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Live Channel – the next best thing to test-driving a crane

September 5, 2018

Konecranes Live Channel is a convenient live streaming video service that makes it possible to test a crane in real-time from a remote location.

Konecranes has developed a wide range of Smart Features to enhance cranes’ safety and improve their usability. The aim of these enhancements is to provide the most advanced crane technology available today.

Smart Features were developed by Konecranes under real-life conditions to help crane operators deal with operational challenges they face every day. However, Konecranes salespeople found that even with the aid of videos, explaining the benefits of these Smart Features to customers could be challenging.

“Just like when buying a new car, everyone wants to test-drive the vehicle before buying it, and although we have test cranes around the world, traveling to those locations can be expensive and consumes time,” explains Tuomas Rekola, Product Manager, Crane Products at Konecranes.

A fresh perspective on a known challenge

This challenge – how to effectively demonstrate a crane’s functions, including Smart Features, to a customer in a remote location –  was among those presented to Konecranes summer trainees participating in Open to Ideas innovation contest in 2017. The contest, organized annually by Konecranes innovation management team, seeks to find fresh and unconventional perspectives for product development and solving recognized problems.

It was a team of Open to Ideas participants who developed Live Channel, a live video streaming service, based on feedback from Konecranes salespeople. Guided by their mentors, the team of trainees refined the best concepts and developed a working setup. With Konecranes Live Channel, prospective buyers of cranes can now have the next best thing to test-driving the equipment and experiencing its features for themselves.

Easy to set up and use

Live Channel’s setup is simple yet effective. It utilizes existing tools and easily available software such as Skype, as well as an affordable set of cameras and hardware. Using a proper test crane and an adequate internet connection, Konecranes personnel can cast a live stream to any location in the world.

Live Channel is a prime example of how the most straightforward solution can sometimes be the most successful, as Niclas Maassen, Area Sales Manager in Konecranes Germany, can attest:  

“We used a laptop and a mobile phone to make a web connection and then used Konecranes live channel to show the Smart Features to the customer in real-time. It was a great show and they were really impressed. Konecranes Live Channel will help us present Smart Features to the right customers,” relates Maassen.

Highly interactive

Live Channel sessions are arranged with the help of a Konecranes salesperson, who can book a test crane upon an interested party’s request. During the real-time audio and video stream, the crane operator can introduce the viewers to the equipment’s features and provide a demonstration in an actual operating situation.

The viewer can discuss freely with the presenter in real-time. As the operator is located on the test site, the viewer can comment and ask questions on its different functions in a highly interactive way. The presentation can thus be modified and customized based on the viewer’s demands.

“Live Channel has received very positive feedback,” says Visa Nummela, a member of the team of trainees behind Live Channel. “Developing it has been a great opportunity to introduce a new tool to support customers.”

“Konecranes has now used Live Channel frequently both internally and externally, and after one year, it has proven its feasibility. It’s been a really helpful tool for enabling customers to decide whether to purchase a crane or Smart Features,” says Rekola.

Key Benefits

  • Time and cost-efficient when the interested party’s location is far from the nearest test crane.
  • Personalized and interactive. The viewer can observe how the features work in real-time and ask questions.
  • Easy to set up using conventional hardware and widely available software such as Skype.

 

Text: Patricia Ongpin Steffa

Experts

Visa Nummela works for the Industrial Cranes business unit’s Product Management Support team. He was a member of the team of summer trainees who developed Live Channel, which won Konecranes’ Open to Ideas innovation contest in 2017.

As Product Manager of CXT Cranes at Konecranes, Tuomas Rekola is responsible for product and portfolio management, product training and marketing. He has worked at the company since 2011.