The Kurt König Group is a German family business operating in the construction industry since 1932. Kurt König, which has more than 500 employees, approached the Helmes Group company TeleSoftas with an idea to expand their business with an entirely new business model – 24/7 access to “do it yourself” construction tools and equipment year-round, powered by a mobile app.
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Together with Kurt König, we created a mobile app and started the tool-sharing service with a very simple and easy process. The app, called kurts, is already available throughout Europe.
Meet the customer
Kurt König Baumaschinen GmbH was established in 1932, so you may safely say: We know what we are doing. However, as the third generation took over, we soon realized that the changes in our society demanded completely new answers. Keyword: Sharing Economy.
Because, if we are already sharing cars, bicycles, apartments, and offices – why wouldn’t this also make sense for tools? With the goal of bringing more efficiency and sustainability to the construction industry, the idea for kurts was finally born. A – no – the digital rental service for tools via app.
UI & UX
Wireframes and clickable design mockups were built during the preparation stage to validate the user flows. This way, the functionalities could be tested before the development began, saving development expenses.
Consumer-centric product development
Conducting a customer journey analysis helps identify positive and negative experiences with the app; functionality changes can be implemented by continuously monitoring user feedback and app analytics.
Each new feature has been introduced by performing user tests and testing several prototypes. The app development is in step with changing user behavior.
iOS & Android apps
We started building the kurts platform after a workshop with Kurt Köning, where we collaborated on defining the requirements for the app. User experience is the key to someone adopting a new product.
The first step was to create an effortless user experience on the app in iOS and Android, tightly integrating it with the tool lockbox stations strategically deployed in cities where customers can pick up their chosen tools.
We moved the product to the Amazon Web Services cloud system.
The integration with the tool lockbox stations requires tight integration with the platform’s backend system. Hence, we took over the backend development, continuously creating new functionalities.
Integrations for secure payment and identity verification
Integrating kurts with the Ondato identity verification platform ensures the highest security standard & legal compliance while integrating it with the Stripe payment gateway makes it accessible for the most popular payment methods.
We built an entirely new administrator dashboard to improve its usability, and the team added multiple functionalities to help the client administrate the tools and orders.
The app is tailored to meet specific requirements in various geographic markets, including supporting different market-specific payment providers, translations, and other adaptations to legal regulations.
Innovative tariff system
A tariff system for short-term leases applies the best rate depending on the time used – this way, the customers only pay for what they use.
A third-party API integration
The app uses several third-party APIs (payment methods, ID verification) to ensure a seamless customer experience.
The client’s trust in our expertise has grown to the point that Kurt König has handed over product ownership of the kurts app to it. The development team has since focused on maximizing the product value and creating a roadmap for future improvements in close collaboration with its stakeholders.
This innovative app was introduced to the public at the Mobile World Congress Expo in 2018 in Los Angeles. At the Digital X North festival in Cologne in 2019, kurts won the digital champions award for helping digitize the regional economy.
The product is fully operating in Germany and has started expanding into other European locations. Franchising allows kurts tool-renting service adoption in many places.
In 2022, together with the client, we made the idea of tool sharing even bigger – the kurts app became a marketplace that enabled local rental companies or DIY stores to be found at kurts and use kurts solutions for easier rent processes.
Kurts app users from now on can easily book tools in advance and rent not only tools from lockboxes stations but mini-excavators or any bigger professional tools fully digitally. This improvement enabled expanding the variety of tools and new pickup locations that belong to selected partners throughout the country and made tool sharing accessible to even more people. Behind this is a powerful backend for all partners, including access to exciting data insights.
The app is developed by the Helmes Group company TeleSoftas.