Sales 4.0 - stairlifts at the sharp end of the digital revolution

Essen, October 18, 2018 

thyssenkrupp Elevator and Zühlke unveil fully digitalised sales process – and pioneer large scale use of Microsoft's Mixed Reality technology  

In a joint media event, thyssenkrupp Elevator and Zühlke have unveiled HoloLinc® – a fully digitalised sales process for stairlifts. To coincide with the unveiling, thyssenkrupp Elevator has also provided 120 sales managers with a sales package consisting of a Microsoft HoloLens and all the equipment required to utilise HoloLinc® with customers.

The new HoloLinc® sales process starts by using a Microsoft HoloLens to measure up the customer’s staircase. thyssenkrupp and Zühlke expect this new approach to save sales managers about an hour compared to the previous method. Aided by the sales manager the customer can then configure the stair lift on an iPad and, thanks to mixed reality, view the stair lift in place on their stairs. If the customer decides to order the stair lift, just one click sends the data to the Microsoft Azure backend, and from there to the production department.

Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO at thyssenkrupp Elevator, is delighted with the new solution, “As well as reducing lead times by up to a quarter, HoloLinc® means that customers can now get a much better feel for how their new stairlift will look.” And, according to Zühlke board member, Managing Director Business Development and Partner Jürgen Pronebner:


HoloLinc® is a showcase example of the huge benefits that can be achieved with digitalisation projects when they are properly thought through and implemented.

– Jürgen Pronebner, Managing Director Business Development and Partner

HoloLinc® is based on a proof of concept unveiled by thyssenkrupp and Microsoft at Hannover Messe 2017. thyssenkrupp chose innovation service provider Zühlke to transform the rough outline into a concrete solution. As Andreas Schierenbeck notes, “As the first certified Microsoft Partner for the HoloLens, not only is Zühlke a pioneer in Augmented and Mixed Reality, it also has extensive experience with digitalisation projects – ranging from cloud and mobile solutions to connectivity. They were able to ensure that the solution integrated seamlessly into our existing IT ecosystem.”

With HoloLinc®, thyssenkrupp and Zühlke have developed a completely new way of using Microsoft HoloLens. This is the first time the tech giant’s mixed reality glasses have been used as a measuring device. As Jürgen Pronebner explains, “We have achieved a big increase in precision – and this improved precision could have useful applications in many other sectors and markets. We are currently working with thyssenkrupp to explore the potential opportunities.”

By harnessing the power of IoT with solutions like HoloLinc®, thyssenkrupp Elevator is able to step further into the digital era and transform the way it delivers mobility solutions. The quicker communication between salespersons, backend, and manufacturing teams through the immediate ERP integration between configuration, customer purchase, and production is a big leap forward as is the usage of mixed reality technology at a time when Industry 4.0 and VR mostly are visions of the (near) future. This is digitization in the most tangible and productive fashion – and it happens right now.

About Zühlke

As a service provider for innovation projects, Zühlke combines business and technology expertise to produce solutions to inspire and enthuse our customers. On behalf of its customers, it develops commercially successful products, services and business models for a digital future – from the idea, through implementation, to operation. To achieve this, more than 1,000 experts deploy experience gained over the course of more than 10,000 projects.

The Zühlke Group has local teams on the ground in Bulgaria, Germany, the UK, Hong Kong, Austria, Serbia, Singapore and Switzerland. In 2017, the company employed 960 staff, and achieved revenues of 154 million Swiss francs (€138 million, £121 million).

About thyssenkrupp Elevator

thyssenkrupp Elevator brings together the Group’s global activities in passenger transportation systems. With sales of €7.7 billion in fiscal 2016/2017 and customers in 150 countries, thyssenkrupp Elevator built its position as one of the world’s leading elevator companies from scratch in a mere 40 years’ time applying thyssenkrupp unique engineering capabilities. With more than 50,000 highly skilled employees, the company offers smart and innovative products and services designed to meet customers’ individual requirements.

The portfolio includes passenger and freight elevators, escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts as well as tailored service solutions for all products. Over 1,000 locations around the world provide an extensive sales and service network to guarantee closeness to customers.

With HoloLinc® thyssenkrupp Elevator and Zühlke present a fully digitalizes sales process based on the Microsoft HoloLens (Photo: thyssenkrupp Elevator).


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