Servitly, the Blog

Thanks to digitalization and servitization, BAXI is at the side of its customers and partners

translated from the original interview in italian written by Mauro Bellini, Journalist | Digital360.

Companies that choose to "invest in data and knowledge" to add value to their products are moving toward a service-oriented and sustainable business model. The ability to know and manage all the situations of use and all the variables that characterize the life of a product is fundamental to achieve infact the best results, also in terms of ESG.

A concrete and very effective example is the "BAXI by your side" project, an initiative that presents itself as a remote monitoring and management service that configures a new system of relationships with Baxi's customers and partners based primarily on data and knowledge.

Marco Grisot, Baxi Strategic & Product Marketing Team Manager, helps us get to the bottom of the values of this project in terms of goals and development opportunities.

Let’s explain, in summary, the service “BAXI by your side”

To better understand the context in which this project was born, we must refer to how services are increasingly characterizing the choices of end customers.

Users choose products and assets according to the quality of the expected services, the possibilities that the services themselves offer, the ability of the producer to better know the needs of customers or to correct any problems.

In this scenario, we observe an increasing propensity for users to take advantage of the benefits associated with a product, rather than the product itself. In other words, customers are therefore oriented to attribute value to these services more than to the possession of the product.

This is the context, together with the issues of energy and ecological transition, in which BAXI's strategy is set.

As BAXI, a manufacturer of heating and cooling systems, we are aware that we play a more fundamental role than in the past in terms of contributing to the achievement of sustainability goals. And the transition from a product to service business model also goes in this direction.

Let’s examine this aspect and understand how servitization and sustainability are connected.

Regarding this, we can say that the first part of the answer comes from our customers. If until a few years ago the priority of customers was determined by the issues related to comfort, now we can say that the issues related to energy saving and sustainability have become of primary importance. And we can add that thanks to digital and the role of services, these values integrate naturally with those of comfort.

The meaning of “BAXI by your side” is to go beyond the relationship with technology, which can be a heat pump, a hybrid system or in the future a new hydrogen boiler, to ensure the customer the quality of the services they need and to ensure alignment with the latest technological innovations. In other words, we establish a relationship on the type and quality of the most appropriate services for customers, ensuring that, whatever the most appropriate technology is, “Baxi is always by your side”.

When did the "BAXI by your side" was born and what goals did you set?

The project was released to the market in 2020 after a period of research, development and testing. In fact, BAXI operates in a market with high numerical volumes, and therefore the testing and verification phase of the operation must also be related to the ability to handle significant volumes.

In terms of benefits, we can identify two broad directions. One benefit is to the user, who can have his own remote control of comfort and resource optimization, acting directly on his own system. A second, strategic benefit relates to the monitoring and control of each customer's system by the Service Center, which can see the operating status and manage remotely to ensure the best possible service level.

Let's focus on the user benefits

The direct benefit to the user depends on how the home is experienced and how you interact with the system. In general, with "BAXI by your side" we are encouraging an approach to the product thanks to the great work we have done in terms of user experience, user interface and the ability to interact with services using the smartphone. This is a choice that allows us to use a very familiar device, such as a mobile device, to allow the user to interact with our systems.

This increased ease of use and familiarity also promotes greater awareness of the features and capabilities of our solutions, a factor that naturally leads to more interactions and adds value to the product.

These are a number of important benefits that allow partners to focus attention and resources on higher value-added activities, correct?

Absolutely. If we look at the benefits for our partners, for the service centers, we see that they are able to intervene in a much shorter time, they are often able to anticipate the user's call and they have the best possible knowledge of the systems.

In many cases, the quality of service is such that the user is not even aware of the intervention because the fault has been intercepted and resolved before it occurred. This is an important improvement in the ability to intervene and an improvement in service delivery. This approach also reduces costs and has a number of environmental benefits. Just think of the drastic reduction in the number of trips by technical means to carry out on-site interventions.

In summary, can we consider it as a digital-based transformation that brings benefits to all stakeholders?

This is the other great advantage of the project: the ability to generate value for all stakeholders. In practice, all the actors, starting from BAXI and including the final customers and the Service Centers, can create a new form of relationship and governance of the services, maximizing all the possible benefits: from the guarantee of the best quality level to the possibility of contributing to the reduction of energy costs up to the achievement of sustainability goals.

There is then a category of users that deserves a special mention and is constituted by the world of business users who manage real estate parks. These are actors who manage assets consisting of residential or commercial units for rent. For these business customers, the possibility of monitoring and managing services, consumption and environmental impact represents a concrete and relevant business tool.

How did you build this solution and how did you set up the collaboration with Servitly?

The collaboration was born almost naturally thanks to the relationship between Servitly and Giordano Controls, a company with which we collaborate for the development of the electronics of our systems. The developments related to digital and the evolution of our products have allowed us to build a joint work plan and to put into production a solution that enables servitization.

After connecting our products, we realized the amount of data generated and we started to think about how to use this data to create new value for both us and our customers. We then created our Servitly DPS (Digital Product-Service) system, through which we manage the different services according to the peculiarities and needs of each stakeholder

It is the DPS that centralizes, processes and analyzes without interruption the large amounts of data to monitor the performance and the usage of the products, as well as to highlight situations that require attention. The DPS also acts as a central hub, distributing the relevant information to all stakeholders according to their roles, needs and objectives. The DPS also establishes a bidirectional communication with the connected boilers, allowing and facilitating the remote sending of commands.

In practice, customers receive via App connected via API to the DPS, information on their heat pump, hybrid system or boiler and can remotely manage parameters to optimize comfort and energy savings. The Control Room is instead the web interface available to the Service Centers to monitor the health status of the boilers, immediately identify failures and anomalies, receive failure and anomalies notifications and act remotely to solve specific problems.

The DPS Servitly proved to be the right mix of predefined, integrated and configurable features that allowed us to enhance and make unique our value proposition not only towards customers, but especially towards Service Centers. They are in fact the ones who interface with customers and can exploit the connected services to create  a competitive advantage.

How do you measure the results? What are the metrics and methods of monitoring to evaluate the benefits of this activity?

It should be said right away that, in an innovation process like this, there are benefits that can be measured with reasonable accuracy and there are others, absolutely objective and concrete, but that are more difficult to measure.

As BAXI, we work with a sale channel consisting of distributors who serve installers who then bring the products to the end users. In “normal” conditions, we have an excellent knowledge of the retailers, but we do not reach the end user. This is a first strategic benefit, the knowledge of users who today express needs that can be satisfied with  services, but that evolve and it is extremely important to know them closely.

With total respect for privacy, we can rely on very detailed and precise information on how our products are used and on the specific needs of our customers. This approach allows us to guarantee customers the possibility of living a 360-degree experience of comfort and quality service, but it also allows us to recover fundamental indications to direct our technological evolution.

Alongside these advantages, there are others that constantly lead to greater efficiency, for example, in terms of energy consumption, but also from the point of view of reducing the outputs for maintenance interventions in the field. This means reducing travel with assistance vehicles, optimizing the time of people, improving overall in terms of work organization and creating a heritage of customer knowledge by our service centers. All with benefits that are reflected on many companies in the territory.

This strategy gives you an extraordinary amount of data and the possibility of amplifying, as we have seen, your knowledge on the real needs of customers and how they can evolve. What are the opportunities for the future of this approach?

If we think about the past, a manufacturer developed a certain product, carried out all the imaginable tests, but hardly could recreate perfectly the operating conditions in a real installation. We know very well that the user’s behavior is instead a very important element.

Having knowledge of how a product is behaving and how it should react to an evolution in the user’s needs allows to bring, at the R&D level, information and data of great value.

Based on this knowledge, algorithms can then be developed that allow to improve the interaction between product performance, user needs and operational efficiency.

In perspective, new benefits can be obtained, for example, you can work better to make the heat production more efficient according to the comfort needs and the sustainability goals. You go in the direction of continuous improvement, with benefits for the end customer, for our ecosystem and for the planet.

What are the general next developments of a servitization process like this?

The way is to add value and in this direction, a world of possibilities opens up. Just to give an example, we see perspectives in which you can offer services in which customers are asked to “pay for comfort”. You no longer buy a product, you do not “limit” yourself to managing it as a service, but you buy and pay according to the level of comfort that it is able to deliver. In essence, behind the ability to work on services, you can build new forms of value and new business models.

BY
Servitly

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