|Monitoring of company processes using a smartwatch?
|Monitoring of company processes using a smartwatch?
|<p>According to <em>Minnesota Reformer</em>, two large USA meat-processing companies – Tyson Foods and JBS – invested into a smartwatch app that provides real-time monitoring of production processing. </p><p>The aim of this technology is to increase the company’s efficiency while also ensuring the safety of employees. The risk of injury in the meat-processing industry is very high. Repetitive, fast and strenuous work makes meat processing plants some of the most dangerous workplaces. The U.S. Department of Labor has conducted repeated investigations of safety incidents in the industry in recent years. <br></p><p>The app is compatible with Samsung Watch 4, which continuously collects data from the production process during the work shift using its sensors – specifically the force, rotation, speed and direction of the worker's hand movement. This data is then interpreted by software with elements of artificial intelligence that determines whether the movements are safe and alerts workers if they exceed the safety limits for force or speed. It converts the acquired data into metrics displayed on the dashboard. This includes not only safety metrics, but also active productivity scores.<br></p><p><strong>What are the advantages for the company?</strong><br></p><p>Using a smartwatch as a tool to monitor manufacturing processes can bring a number of benefits.</p><p>The most important of these is an <strong>increase of productivity</strong>. Thanks to the monitoring of movement and performance of activities, it is possible to identify less productive work procedures and propose measures to increase the performance of individual activities. <br></p><p>Another advantage of using a smartwatch is <strong>increased employee safety</strong>. Smartwatch sensors can predict potential safety risks at the workplace. The watch is equipped with RTLS (real-time location system) technology, which allows the worker to easily call for assistance or help if necessary.<br></p><p>Using data on the current progress of individual activities in the production process, the software can also provide workers with immediate feedback to help them significantly facilitate their work or improve their performance.<br></p><p>The use of a smartwatch during an activity also makes it possible to easily collect anonymous data about movement around the company premises, which can be further analyzed and used to <strong>optimize work processes and use of resources</strong>. This information helps companies <strong>reduce costs and increase profitability</strong> while making the <strong>work of employees easier</strong>. In addition, optimizing work procedures from the point of view of their ergonomics helps <strong>prevent long-term health problems</strong>.<br></p><p>Last but not least, smartwatches can also help employers <strong>improve </strong><strong><strong>comm</strong>unication with employees</strong>. Thanks to the HMI (Human Machine Interface) technology, employees can better interact with different systems and machines in real time and easily adapt to different work tasks. <br></p><p>Overall, the use of smartwatches can help companies optimize workflows, reduce downtime, and thereby increase production process productivity and improve worker safety. From a marketing perspective, this can be a strong selling point for companies trying to improve their bottom line and differentiate themselves in a crowded market. The feedback from unions has shown (despite initial concerns) that workers see this innovation as a real benefit to their jobs.<br></p><p><strong>Protection of workers' privacy</strong><br></p><p>Privacy concerns of the employees are an important consideration when implementing any new monitoring system at the workplace. At Cleverlance, we also deal with the implementation of similar solutions using smartwatches. This is why we asked <strong>Mikuláš Müller</strong>, the head of the CleverIndustry unit which supplies systems for the digitization of industry and logistics, about how this issue is handled at Cleverlance:<br></p><p><em>"In the case of a smartwatch application that monitors activities in the production process, it is important to emphasize that we respect the GDPR and ensure the secure processing of personal data. All data is encrypted and stored on secure servers, where it is accessible only to authorized persons. </em><br></p><p><em>Each employee uses a different watch each time. Before each shift, employees randomly and anonymously select a watch from the shelf, so it is impossible to determine exactly which particular employee is or was in which place at a certain time. This should make employees feel safe and assure them that their privacy is not at risk. </em><br></p><p><em>It is also important to explain to the employees all aspects of the functioning of this system, and to convince them that the smartwatch will help them make their work easier and will not threaten their rights and privacy"</em>, emphasizes Mikuláš Müller.<br></p>
|Digitalization of roll containers using IoT sensors – a solution for logistics problems in the e-commerce era
|Digitalization of roll containers using IoT sensors – a solution for logistics problems in the e-commerce era
|<p>With the growth of e-commerce and changes in consumer behavior, efficient delivery of packages is more difficult than ever. As a result of the inefficiency of logistics processes, many carriers are having problems covering the ever-increasing number of shipments. An insufficient overview of the use and location of roll containers causes unnecessary complications and inefficiencies preventing their optimal use. The intensity of transport and costs due to the unused capacity of the transport space are increasing; these lead to negative environmental impacts and delayed deadlines for the delivery of shipments. Dissatisfied customers then loudly demand their undelivered shipments!<br></p><p>All these problems can be solved by tracking roll containers using Bluetooth. A good example is the Dutch postal service, which recently announced the digitization of 250,000 shipping roll cages using sensors from Kontakt.io. The postal service delivers around 1.1 million parcels and 8.1 million letters across the Benelux every day! In 2020, it delivered a record 337 million shipments during the coronavirus pandemic, which was almost 20% more than in 2019.</p><p>The technology chosen by the Dutch postal service to digitize its logistics process and track rolling cages containing parcels has brought many benefits – and these can also be used in a number of other industries.<br></p><h3>Overview of the use of roll containers</h3><p>Tracking using IoT sensors allows the Dutch postal service to gain better insight into how the roll containers are being used. The sensors provide information about who is currently using the containers, how often they use them, and how many are currently available. Thanks to accurate monitoring, the postal service can identify unused or empty trolleys and thus minimize costs in the entire supply chain.<br></p><h3>Optimization </h3><p>Detailed monitoring using Bluetooth sensors allows the postal service to position the trolleys so that they are used as efficiently as possible. It turned out that while in some shipping depots the trolleys are partially unused, in others they have been able to significantly increase the efficiency of transportation by adding more trolleys.<br></p><h3>Identifying bottlenecks and problems in the logistics chain</h3><p>If there is a shortage of trolleys in one place, or if parcels are piling up somewhere, the postal service might not be able to process parcels. Thanks to Kontakt.io Bluetooth sensors tracking the position of roll containers, the Dutch postal service can anticipate problems and move staff or equipment in time to resolve the situation. This simple step solves problems even before they occur.<br></p><h3>Localization of lost shipments</h3><p>The loss of a shipment or an entire roll container is a serious problem for any shipping service. Thanks to the sensors, the postal service can easily and quickly locate the trolleys without ever losing track of any of them. The sensors provide information about which roll container with a so-called roll cage the shipment was loaded on, and in which car or transshipment point the container is located. If the postal service needs to move a shipment to a correct location, it is easy to find out where exactly it is located.<br></p><h3>Real-time information about roll container capacity</h3><p>Thanks to the digitization of logistics using tracking sensors, the Dutch postal service has an overview of the current capacity of individual roll containers – whether the cage is fully loaded or whether there is free space in it. A detailed overview of the container location, its contents and movements including any delays, makes it possible to increase the efficiency of processes and improve customer service.<br></p><h3>Cost reductions</h3><p>Tracking the roll cages and their contents allows the identification of parts of the logistics chain where costs can be reduced. For example, sending fully loaded cages instead of half-empty ones, or making sure these units take the most direct route to their destination. <br></p><h3>Reducing the environmental footprint</h3><p>The quick identification of places where the containers can be best used not only brings greater cost efficiency, but also reduces the negative impact on the environment thanks to a smaller amount of unused space during transport.<br></p><p>The technology for tracking roll containers using IoT sensors selected by the Dutch postal service can be a key solution for handling the ever-increasing volume of transported shipments. This technology makes it possible to get a better overview of the use of roll containers and minimize the cost of replacing equipment. Thanks to their monitoring, the containers can be placed so that they are used as efficiently as possible and bottlenecks in the logistics chain can be predicted. The technology helps solve problems before they arise and minimizes negative impacts on the environment. Companies and organizations in other industries can also take advantage of this technology to optimize their logistics processes and minimize costs.<br></p>
|Place yourself in the centre of your data
|Place yourself in the centre of your data
|<p>In May 2022 Petr Štros gave an interview to
<a href="https://www.cio.cz/clanky/postavte-se-do-stredu-svych-dat/">CIO Business World</a> telling what's in the store at Cleverlance. </p><p>
<strong>Since 2019, Cleverlance has been part of a group of technology companies united under the Aricoma brand. The original plans were that you would build a large international organization, ready for expansion into foreign markets. How is this vision being fulfilled?</strong></p><p>This is a huge and key topic for us.<br>The goal of making the company a European technology supplier has not changed at all. We are standing on the threshold of great things, of which Cleverlance will be a significant part.<br><br><strong>What does building a European supplier mean to you?</strong><br><br>There are a lot of American and Asian providers on the market but really big European players are missing.<br><br><strong>Do you mean with the EU flag?</strong></p><p>No, with the European flag. We want to have the flag of Europe, but to do business worldwide, to be proud that we are from Europe. In the United States, for example, Europe is still considered a mark of quality, so why not take advantage of that? Today we are at the beginning of our European journey. There are currently around three and a half thousand of us in Aricoma, we want to grow at least threefold, only then will we be big enough to operate in the European context. For me personally, it is interesting to take part in it, to give meaning and contours to the expansion. The target customer is Europe, it is our home address, we certainly will not even resist exporting our services to other continents.<br></p><p>
<strong>Why is it so important for the growth of a company to be part of a large international group?</strong></p><p>Our business is connected to digitization, which has two parts – customer and delivery. The delivery part is problematic all over the world due to the lack of people who would be able to deliver all the required services within the framework of digitization. It is no longer possible to do it with just one company from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.<br>That is why we are part of Aricoma and why we opened branches in Germany and Spain. We need to expand our options. But even there, of course, we have problems finding skilled people at a reasonable price who will fit into our company culture. And we need a lot of them.<br><br>Many of our potential customers in Europe and around the world are really large and as such expect their partners and suppliers to be large companies as well. Cleverlance, even though we are huge with a thousand employees, is not big enough for them. Big companies simply don't like small ones, so Aricoma's size, when it grows to the strength of at least ten thousand employees, will be a springboard for us to new large international customers.<br><br><strong>So you're finally delivering on the strategy </strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/cleverlance/"><strong>Cleverlance</strong></a><strong> was founded with? That it will be a company that will primarily serve the foreign market.</strong><br><br>Those were the original assumptions. But after the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2000, we had to reorient ourselves to the Czech market. After a while Czech clients started asking us to go abroad with them on international projects. So we went beyond the borders again. We started to rebuild our positions on the German market. But nothing will ever change about the fact that the domestic market has become key for us and we'll never leave it, nor our Czech clients.<br><br><strong>Which foreign markets do you prefer?</strong><br><br>We are starting in Germany, we already have offices in Munich with salesmen and technicians, now we are trying Austria and eventually we will go to Switzerland. These countries suit us best with their mentality.<br></p><p>
<strong>How does Spain, where you opened offices in April, fit into the expansion?</strong></p><p>Because we are looking for a solution to the critical talent shortage problem, and in addition to expanding our reach, we need English-speaking people. We looked around Europe and found an ideal place in Valencia that offers thousands of technically educated university students every year at a reasonable price, so it was an obvious choice for us. Let's hope it goes well. We want to have 20 people there within six months and 100 within a year, thereby starting a major expansion into Europe. Our goal is also tenders from the European Union.<br></p><p>But it is not easy to get such tenders. You have to go through a series of checks and tests, sign a framework contract with the European Union.<br><br>That's right, we've already gone through all that and we've been officially promised that we'll be one of the 8 companies that will sign such a contract with the European Commission. The contract will set barriers for the supply of services, people or technology for any European company that falls under the European Commission. The contract is for five years and the amount of money contracted is huge.<br><br>And this is also possible only because we are in <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/aricoma-group/">ARICOMA Group</a>, because one of the monitored elements was of course our size and stability, which Cleverlance alone would not be enough for, although our knowledge and capabilities are.<br><br><strong>So that contract gives you automatic access to European Commission contracts?</strong><br><br>No, it gives us the opportunity to participate in tenders for contracts from the European Commission, we will be able to apply for contracts in competition with the other seven companies that also have this framework contract. For the fact that we are actually only a Czech company in quotation marks, this is a phenomenal success.<br><br><strong>What are your expectations for the impact on </strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/cleverlance/"><strong>Cleverlance</strong></a><strong>?</strong></p><p>We expect our turnover to triple at least within those five years.<br>Of course, we would grow even without the contract with the European Commission, but not nearly as fast.<br></p><p>
<img src="/en/blog/PublishingImages/Pages/PST-interview/Petr%20Stros-7945.jpg" alt="Petr Stros-7945.jpg" data-themekey="#" style="margin:5px;" /> <br></p><p>
<strong>Cleverlance is establishing itself very much in the digital economy service. What do you think is the situation in this area?</strong><br><br>The world simply needs <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=digitization&highlightedUpdateUrns=urn:li:activity:6975061770495266817">#digitization</a> or <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=digitaltransformation&highlightedUpdateUrns=urn:li:activity:6975061770495266817">#digitaltransformation</a>, it doesn't matter what buzzword we call it. For now, as a world, we are only in the initial phase of the next act of the digital future.<br><br>Undoubtedly, we need tools to build a digital environment that allows us to acquire and use data, communicate with third parties, and then work with all that knowledge. But there are so many of them that it is simply not humanly possible to process them all. Therefore, tools are created to process them, which tell you what you should do on the basis of this data, how you should behave, what to buy, what to sell... But even with automatic data processing, you are soon overwhelmed by the reduced outputs. There's just too much.<br><br><strong>And what can be done about it?</strong></p><p>Change the approach completely. From an attitude of machines telling us what to do, you need to move to a system that offers advice on how to do better what you think is good for your business.<br><br>Therefore, you or your systems must learn to take only the one tiny particle that interests you from the processed <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=data&highlightedUpdateUrns=urn:li:activity:6975061770495266817">#data</a> and continue to work with it. In a week you can take another part and alternate it as needed. As a customer, you have to put yourself at the center of your data and only get what you need and want, not be overwhelmed by the volume.<br><br>Today, however, it still essentially does not work that way. When that time comes, it will be very interesting. We want to be both a data platform supplier and a user when the system recognizes the customer's feelings in advance and offers him exactly what he needs.<br></p><p>
<strong>What do you mean by that feeling? Do you mean his current business need?</strong></p><p>No, needs can already be found and satisfied by today's artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithms. But recognizing those feelings will be more girlish for the AI, we are only very slowly heading down a very difficult path there. No one even knows yet how to incorporate such an ability into algorithms. First, AI has to really be AI, and then all these things can be incorporated into it. The question is also whether AI will ever really reach a state where it will be intelligent.<br></p><p>
<strong>What limits it today?</strong></p><p>Mainly hardware, when there are quantum computers, we will be in a different situation. Today we are really at the beginning of this journey.</p><p>And thanks to Aricoma, we can embark on that journey and work to create the future. Because the future of the digital economy does not end with building a platform for smart intelligence. An additional layer of blockchain will be needed on top of the AI layer.<br></p><p>
<strong>How does blockchain fit into this?</strong></p><p>I'm not talking about cryptocurrencies, those are completely out of the question. I am referring to pure blockchain technology, which itself offers a safe, unassailable and trustworthy space. Trust is key in business, and so will blockchain in the future. And we are gradually trying to make these technologies available to our customers in the future.<br></p><p>
<strong>How are you trying?</strong></p><p>We have our own blockchain research department where we test our stuff. It's really pure research, classic blockchain science. It is still early for practical use, it will take years. But without science, the future would not come. We are a technology company, and this is exactly the field for us.<br></p><p>
<strong>When we talk about artificial intelligence, the European Union wants to regulate it in a fundamental way. How do you look at it?</strong></p><p>Now, if we set some frameworks for AI behavior, it's not entirely out of the question. I think that is correct, but it depends on the size of the playing field that the EU wants to define. It's a hard nut to crack, because we can't see into the future, it's hard to build future guardrails. If the playing field is too small, we won't be very competitive, if it's too big, there won't really be any regulation and it could happen that the whole thing gets over our heads.<br></p><p>
<strong>Will Skynet or the Matrix come?</strong></p><p>I don't believe that AI will take over us, but it can go over our heads. We're not going to like that anymore, so we have to have some way to stop it. Let me give you an example for drivers - if you drive aggressively, such an overpowered AI will conclude<br>that you are dangerous to the environment and will stop you at every traffic light you meet on the road. Even if you calm down and drive sensibly, he will still run a red light just out of inertia, because you were simply a risky driver. You won't like that. Therefore, it is necessary to have the rules set in advance, and I note that I am not a fan of regulations. But in this area, you can't rely on everyone to self-regulate.<br></p><p>
<strong>But won't such rules limit the competitiveness of European companies?</strong></p><p>I think the whole world will follow us in this, just like for example with GDPR. Everyone feared it as the scourge of mankind, and in the end nothing really happened.<br></p><p> </p><p> <br> </p><br>
|Kolofix. A data-based story
|Kolofix. A data-based story
|<p>Cycling has always been popular in the Czech Republic. Over one in three Czechs enjoy the sport, and that number is only growing. Despite this popularity, however, most people only think about bicycle maintenance when winter is over and it’s time to pull the bikes out again. Suddenly bike repair shops are flooded with customers and booked solid for two months, which can sound like an eternity when the sun is shining right now.<br></p><p>But what if someone offered short wait times and a technician who comes to you? That is exactly what Kolofix does. This successful Czech bike repair chain proves how technology and digitization can bring benefits in perhaps unexpected areas. The digitized Kolofix reservation system was created by a development team from Cleverlance. Customers go to the Kolofix website or app and choose the service they need and the branch they prefer. They can either take the bicycle in themselves, have a Kolofix employee come pick it up, or request a technician to come and do the repair offsite. Kolofix’s mobile repair shop can go to customers anywhere.<br></p><p>The reservation system gives customers a set time, date and price according to the service price list. The system instantly connects customers with a technician and checks for spare part availability, which significantly cuts down wait times and ensures that customers pay the same price for the same service each time.<br></p><p>The reservation app is highly effective and successful in its field. Even the global pandemic has not slowed the extraordinary interest in this fusion of the digital and sports world, and the company is currently planning to expand to Slovakia. Those plans have been put on hold for the moment, however, due to the shortage in bicycle parts currently affecting the entire cycling world.<br></p><br><br>
|How can VR training work in a bank?
|How can VR training work in a bank?
|<p>Virtual reality is predominantly associated with the gaming industry, but nowadays interesting VR projects can be found even in the business segment. Following this trend can be worthwhile for several reasons. In addition to the substantial marketing potential, innovations in this area might save money, make processes more efficient and add a whole new dimension to how tasks, projects and the company as such is perceived.<span style="color:#696158;font-size:14px;"></span></p><div><p>We experienced this first hand in Česká spořitelna, a bank from the Erste Group – after a virtual branch, their “tribe Assisted channels” decided to use this 3D model in action and asked us at Cleverlance to help create training for operating the cash registers in VR. This is a historically first virtual reality training in the Česká spořitelna.<br></p><p><img src="/de/blog/PublishingImages/Articles/CreateIt/VR_CS.jpg" data-themekey="#" alt="" style="margin:5px 0px;" />What are the advantages of this new method? The training combines gaming elements (just like Johann Amos Comenius used to say: Learning through play) and the immersion principle, when the students can fully immerse into the subject, it feels like they are trying it out themselves, even though it’s just in virtual reality. Trainers at Česká spořitelna chose this new training format for sections of the course that are historically the most challenging for the students, are hard to explain on a piece of paper, and where passive observing (e.g., on a video) is not enough to automate the process. This part is very important, though. Operating the cash register in a bank is subject to strict ČNB regulations, which is why individual training modules also have higher requirements. Students can for example practice deposits, withdrawals, checking notes, closing or balancing the cash register. The fact that the training takes place in an environment that is identical to the actual environment of Česká spořitelna helps to ingrain individual processes and reduces the error rate of cashiers in real work situations.</p><p>Česká spořitena uses the app within courses taught by a lecturer, when the students can experience most of the tasks first hand using VR and then repeat these processes until they become ingrained. This can also be done for less frequent scenarios using the “tutorial” module. The testing module then verifies how much the student has learned – the test meets the parameters required by the internal regulations of Česká spořitelna and ČNB. Another great benefit is the remote training function which is planned to be added in the future. Thanks to this, students won’t need to travel to the headquarters in Prague or Brno; all they will need is a pair of VR glasses with updated software. This saves not only money but also time. Lecturers become guides that help students understand the subject and provide a professional framework for the training, but they don’t need to be present during each routine trial, which bring additional significant savings.<br></p><p>The first training sessions took place in June 2020. The interest among ČSAS employee was enormous and the training sessions were booked out almost immediately. And the program is still continuously being developed.<br></p></div>