Evalan has developed a fleet management system for the Handicart Foundation with which they can monitor their fleet remotely. The Handicart foundation is an organization that makes it possible for golfers with mobility problems to continue to practice the sport. By means of golf carts, Handicarts, this group remains mobile and they continue to enjoy playing golf. The Foundation is growing fast and obtains more than 760 Handicarts, spread over 113 clubs. To facilitate the management of these golf carts, Evalan has developed an IoT system, ‘MyHandicart’, that controls the fleet remotely and guides the rental of the carts successfully.
Fred Plesman instituted the Handicart Foundation in 1986. He noticed that many of his friends and acquaintances stopped playing golf because they had difficulty walking, so he wanted to find a solution. He came up with the idea of using a golf cart so disabled golfers can continue to practice the sport. Thanks to Plesman’s initial investment, the Handicart Foundation was able to grow with a rapid increasing demand. Since 2001, the number of pass holders at the Foundation has tripled to more than 23,000. To keep pace with this growth and to gain insight into the condition of the carts, Evalan has developed an IoT system that makes it possible to remotely monitor the golf carts and manage the rental.
That’s how it all started …
The Handicart Foundation experienced a number of problems that led to this tailor-made IoT solution. The first problem arose during the maintenance of the golf carts, in particular the batteries. Battery quality diminishes over time. During the winter maintenance it was found that 25% of the batteries were not properly charged. These batteries will break within the foreseeable future and must be replaced: a costly affair.
For this reason, Evalan developed a warning system The person who charges the batteries will now be notified in advance when the battery is due for maintenance. When the battery is charged, this is reported in the My Handicart application. In this way, the system keeps track of when maintenance is required.
Reports of damage
The same applies to the reporting of damage. The golf club documents the damage in the app, so that the Foundation sees which cart needs to be repaired and can arrange this quickly and efficiently. As long as the damage has not been repaired, the report remains active in MyHandicart. This is accompanied by a follow-up at the insurer. Part of the costs of the damage can be reclaimed from the insurer. If the Foundation forgets to submit a claim to the insurer, it will miss the payment. By means of MyHandicart, the Foundation easily checks whether a claim has been submitted.
Online reservation system
An important concern was the payment for renting the carts. The way in which a golf club rents out the carts varies considerably, resulting in fluctuations in revenue. At some clubs, the pass holder can rent a cart at the counter, but at the smaller clubs, you get the key yourself and the pass holder puts the rental amount in a box. It often happened that people forgot to pay. With My Handicart, a pass holder can rent a cart and the rental is registered in the system immediately. By letting this process go through the Handicart app, paying for the rental of a cart will be much more accurate and the Foundation will not miss out on any income. In addition, the online booking system makes it easier to manage the issue of golf carts. Reserving a Handicart in advance is very convenient for the cardholder: via MyHandicart you can easily make a reservation and view the existing reservations.
More efficient management of Handicarts
The IoT fleet management system collects all kinds of information about the golf carts such as the number of kilometers driven, battery charging cycles, energy consumption and locations. The system displays this in real time and ensures that the Handicart Foundation keeps track of the maintenance of each cart efficiently. As a result, the Foundation extends the lifespan of the carts and prevents unnecessary maintenance costs. During the year, the condition of the batteries is clear and a poor battery can be replaced preventively. By replacing a poor battery during a general maintenance round, they are able to save costs.
And for the future?
Continued development plays a major role in innovation. This is no different for MyHandicart. Although the system works well, is easy to use and delivers what is desired, there are plans to make the system even better. The first improvement is providing insight into what is happening live on the golf course for the golf club supervisors. This allows them to intervene immediately when a problem arises. The second refinement is adding a person to a round afterwards. It often happens that an extra person joins the cart during a round. How do you arrange for that person to contribute to that round? Evalan is developing a tool that makes this possible and continues to deliver the right and most optimal IoT solution.
Dave Stenfert Kroese, director of Stichting Handicart, sees the success of the IoT system and receives positive reactions about the MyHandicart app. He says about the collaboration: “We had approached two other parties, but they immediately wanted to build far too complicated and much too large GPS systems. The great thing about Evalan is that you are helped exactly where needed and that they find a solution that does not require all kinds of new things to be made. In this way you can switch to the new system much faster and benefit more from IoT and the final result.”