They have just celebrated their first company anniversary: the three master's students from TU Eindhoven who founded the company Stactics in 2020. For their accommodation they chose the new Alpha hub of Twice on the TU/e Campus in Eindhoven. In this inspiring start-up environment, young high-tech entrepreneurs can rent business space at low costs. And learn a lot from each other in the meantime.
Lars van der Werf, Lucas Peeters and Jasper Ebus combine their knowledge of Technical Business Administration and Data Science to help companies make good use of their data using the latest techniques and insights. "Most companies are now aware that they 'have to do something with data' if they want to continue to exist in the future," says Lars. "But they often have no idea how to deal with data or how much data is already being collected unknowingly within their company. We always try to bridge the gap between what data science can do today and what a company needs. We do not push technology into a company, but we first look at where the real problems lie. Is the quality of a product perhaps structurally too low or is a lead time too long? Then we look at how we can solve that with data science. Only then do you make real efficiency gains and achieve concrete results such as time and cost reductions."
Using data to solve production problems
As an example Lars mentions a Stactics project at a customer that produces machines. If an error was encountered during the testing of the machines, the entire testing process had to be restarted. This could take up to four days. "In such a process there are steps where people do not always see the errors," Lars explains. "In addition, a lot of data was collected by sensors on the machines, which was not used. By analysing and processing this data properly, it was possible to see early on in the testing process that something was going wrong. The process was then immediately stopped, adjusted and testing could continue again without having to start the whole process from scratch. In this way, we were able to take significant steps to drastically reduce the turnaround time of these tests. With increased production and a reduction in costs as a result."
Stactics focuses mainly on companies in the production and manufacturing industry, where often big steps can still be taken in the field of process optimisation. "Companies sometimes do not even realize how much data they have already collected", says Lars. "For example in Exel sheets or in a clock system that keeps track of how many hours are worked on a product. And if that is not the case, then we will look at how we can get the desired data to the surface quickly."
The simple, but oh so smart Kelvin
To illustrate how simple it can be to be clever with data, Stactics came up with a technique that they applied to a simple household thermometer. The device, called Kelvin, collects all kinds of data about the indoor climate of a room. Lars: "In this way you can create a data-rich environment in every room in no time. If Kelvin, for example, signals that the CO2 level is getting too high, then you know you have to open a window. Research shows that people are significantly less productive above a certain level. We always use this example to illustrate to companies how you can achieve efficient results quickly and easily by combining very simple data sources."
'Twice helps us grow'
The young entrepreneurs from Stactics are very pleased with their cooperation with Twice. "The step from university to entrepreneurship is a big one," says Lars. "Twice helps young entrepreneurs in many areas: from pitch competitions to building a network, from determining your market segment to help with everything around setting up a business. There is a fun, dynamic atmosphere in the Alpha hub with all these young high-tech companies together. We share experiences and learn from each other. Yes, Twice really helps us to bring our company to greater maturity and further growth."