Woodworking Machines on the iPad

Grupp-Firmengebäude, Nattheim

Case Study: Maschinen-Grupp GmbH

Thanks to Cortado Server, employees of Maschinen-Grupp GmbH can use their iPads to call up all the info about their machines and equipment on-site with the customer.

Maschinen-Grupp GmbH is one of the leading dealers of woodworking machines in Germany. Throughout the entire country, the company’s sales representatives and technicians advise and assist woodworking companies in choosing and maintaining or repairing the machines. The variety of equipment and machines presented the employees with major challenges on their customer visits in the past. All information about possible solutions was supposed to be available so that the customer can get an impression. However, the employees did not always have the right documents with them.

“If we were to use brochures, we would have to drive a truck up to the customer. That’s how big the selection of equipment and machines is,” reports Andreas Kaiser, sales representative and the person responsible for Cortado at the company. For a while, the sales force managed with laptops. The employees accessed the Grupp database via VPN connection. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, the company was looking for a more convenient and easier way to improve productivity and convenience for customers and employees with tablets.

A Solution for Device Management Plus File Access Was Needed

The solution: sales representatives and technicians were equipped with iPhones and primarily iPads. In order to be able to manage the devices securely, a suitable mobile device management system had to be found. The choice landed on Cortado Server. The Cortado solution makes it possible to manage the devices and distribute the required apps to the employees. The Cortado Server also offers the employees the ability to access documents on shared network drives directly with the iPad.

In order to provide colleagues with the right documents, Andreas Kaiser assigns rights and drives to the employees – based on groups in the Active Directory. Depending on their group affiliation, the employees receive certain apps and also access to different drives. After all, according to Andreas Kaiser, not every app makes sense for every employee. And technicians are interested in different information than sales people. For some employees, the person in charge also makes individual assignments of required drives.

Currently, 39 colleagues are working with iPhones and iPads. All devices are provided by the company and DEP-registered (Device Enrollment Program). The devices are authorized for personal use, but certain content or apps, such as multi-user games, are on the blacklist and therefore blocked. Otherwise, according to Andreas Kaiser, the company policy is quite open, and he would not have time for a detailed whitelist, i.e., a compilation of allowed apps.

Protection of Customer Data Comes First

Nevertheless, when it comes to the protection of customer data and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), openness has its limits. The messenger apps Threema and Signal have been completely rolled out. But one could not and would not want to completely block apps like WhatsApp at Grupp, especially since the devices are provided for personal use (COPE: Corporate Owned Personally Enabled), so private use cannot be prohibited.

Grupp ensures compliance with data protection by using the Cortado Server and setting a corresponding policy. Professional contacts are thus separated on the device.

At the moment, Grupp is working on making the technicians’ job completely paperless. This was tested with the technicians at one branch. According to Kaiser, it works so well that they are now rolling it out for other technicians. The technicians will then have all the necessary information on an iPad Pro. The customer will confirm the executed order directly on the iPad Pro. A decisive benefit for the colleagues: The technicians, who frequently work from home, will not have to go to a company office to hand over or scan papers. This will save employees a lot of time and effort.
Andreas Kaiser: “With Cortado we can manage devices and apps securely. And we have achieved a considerable improvement in document availability. That’s very important to us.”

Download Case Study (PDF)