Kolly Group | 13.02.2023

The director of the Kolly Group spearheaded the company’s digital transformation.

The Kolly Group is a real local success story. Founded in 1979, it initially specialized in the sale and maintenance of commercial vehicles, but soon began to diversify its activities, making important inroads in the environmental technology sector thanks, among others, to its KOLLYgram weighing system.

Company headquarters in Le Mouret (Fribourg).

The decision to exploit the potential offered by Industry 4.0 has also played a role in the Group’s growth. Interview with the Group’s director, Dominique Kolly.

When did the Kolly Group start taking an interest in new technologies?

Dominique Kolly: Our embrace of digitalization actually started way back in 1980 when we bought an IBM, which filled an entire room! Computerizing all our companies so early on meant that our teams and executives could quickly acquire the necessary IT skills. Today, all our employees use Industry 4.0 tools on a daily basis. For many years, our IT and electronics partners in Fribourg have been advising and supporting us with our technology-led projects and in relation to this major industrial transformation.

A concrete example?

Our environmental technology department has developed an algorithm for forecasting filling levels of underground public waste containers. The city of Basel is already using our tool and has found that the average filling rate prior to collection has gone from 40% to 70% in only two years. This has slashed waste collection and transport costs, and led to a significant reduction in the carbon footprint.

An advance that recently earned you an award from your peers…

In September 2022, we were honored to receive ‘The Shapers’ Industry 4.0 award, from the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of French-speaking Switzerland, for our innovative connected waste management solution. The award proves the merits and potential of our web-based KOCO-online platform. Our solution offers 11 modules, including tracking, waste management, as well as wood pellet consumption forecasting. These are used by a wide range of customers across Switzerland already, such as the public sector, shopping malls, airports, recyclers and transport companies.

Do you have any other Industry 4.0-related projects lined up in the short or medium term?

We want to create an app to help us grow our commercial vehicle and waste compacting machine rental service. We currently have around 100 units in our fleet. We have also just launched BOCHflow, a new tool that makes it possible to connect our assorted high-capacity balances and scales. Initial feedback from our customers has been very encouraging.

How do you feel about the digital-driven direction your company has taken?

Really good! We are living in unsettled and often fast-moving times. We all know that humans don’t necessarily like change. Some see it as a risk, others as an opportunity. We are firmly in the opportunity camp, and we are committed to making the most of these chances.