Lisa Machnig


Logistics 4.0: digital keys unlock the door to efficient delivery logistics

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Key App

Challenge fleet-management: Internet oft things helps Logistic companies.

When your warehouse prevents you meeting deadlines

Long waiting times at the warehouse cost drivers and tradespeople time and money. If there is no personnel at the warehouse when a driver turns up, he or she has to obtain a warehouse key from administration and return it again afterwards. This sort of delay can mean the difference between making or missing a delivery deadline. Not only that, the constant need to document and follow-up on which keys have been issued to whom and whether they have been returned is time-consuming and inconvenient for administrative staff. So why not digitalize the process? The Internet of Things can make opening locked doors easier, more secure, and more efficient for all concerned.

Digital key management adds real value

The solution to big bunches of keys and countless access cards is Mobile Identity and Access (MIA). MIA is a solution for the centralized management of all kinds of access points. It can help all companies that have high standards when it comes to authentication and security. MIA achieves cutting-edge warehouse logistics by transposing physical keys and entrance points to an app, thus making bunches of keys and access cards for doors, roller shutters, warehouses and vehicles superfluous. Instead, MIA opens doors digitally – and can even unlock vehicles. It’s secure, can help companies streamline personnel and adds genuine value for employees, drivers and suppliers alike.

Digital delivery logistics – or when the bathroom basin magically appears in the trunk of the tradesman’s van overnight

What would it be like if tradespeople didn’t have to procure the products they need each morning, but could simply drive straight to the construction site? That would certainly save a lot of time and money. This scenario is no longer just a dream, but reality. In-car delivery (pdf, 428.7 KB) is an exciting solution and one that is of particular interest to tradespeople. 

Customers of GC Group, a wholesaler network, can take advantage of in-car delivery across Germany. For over 90 years, the company has been helping professionals in the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning/ventilation, electrical, roofing and installation industries.

GC Group is well aware that tradespeople’s order books are full, which is why it is so important for them to have all the necessary items on board when they start work in the morning. Now, GC Group is using CarLoad, which is based on Deutsche Telekom’s IoT solution Mobile Identity and Access (MIA), to set a new benchmark in digital delivery logistics. Tradespeople can have the goods and parts they need delivered direct to their trunks of their vehicles overnight. Whether they need faucets or sanitary ware, plumbers and installation technicians can place orders on the GC ONLINE PLUS platform until 8:00 p.m. of the night before to get everything they need for their customers the next morning. The GC employees assemble the order and plan the delivery. The GC Group’s driver uses an app to locate the vehicle for which an order has been placed and to open its trunk. Delivery takes place between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Security and data privacy are key elements of the process, which is fully compliant with Germany’s data privacy regulations. The vehicle positioning data is protected and not processed by the app until the tradesperson places an order. The digital key is generated only once. It is ciphered and valid for a limited period of time only. 


Retail logistics – how digitalization puts an end to chaos with keys 

Retail is another sector that has problems with the management of keys and diverse access rights. Whether delivery safes, warehouses, sales rooms or offices – retail stores have many areas to which access is restricted. Every grocery store is familiar with the problems: if there is not enough personnel in the stockroom, suppliers will experience unnecessary delays;  in the store itself, many doors have to be unlocked and locked in line with the store’s business hours; some offices may be accessed by certain staff members only;  and service providers such as janitors, cleaners and security staff need to be issued with the right keys. As a result, employees have to lug huge bunches of keys around with them, often taking a long time to locate the right one. And, if a key is lost, it – or sometimes even all the locks – have to be replaced.

In situations like this, MIA’s digital keys can offer retailers many advantages. Digital keys grant suppliers, employees and service providers tailored, time-limited access authorization to automatically unlock doors and access certain rooms using their smartphones. That means suppliers can make deliveries at any time of the day or night. 

Whether for individual doors, a warehouse or parking garage, MIA securely manages access to all areas of your business premises

It doesn’t matter whether you are a small business, wholesaler or grocery store, the opportunities offered by Mobile Identity and Access are many and diverse. You can even use the system to manage parking spaces.

But how does the solution actually work? The business owner stores the necessary data and authorizations for each user at a central location: on the online portal of Deutsche Telekom’s IoT cloud platform. This means you allocate the access rights transparently and in real time via the cloud platform. 

You thus determine who receives a digital key for which areas and for which period of time. Anyone wanting to use a digital key must first download the MIA app to their smartphone. The digital key is transferred to the phone via the mobile network in the form of a token. On the ground, access with the digital key is activated for the defined period of time via a radio signal transmitter from the cloud or a pulse generator. Access rights granted can be revoked at any time. 
If the smartphone is lost or stolen, the digital key can be invalidated almost in real time. 

To sum up: the digital transformation and the IoT offer the logistics and retail industries many different ways to optimize their business processes. 
If you are interested in MIA, please contact our expert Siegfried Lauk under and arrange a consultation. 

On topicFlyer: Warehouse on wheels – Mobile Identity & Access for In-Car Delivery (pdf, 428.7 KB)

Image Transport an Logistics

Transport and Logistics

The transport and logistics sector benefits from digitization and gives it impetus.