Sunswap lorry

Accelerating a product to market for supply chain startup Sunswap

Helping decarbonise the cold chain with zero-emission transport refrigeration

Overview

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Challenge

Sunswap is an innovative startup working in the supply chain industry. Their solar and battery-powered transport refrigeration units keep food, medicine and other perishable goods cold whilst on the road. The product works by converting solar energy, typically captured through solar panels on the roof of a vehicle, into electricity that can be used to power a refrigeration unit to temperatures of -22°C.


At present, most Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) are diesel-powered, meaning they are costly to fuel and damaging to the environment. Sunswap’s product offers a smarter, more cost-effective, alternative with zero emissions.


Sunswap had successfully achieved a working prototype and were ready to road-test their product, but they lacked expertise in integrating their system with the cloud. They needed help connecting the data from their refrigeration device, into a format that would be meaningful to their customers, and would enable a full end-to-end reporting system. Sunswap approached WORTH to provide cloud infrastructure and to build an Azure IOT module that would bridge the different hardware elements together, and accelerate bringing their product to market.

Sunswap user interface

The approach

With speed and limited budget at the core of the brief, the proposed solution was a three week work sprint. The aim was to achieve a minimum viable product (MVP) that would get the basic infrastructure built for Sunswap, and leave them with a platform they could build on and continue to improve in the future.


Learn by doing

The top priority was to find a way to enable Sunswap to livestream device metrics data to the cloud. To achieve this, we embedded a small multidisciplinary team to work directly alongside Sunswap’s device engineer on a solution. WORTH provided cloud technology expertise, solid devops culture, infrastructure and security knowledge, along with seasoned developers, to problem solve and work in short, fast iterations. Together, the team, working as a mob, took a collective approach to the problem, working on best bet solutions, sharing learnings in the open, and ultimately enabling the team to build a cheap and powerful data visualisation tool out of previously unfamiliar tech.


A scalable support model

As a young startup, Sunswap needed a partner who could work around their funding milestones and to their evolving product roadmap. We worked with them to devise work packages that would run in small short increments, enabling them to scale up or scale down the project support as required. We also worked with them to ensure they achieved full autonomy of the work we produced, ensuring we were continually transferring our knowledge over, and enabling them to take full ownership of anything we built.

Results

Successful creation of an MVP in two weeks

Sunswap now have the ability to stream their device’s data metrics into the cloud, and have a custom built dashboard to monitor the data. This has strengthened Sunswap’s product and enabled them to have a full end-to-end offering.


Validating business pathways and future tech choices

Alongside development, we also worked with Sunswap to provide specialist technical consultant expertise. Validating their technology choices and enabling them to accelerate their progress to market.


Infrastructure development and pathways for future growth

We developed and left continuous development infrastructure in place for Sunswap’s future use, as well as creating a development documentation in the repository.