Internet of Things helps NZ glass manufacturer AGP disrupt industry with four-day supply delivery

Architectural Glass Products owns more than 1750 delivery trolleys, which transport its fragile glass products. It needed a way to track these assets so it could provide its four-day order-to-delivery services. This is why it opted for Pollin8’s Track solution and Thinxtra’s 0G Network to maintain service levels as well as prevent losses and delays. 

Architectural Glass Products (AGP) was founded in response to market demand for high quality glass that can be manufactured and delivered in short, predictable timeframes. Established in 2019, the company has become the nation’s largest manufacturer of insulated glass units (IGUs). It currently operates a four-hectare, highly automated factory in Hautapu on Te Ika-a-Māui, NZ’s North Island, and is entirely focused on delivering outstanding customer service. 

“Before AGP came to market, the time from ordering the glass to delivery was unpredictable, and customers never quite knew specifically when their products would arrive,” AGP’s Gene Sanford says. “We have completely disrupted the market by delivering in four days.”

To support its growing operations, AGP owns more than 1750 purpose-built delivery trolleys worth NZ$3000 each, which are used to transport its fragile, high-value glass products. If these crucial assets go missing for any reason, AGP not only sees a financial loss, but is at risk of missing its delivery targets, which can have knock-on effects on customers awaiting their arrival to complete constructions.

AGP partnered with Pollin8, an innovative provider of  Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions services in the Industry 4.0, SmartCity and Agritech markets. The sophisticated yet easy-to-use Pollin8 Track platform offers the options of SaaS, with added flexibility to get the best of both worlds – with custom dashboards, device integration, and custom branding to suit a company’s current and future business needs. 

To reduce the chances of the delivery trolleys going missing and ensure their efficient return to the facility, AGP deployed Pollin8’s Track solution, featuring IoT tracking devices which transmit location data over Thinxtra’s 0G Network. This data can be viewed within Pollin8’s sophisticated analytics platform, allowing the manufacturer to track assets in real-time so they can be retrieved efficiently to maintain its four-day order-to-delivery service, and optimise asset utilisation long-term.

Pollin8’s IoT devices are fixed to every AGP delivery trolley, and record location data at all times, including where GPS signals are unavailable. That information is transmitted over Thinxtra’s national low power wide area network (LPWAN), known as the 0G Network, and provided to AGP in real-time through Pollin8’s web and mobile applications in an easy-to-understand format.

“Since foundation, AGP has built a highly-sophisticated operation underscored by incredible efficiency, which has catapulted the company to the pinnacle of glass supply in NZ,” Thinxtra’s CEO Nicholas Lambrous, says. “By bringing IoT into the mix from a very early stage, AGP gained granular visibility over the assets responsible for safely transporting its glass products to a fast-growing network of customers, avoiding unnecessary losses, and maintaining its stringent customer service level agreements,” he adds.

AGP selected Pollin8 Thinxtra because the combined IoT solution is perfectly suited to the manufacturer’s expansion plans.

Successful IoT solutions are built on good partnerships

AGP selected Pollin8 and Thinxtra because the combined IoT solution is extremely cost-effective, making it ideally suited to the manufacturer’s plans for continued expansion. The devices are quick to install, and the 0G Network allows AGP to simply connect the sensors to the IoT without needing to invest in building or maintaining any communications infrastructure. AGP also stands to save costs over time as the devices are battery-powered and last several years – reducing need for replacement – and don’t require ongoing maintenance.

“Although GPS-based tracking solutions have been available for powered vehicles for decades, IoT has introduced the capability to deliver tracking of non-powered assets using devices with long battery life in an affordable manner and at scale,” Pollin8’s CEO Nick Pickering, says. “That means we can provide AGP with not only around the clock tracking, but tailor the solution to its unique business requirements now and as its business expands in the future.

“Having Pollin8 and Thinxtra’s joint IoT solution in place from the start has proved central to our ability to deliver this level of service. 

“Rather than resorting to the time consuming task of counting assets on a map with a basic GPS solution, we have a dashboard and data that inform us which customer has the trolleys and how long they have had them – enabling us to quickly take action to maintain our high-service levels.”

“Our customers’ cash flow can be improved significantly knowing their supply will be delivered on time; getting our assets back quickly to fulfil the next set of orders helps mitigate any knock-on effect that might impact them,” AGP’s Gene Sanford says.

What all three organisations have in common is a shared passion to automate and digitise business processes that contribute to more sustainable business practices.  

“The combination of IoT devices and data has created a tremendous opportunity to reduce carbon emissions,” notes Craig Weise, CEO of New Zealand Green Investment Finance (NZGIF). “With the ability to better track vehicles and assets, organisations can reduce their environmental impact by optimising fleets and routing to shorten time on the road, while avoiding waste from lost assets. It’s great to see Thinxtra continuing to partner with companies to help them achieve efficiencies and reduce their carbon impact.”

NZGIF and the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation) Australia are both investors in Thinxtra, a leader in Massive IoT,  an Australian company founded to help organisations connecting high volumes of assets – such as delivery trolleys, kegs, IBCs, and cages – to the digital world. The IoT pioneer deployed the national Thinxtra 0G Network in Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong,  the only public low-cost, low-power wide area network (LPWAN). 

With a range of plug-and-play and customer solutions, Thinxtra works closely with partners like Pollin8 to provide proven solutions that improve efficiencies, optimise operations, reduce costs, and support sustainability goals.

For more information on Thinxtra, click here. 

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