QR codes and rugged phones

Stahl- und Fahrzeugbau Grabner
Hartberg, Styria
Technologies used
2D Codes
Devices used
Mobile Computers

QR codes and rugged phones – Stahl- und Fahrzeugbau Grabner

In 1960, Johann and Hermine Grabner founded the company "Stahlbau Grabner", which mainly specialised in the repair, production and trade of agricultural machinery. Already at the end of the 60s, the company began with the production and assembly of steel halls. Crane construction for the Liebherr company was one of the company's main tasks for almost 29 years.

Grabner employees in front of tractor with mobile computer
In addition to tractors, Grabner also sells all agricultural machinery for the agro-ecology sector

On the extensive premises of the company, which is located on the outskirts of the East Styrian town of Hartberg and offers a large exhibition area for the surrounding agricultural economy, it became increasingly clear that a mobile system for moving the recording processes out - to the place of action - would become necessary. The Microsoft Dynamics ERP system had already been providing reliable service for article management since 2003.

The first steps

The IT team recounts the history: "From the shift of the recording processes "into the field", we hoped above all for a reduction in errors and time savings. At the time, we spent over an hour a day checking all our inventory in- and outdoors against lists." By scanning QR codes, we were able to achieve an incredible time saving of 30 minutes every day." The entire storage location management was implemented in the application.

On the hardware side, they initially relied on Bluetooth scanners that fed the item number to the application running on consumer phones. "At that time we had to deal with hardware handling on a daily basis, because for some inexplicable reason the phone was not working reliably. Either the radio wasn't there, the SIM card didn't last or there was some other hardware defect. We wanted to make life easier for ourselves with consumer phones, but professional use also requires professional equipment."

Grabner employees 2D code scan with mobile computer
The QR code attached to the machine allows the salesperson to negotiate directly with the customer

At Barcotec, they finally found a large selection of robust full-touch devices that are built for industrial use. Since the purchase of the new hardware, there has not been a single failure since last autumn. The devices have been running smoothly since commissioning.

If you calculate the time saved by the non-existent handling effort during operation, the higher investment costs have paid for themselves several times over compared to a consumer telephone!
Grabner IT employee

With food comes appetite

When designing the new system, two other exciting processes were also designed: on the one hand, a system to improve the customer experience, namely by attaching a QR code to each agricultural machine so that the interested buyer can independently check the components of the machine on the exhibition grounds at any time and thus decide whether the machine is suitable for him or not.

2D code scan indoors
The "Rugged Phone Gladius 5" is suitable for indoor, but also for tough outdoor use

On the other hand, the use of the QR code for the salesperson on the premises, who can call up detailed information about product features, pricing and contract conclusion at the customer's machine at any time. The resulting high level of transparency enables professional customer service on site.

The use of the professional rugged phone "Gladius 5" ensures operation with a battery charge of over 8 hours, even though the device is in use all day. The feature of wireless charging also makes handling much easier for the employees, as they do not have to think about plugging the device into the power supply after closing time.

Grabner building
On the company's sprawling premises, it became increasingly clear that a mobile system to move the capture processes out - to the point of action - would be necessary.

"We are very pleased with the cooperation with Barcotec and very satisfied with the choice of equipment," concludes Grabner's IT manager. "By choosing a partner who has the know-how for such solutions and the technical background, we were able to implement the project successfully.