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    Customer Story

    SORBA delivers value-add digital construction service at 50% reduced cost with EMnify

    Sorba Case Study 3
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    About

    Founded: 1989

    Headquarters: St Gallen, Switzerland

    Industry: Construction 

    Challenge

    Monitor and manage the utilization of construction machinery

    Solution

    Cellular-connected GPS trackers that enable automatic records of machine location, operating hours, route, and more

    22,700+

    users

    700,000

    generated reports annually

    50%

    reduced solution cost

    Introduction

    According to McKinsey, digital transformation can lead to productivity gains of 14 to 15 percent in the construction sector, where labor-productivity growth has averaged a sluggish one percent annually. Founded in 1989, SORBA is among the first who set out to embrace this opportunity.

    The modular SORBA software is a Swiss army knife for construction companies of all sizes and branches to digitize every step of their construction projects - from order processing and service recording to resource management, bookkeeping, and controlling.

    As part of its solution, SORBA allows customers to effectively track the usage of their construction equipment with the help of a telematics device. The need for a reliable and cost-effective connectivity solution led SORBA to EMnify, and the team has never looked back since.

    Why EMnify

    Connect:

    Multi-network IoT SIM: Reliable data communication, even in mountain regions
    LTE-M coverage: Seamless migration to new hardware generation

    Automate:

    REST & SMS API: Improved efficiency with automated SIM activation and device configuration

    Bringing digitalization to the construction sites

    With construction being an asset-intensive sector, complete transparency over resource utilization has a strategic meaning. The ability to automatically report machine- and person-hours, together with material flows at every construction site can bring huge savings on administrative costs for businesses.

    To capture this need, SORBA developed a new service that leverages telematics data of construction equipment with a GPS tracker. In addition to insights on daily usage duration, location, and route of the machines, the device can also collect data from Bluetooth tags to track a variety of small-sized tools and assets.

    “When choosing the communications solution for our device, we examined several options, including public LoRa networks and Swisscom. However, LoRa coverage was very poor, and with Swisscom, the data price was so high that we would lose out to the competition,” explained Thomas Keller, Product Manager at SORBA.

    Sorba Case Study 4
    Sorba Case Study 2
    “Connectivity cost is directly calculated in our solution price. By using EMnify, we were able to cut the cost by half for our customers.”

    Thomas Keller, Product Manager, SORBA

    Robust IoT connectivity at a competitive price

    When the team came across EMnify, they were immediately convinced by the fast and uncomplicated onboarding process, but more importantly, how the solution caters to their requirements. “A lot of our customers operate in remote and mountain regions. With EMnify, we have never experienced any coverage issues,” said Keller.

    As 2G and 3G are rapidly phasing out worldwide, and Switzerland is a prime example, it’s no surprise that hardware vendors have proactively transitioned to newer cellular technologies. “Thanks to EMnify’s robust LTE-M coverage, we could easily migrate to the new device generation without a glitch,” he added.

    Automation to fuel rapid growth

    Today, there are over 22,700 loyal users on the SORBA platform across Switzerland with around 700,000 reports generated and digitized each year. Serving a fast-growing customer base demands the team to optimize and scale their internal processes constantly. EMnify’s API is a powerful tool to this end.

    Using the REST API, SIM activation is automated as soon as the device is switched on to reduce an extra manual step. Leveraging the SMS API, SORBA can enable customers to perform device configuration by themselves via text messages.

    When the onsite technician sends an SMS with the setting value to a predefined phone number, the message is automatically processed on the SORBA backend and forwarded to the device for reconfiguration. No other action is required from the team. “This takes off significant workload for us,” explained Keller.

    Given the heightening demand for automation and paperless reporting following the pandemic, SORBA looks to develop and diffuse its solution further to help accelerate digitalization in the Swiss construction industry.

    “Having SIM activation automated via API, we need to handle much less management work manually.”

    Thomas Keller, Product Manager, SORBA

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