Who keeps order is only too lazy to search - or vice versa?

Who keeps order is only too lazy to search - or vice versa?

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The problem

Due to unsystematic stock-keeping, qualified employees were too much involved in the search for the right material for the next production step.

ALTRAD plettac Production GmbH produces innovative scaffolding systems. Since scaffolds require individual production, there are no standardized processes. The company was faced with the challenge that the "search effort" in the warehouse became so great that this time of "lost" working hours caused immense costs.

The solution

With Bluetooth technology and iBeacons, companies of all sizes can cost-effectively implement a real-time locating system

The company found an indoor tracking system that could be implemented without major implementation effort and costs. The RTLS (Real-Time Locating System) helps to locate production goods in the warehouse or in production - without search effort, at any time, up to the minute and in any room. It can also be used across companies without integration and works with the Bluetooth technology of iBeacons, which send a unique signal. Standard mobile phones are used as receivers, which are installed in the warehouse according to the space available. As soon as a signal is picked up by two or more mobile phones, the exact position can be determined and displayed to the user. In addition, the iBeacons are linked to the container numbers so that all kinds of objects/goods can be found. This also works without wifi via mobile data cards. Employees can use smartphones/tablets to make bookings from material to containers and thus have an overview of material movements and the location of containers. All that is required on the mobile device/tablet is to download an app as well.


Sample calculation: If previously 10 employees were each occupied on average 1 hour per day searching for materials, an hourly wage of 25 € results in annual costs of 62,500 €.


If we assume a regular number of pieces (material, pallets, containers) of 350 pieces, the costs for this amount to 12.600 € per year after implementation of the system. This results in a payback period of 2.4 months.


Stumbling blocks

Depending on the network, the solution can be used via mobile data. However, a wifi is often recommended.

What had the customer tried before?

The first consideration was to use RFID technology to ensure clarity in the warehouse. However, the tracking of the material did not work stable enough in the metallic environment of the scaffold manufacturer and additionally such a project would have been very investment intensive.

Additional challenges at the customer

The materials used for the scaffolding (steel / metals) did not allow some tracking systems because the signal was distorted.

What criteria were important to him?

A system was required which could be used for all branches/materials, which is simple and as cost-effective as possible.



  • The complete absence of search times for material meant that orders could be processed more efficiently. The increased productivity here is about one third.
  • Universally applicable in all industries where localisation is required.
  • Standard offer (variance only in the number of components, not their function).
  • Unlimited number of containers. Can be extended as required.
  • Cost-effective all-round suctionless package (everything included for immediate use).
  • Easy to implement project, without mandatory IT involvement.
  • Works even without wifi, if a stable mobile Internet connection is available.
  • No training effort for the employees
  • 1-5 years without battery change

The project schedule

  • Preliminary discussion (customer specifies framework conditions, such as size of the site, spatial division, materials to be tracked).
  • Estimation of the effort and the scope of the offer (provider), debriefing with the customer about technical features on site, if necessary correction of the effort estimation, submission of offer
  • Signing of offer (customer)
  • Implementation and briefing (provider)

Project maturity level

Used Locally/In the department

Project duration

1,5 years

Project cost


Involved employees
(Operating phase, FTE)


Running costs
(per month, digits)


Involved employees
(Project phase, FTE)



Skills required by the customer

Setting up the system only required a functioning wifi in the customer's production. Due to the easy handling of the devices and the intuitive user interface of the app, there was little or no training effort at the customer's site except for a briefing.

The project schedule

Configuration of the digital infrastructure:

  • Identifying and linking the beacons scheduled for the job to the receivers and readers.
  • Implementation of the map (digital map of the production area) in the system. Stationary installation and attachment of the receivers at the customer's site.
  • Provision and installation of the software (apps from the Google Play Store).
  • Cloud application (EU/Germany)
  • Security standard Samsung KNOX


Karsten Königstein is founder and managing director of SINFOSY GmbH. With over 10 years of experience in management consulting at shop-floor level, he focuses in his current position on plug & play solutions for Industry 4.0. Sinfosy GmbH's solutions are characterized on the one hand by a "Go Live" within hours and on the other hand by the fact that no extra IT project needs to be initiated.

The information may of course vary in individual cases. Please contact the provider for an assessment of your project.