With the broadest switch and sensor portfolio in the world, comprising 7 technologies and 27 product lines, Honeywell Control Systems has 60-years of valued reputation to uphold. Key to the success of its operations is providing instantaneous access to its customers of pertinent information such as product availability and delivery timescales.
The Control Systems group is a worldwide supplier of sensors, switches and control products used in the automobile, IT, consumer, aviation and industrial markets. Its products are embedded in many diverse solutions; from proximity sensors, for use in aircraft, military, ordnance, marine and mass transit environments – to industrial environments, where machine-safeguarding applications protect workers on automotive factory floors, food/beverage packaging and electronic assembly lines.
The desire to cut-down the number of non-value added calls prompted the European division to closely evaluate its customer response centre. Its findings showed that customers were at the mercy of the individual operators’ knowledge level, attitude, and responsiveness – and/or the number of phone lines or operators available, often in frustrating queuing systems. So, in order to fast-forward its digitisation strategy and to provide its customers with immediate access to information, Honeywell Control Systems Europe chose to implement a solution from twincentric. The solution chosen was twincentric’s Net.VisualTM, which provides a web-based front-end application without compromising the security or integrity of the Bull GCOS-based back-end systems, where 30% of the company’s mission-critical data resides.
Quicker and better service levels for customers An inherent feature of the twincentric software is the ability to gather matrices. The Control Systems group was able to gauge and measure the number of hits and usage patterns on the website and compare these statistics with previous work patterns.
“The implementation of the twincentric solution has shown us that we have cut-down the number of non-value-add calls by up to 70%”, says Sandy Sutherland, Honeywell IT Director for Sensing and Control. The net result of the twincentric solution brings better service levels to Honeywell’s customers. According to Sutherland, users are more productive because they have all the information they require right in front of them, eliminating all the costly pitfalls of misinformation. “As a result, we have been able to re-deploy operatives on other value-added customer enquiries,” he explains.
Not only that, the number of users it was originally intended for, 220 in total, has increased through word-of-mouth endorsement, as internal staff with access to the web-based information started to praise the system and claim that their own personal productivity levels were enhanced. “The implementation of the twincentric solution has shown us that we have cut-down the number of non-value-add calls by up to 70%” Sandy Sutherland, Honeywell IT Director for Sensing and Control. Access to instantaneous information improves accuracy There is little margin for error in the Control Systems group’s promise to provide a 5-day average lead-time to its customers. So information on availability, price, delivery time-scales, minimum order and incremental order quantities has to be accurate and updated instantaneously. A web-based front-end had to mirror the data held on the Bull legacy systems without changing the code. “twincentric was the only company we could find that could do this, they are certainly offering a unique product in this space,” said Sutherland. Proof of Concept paved way for smooth implementation twincentric’s technical prowess was substantiated by its Proof of Concept promise. At twincentric’s suggestion the Control Systems group embarked upon a proof of concept exercise to prove that the software worked as it should and to test the connectivity to the back-end systems. “twincentric effectively did a full product enquiry within a day and a half,” continued Sutherland. “We couldn’t believe they’d actually done it in that time period. twincentric is a company that puts their money where their mouth is, and not a lot of companies do that.”
The success of the Proof of Concept laid the foundation for Honeywell to rollout the solution within a 6-month timeframe. After a limited internal pilot phase on the factory order process server (FOP), the solution was rolled-out across Europe. Subsequently, the company added the sales and distribution (S&D) server as the fourth and final phase of the implementation. The new users did not need to be sponsored through expensive training courses. “In fact all we had to do was explain how to use it by email. It is so simple to use that even those who have never been on the web before find it easy,” stated Sutherland. Net.Visual – protecting the past, advancing the future The creation of a new business logic based upon open systems and object-oriented technologies, without even touching existing applications, lowers risk and saves on development time, in turn saving costs. Sutherland was quick to highlight twincentric’s responsiveness, which he claimed was excellent. “We have seen real evidence that twincentric can implement and support solutions on GCOS systems very quickly and to a reasonable budget. We chose them because they are highly technically competent and we quickly realised that we were working with a company who knew what they were talking about.”
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