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Climbing the digital summit with Johnson Controls

Climbing the Digital Summit with Johnson Controls
Climbing the Digital Summit with Johnson Controls

As COVID-19 rocks the globe and virtual technology changes the way industries operate, Buddy Saucier, Johnson Controls’ Vice President of HVAC Service & Controls, North America sat down with ProntoForms’ VP of Customer Success, Marty Gowling, to share his thoughts about the accelerated role of digital transformation at Field Service’s Digital Summit on Elevating Customer Value with Disruptive Technologies.

Saucier describes digital transformation as ultimately making it easier for technicians to do their job. It’s about collecting data in the field, then leveraging that data to tell a story that makes operations more visible for customers. In the wake of COVID-19, agile transformation has become an ongoing business imperative, he surmised, that’s likely to continue to accelerate at an incredible pace to shape a new highly-digitized norm.

See how Johnson Controls is tackling accelerated digital transformation objectives through their deployment of ProntoForms.

Technician empowerment

The prospect of a digital forms solution that generated rich operational data marked the beginning of Johnson Controls’ partnership with ProntoForms. Rich data has since been leveraged by technicians to look like heroes in front of customers.

When they’re dispatched, technicians know the type and number of assets they’re dealing with and the scope of work to be performed. Johnsons Controls’ field-first mobile system includes information about an asset including learning tools like asset manuals, videos, contextual chats, help desks, or past technical support.

“A big part of the empowerment process for technicians is that it’s simple, and training takes no more than five minutes.”

Buddy Saucier, Vice President of HVAC Service & Controls, North America, Johnson Controls

Before using digital forms, Johnson Controls would have a technician gather information on an Excel spreadsheet or on paper. That information had to be faxed in, compiled, and translated. It took a long time to make the data useful.

Quick and useful data

Saucier said that by leveraging ProntoForms, data is immediately useful and goes a long way towards speeding up RFP submissions, especially for large enterprise accounts. “We can take an RFP and survey several hundred sites, and within a week be able to convert that into an estimate and proposal for our customers.

“We’ve done quite well with really going through all of our assets and doing asset management,” Saucier said in reference to how deeper, richer data drives better customer satisfaction. “When it comes to a point or two of Net Promoter Score, in our case it’s millions of dollars. This technology is connecting things more easily with integrations that just bring everything together [for us, and our customers].”

Getting it done, fast

Integrations today are much easier than integrations of yesterday asserts Saucier, noting how when they first set out on their digitization journey the thought was to build solutions internally.

“There are great off-the-shelf platforms that allow you to connect and build that stack much easier, faster, and cheaper than you can internally,” he said.

“It just makes more sense for us; we’re in the HVAC business, we’re not in the IT business. Our goal is to keep our IT costs down, leverage the expertise of others, and do what we do best — and that’s to serve customers and fix and repair HVAC, fire, and security systems.”

Agility, agility, agility

Johnson Controls is moving faster than Saucier can remember. The pace to get to market is unprecedented.

“Right now, with our healthcare customers, we need to be opening buildings a lot quicker – bringing buildings that were shuttered back into service. And we’re supporting different climate, humidity and pressurized environments for airborne infection isolation and control.”

Using citizen developers — in other words, putting app building into the hands of those who know field processes best — empowers Johnson Controls’ operations to adapt and respond with agility. Whether changes are driven by new regulatory requirements or driven by customers, “you have to be prepared to work fast, move fast,” Saucier stressed.

What Saucier has found is that ProntoForms makes it simple to drive processes and send updates to the frontline workforce in a way that’s easy for them to follow. There’s minimal effort in terms of taking pictures and ticking boxes to tell a story of how equipment performed and looked before and after a repair.

 “If you’ve not been digital and haven’t started this journey, it may seem pretty scary,” Saucier said. “But you’ve got to be brave in today’s climate because I can tell you digital is the new norm and the way you implement it will have a big bearing on your business.”

If you’re looking to “be brave” and start your digital transformation journey, ProntoForms empowers field technicians and ensures standardization through step-by-step guided workflows, integrates and extends your technology stack, and collects and shares contextual, rich data that can be brought upstream for further analysis and benefit interconnection with ERP and backend systems. For more information check out the full session between Buddy Saucier and Marty Gowling.

TrueContext Editorial Team

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