Azure Data Hub & Real-time Monitoring of Mobility Scooters at Welzorg

About Louwman & Welzorg

Louwman Group is one of the largest automotive distributors in Europe, supplying millions of customers with vehicles from brands such as Toyota, Lexus, Morgan, and Suzuki. The organization is active in retail, leasing & financing, supply, and logistics in several countries across the continent. Welzorg Nederland, part of Louwman Group, is a specialist in the supply and maintenance of mobility aids and scooters for people with a physical disability and seniors for 25 years. Their goal is to increase the mobility and self-reliance of their customers with the right care aid and the right service.

The Challenge

Welzorg Nederland aims to offer better and more timely customer support which is difficult due to misleading or incomplete information when users report problems with their Scooters. Often times the issue is something that could have been fixed remotely or without the need of a mechanic but the problem wasn’t reported properly. In some cases the mechanic is sent to fix a technical issue but doesn’t have the right parts at hand. And sometimes customers forget to charge the batteries over long periods of time which means it needs to be completely replaced. All of these issues could be fixed if Welzorg had access to real-time data from their Scooters. In order to achieve that, they plan on creating the first Smart Mobility Scooter fleet that is able to collect and analyze data of Scooters making it possible to find out the technical condition remotely and offer better and timely maintenance at lower costs.

The Approach

Anchormen built an Azure Data Hub to store, clean, and analyze all types of data received by the customer in a central place which is then capable of providing insight to stakeholders via a number of dashboards. The Data Hub uses Azure services and best practices such as the IoT Hub for device management, Cosmos DB to store the data, serverless Functions for processing, and Azure Event Grid messaging functionality. Initially used by the Analytics team at Louwman, the question then became, “What else can we achieve with this data?”

After providing several use cases, it became apparent that there is a lot of potential with streaming data from Welzorg’s scooter fleet. The next step was to connect the Data Hub to the Scooters. The ambitious project was done in collaboration with several parties. Louwman providing the infrastructure, IVRA Electronics providing the scooter batteries supplemented with sensors for carrying the incoming data from Welzorg’s scooters, Vodafone used as the carrier IoT network, and of course Anchormen to put all the parts together.

The Results

With more than 1,000 Scooters already connected and providing insight, and thousands other in the process of being equipped with sensors and able to send telemetry data, the client is already seeing the positive results. With the Smart Mobility Scooter it is possible to find out remotely what is the technical condition and offer better and more timely assistance. Welzorg is now able to receive:

  • Insight into possible problems, based on error codes. This way they can immediately help customers remotely solve those errors
  • Insight into the condition of the battery, for example if there is a problem with the receiving part of the charging plug. This way they are able to send technicians to fix issues with the right information and the right spare-parts at hand
  • Insight into how the scooter is used and if it is charged properly. This allows them to give advice to users and prevent problems.

This way, Mobility Scooter users experience fewer technical problems, and if there are any, Welzorg is able to help solve them quicker. The collected data also offers a lot of useful information for product development based on how customers are using the Scooters. This helps Welzorg focus more on customer satisfaction and providing mobility than on fixing technical issues. Furthermore, with the Azure Data Hub implemented, Louwman and Welzorg are able to accelerate their data strategy and implement more complex machine learning & A.I. solutions in the future.