such as the ability to include video chat functionality. Santex used APIs to help bring all the pieces together and built a UX that worked for both technicians and Grenzebach’s customers.
Second

Challenge.

Grenzebach needed to scale the development team very quickly in order to complete the necessary improvements to the collaboration app to meet the needs of their customers. Had Grenzebach opted to work with a local firm, they would have potentially needed to initiate a hiring process that could require 6 months in some cases. In moving forward with Santex, the time to bring together the team needed was reduced to approximately 6 weeks in comparison. Santex was also able to scale the team up from 5 people initially to 17 in order to meet the fast-paced schedule of the project. The additional component that helped them work effectively and rapidly was the international timezones of each team involved in the project. Teams in Germany could leave feedback for the Santex team in Argentina and, because of the time difference, the Argentine team was able to implement the changes by the time the German team woke up the next day. The constant communication and feedback allowed the teams to navigate the constantly shifting requirements of the project.

This helped turn a project that could have easily taken over a year into something that was completed in just over 2 months.

A better way to collaborate internationally.

The Collaboration App integrated video calling technology and gave technicians the ability to guide users to specific parts of a piece of equipment.
The app allowed technicians to see equipment, diagnose the problem, and assist the local team on the floor as they did the necessary repairs. Santex was also able to deliver some of the nice-to-haves for the Collaboration App like augmented reality functionality that creates an even more immersive experience when working with customers. The Collaboration App ensured that machines could be repaired and put back into the production line as quickly as possible. As a bonus, since technicians were no longer spending time traveling to reach the job site, there was a higher availability of technicians which allowed immediate troubleshooting while helping customers to further minimize the downtime.
Santex’s ability to manage the changing requirements of the project allowed them to deliver a product that suited Grenzebach’s needs, while adapting as needed to the scope of the project.
The final product provides Grenzebach with the best possible solution to provide top notch service while working remotely.