Visibility and cost control for facilities management: Thinglabs and Full Signal

The Challenge

Full Signal was one of the first companies in the facilities industry to recognise an important trend: the need to modernise the emergency call feature inside elevators. Founder Trevor Devlin, an experienced lift services engineer, understood that facilities managers who are responsible for lift services need two things. First, they’re always seeking new ways to control costs. Second, they need better information about their properties to make sure they meet health and safety requirements.

“I was always being asked by facilities managers about the line rental they had to pay to phone companies,” Trevor said. “Most of these lines never had a single call made on them, but companies might pay tens of thousands of euro a year just to maintain that emergency call feature.”

The concept for Full Signal was born: its service would allow facilities managers to replace the fixed cost of landlines with a mobile alternative. Replacing the landline with a GSM terminal would save 50% on line rental fees per month. Installation was free and detailed reports were included, so facilities managers could see exactly how often a lift’s emergency call facility was being used.

Customers immediately responded to the Full Signal offer. As the company gained a larger base, Trevor began seeking ways to improve the service. In particular, he wanted a way to monitor performance and reliability of SIMs in his connected lifts, and it was a challenge that led him to Thinglabs.  

The Solution

Before working with Thinglabs, Full Signal had no easy way to check the functionality of GSM terminals after installation, or to monitor whether calls had been made from a lift. In collaboration with Trevor, Thinglabs developed a solution that today not only provides visibility into SIM connectivity, it also allows Full Signal to provision SIMs and draw down reports on usage. The system also automatically conducts a line check on every SIM every 72 hours.

All the functionality developed by Thinglabs is available from a custom-designed portal, featuring Full Signal’s own branding. Full Signal can also allow its facilities manager customers to log in directly and view data from their own properties. It’s a feature that’s especially attractive to managers of large property portfolios, and it’s been a useful selling point as Full Signal targets larger clients whose needs are more complex than just reducing line rental costs.  

The Results

Working with Thinglabs, Full Signal has enhanced and expanded its service to clients and improved its ability to work remotely. The portal developed by Thinglabs gives full, remote visibility into every connected lift in the Full Signal client base, letting the company troubleshoot issues from anywhere.

The detailed reports — backed up by the 72-hour line checks which confirm the connection of Full Signal’s GSM terminals inside customer lifts – provide the management information that’s essential to demonstrate service quality. This information is also useful as evidence, if a client needs to prove that its emergency call facilities were connected when they were needed.

“Another huge advantage that my clients and I benefit from is, instead of dealing with mobile companies where customer service is very slow, I can do everything on the portal,” Trevor said.

Thinglabs provides Full Signal with single- and multi-network SIMs for its GSM devices. Trevor can activate these right from the portal, and he can see full information about call history for his devices. “To get this level of information, I’d usually have to be working inside one of the mobile operators,” he said. “When I started this business, the main appeal to clients was offering them half off their line rental. But now, Thinglabs has helped me compete from a customer service point of view with the mobile operators. That’s a huge benefit.”

Trevor is clear that the partnership with Thinglabs has been instrumental in allowing his company to grow and offer a better service, because of its technical capability and its responsiveness to his needs. “It’s the best customer service I’ve ever experienced, anywhere,” he said. “If I have an issue, they’re always available, and I’ve never asked for anything that they weren’t able to do. They have a ‘yes’ attitude. My business wouldn’t be what it is without Thinglabs.”

Full Signal Logo
ClientFull Signal
Business ObjectiveHelp facilities companies improve the way they manage and maintain elevator services across their properties
SolutionMulti-network SIMs that enable emergency calls from inside lifts, and a custom portal for SIM provisioning and management

Benefits at a glance

  • Multi-network SIMs: deliver emergency call connectivity to customer elevators across the country
  • Proactive alerts: Thinglabs-designed platform checks each SIM every 72 hours to confirm connectivity and generates reports to alert Full Signal of potential issues
  • Custom-branded portal: allows SIM provisioning, management and reporting  
  • Private login for customers: Full Signal can create private logins for its customers to the portal, so they can see view on their properties and download reports
  • Responsive support: Thinglabs’s custom software development provided Full Signal with the precise functionality it needed to support its growing business.
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