AAF Case Study Preview - Nonlinear Digital

Background 

American Air Filters International (going forward referred to as AAF) clean air systems and products emphasize performance and quality. Headquartered out of Louisville, Kentucky, they operate in 22 countries and employ more than 3,000 employees around the world.  

This is Nonlinear Digital's second major engagement with AAF. In August 2015 Nonlinear Digital launched their new Sitecore website. The new website will serve as the foundation upon which newer phases of AAF's roadmap will be build out.

 

Challenge

The total cost of ownership (TCO) of an HVAC system is greatly impacted by its air filters. Consequently, capturing the accurate TCO of new filters in an HVAC system prior to purchasing is crucial. 

AAF's global sales force visit customer sites where they provide a TCO analysis to demonstrate the value of their premium filters. They realized the existing TCO sales tool they were using to perform the analysis needed to be vastly improved.  

The new solution needed to be:  

  • Mobile-ready 

The new tool needed to be suited for on-the-go sales calls as well as the sales reps' tablets.

  • Easy-to-use

This new solution needed to offer a significantly improved user experience. 

  • Exceedingly accurate 

Critically, it needed to provide an analysis that would reveal the true total impact of the purchase to prospects so that they could be confident they were making an informed buying decision.

Using generalized data to provide this analysis was no longer sufficient. AAF required a data-driven solution tailored to the prospect's unique systems, processes, and environment.

 

Specifically, Nonlinear Digital's objectives were to: 

  1. Help AAF sales force increase sales of high margin, high value product lines by demonstrating value propositions in a data-driven analysis to customers  
  2. Provide AAF with the best lifecycle cost software  
  3. Provide AAF distributors with the best-in-class software to increase their business and to attract and retain distributors
  4. Educate the market on tangible savings associated with high end products 

Solution 

Nonlinear Digital developed TCO DiagnosticSM, an application that both accurately calculates and successfully reduces an air handling system's TCO. The TCO is reduced by calculating and recommending the most effective filtration solution(s) for the customers' unique needs.

TCO DiagnosticSM calculates the energy, labour, disposal, freight, procurement, overhead, storage, filter effectiveness in preventing ancillary maintenance costs, and product costs on an annual basis. It is also able to project out 5 years, and includes both direct and indirect expenses.

The application employs the most accurate data sources and methodology to reduce expense of execution, optimize the customer's product life cycle, and make hidden costs clear while identifying opportunities for improvement. 

The new process is as follows: 

  1. While onsite, the sales rep collects all relevant data using TCO DiagnosticSM. The tool is able to analyze the current filtration system and as many as three optional systems. To increase confidence and accuracy, AAF's filters are compared to the most thorough database of independent test reports on manufacturers' filters.  
  2. Once the onsite analysis has been completed, the customer can view the cost analysis three ways: energy cost, filter cost change, or total cost. The customer also benefits from the app's ability to identify and record potential opportunities for energy savings (e.g. tax credits, rebates).  
  3. The rep and customer review the written report which displays any assumptions used, up to three AFF recommendations, and the total cost savings. The rep can send the customer the report for further review.  
  4. Later, if the customer reviews the report online, the database (xDB) is triggered to note that they've viewed it. Reports can be easily accessed by sales managers online. 

Outcome

AAF first unveiled and demonstrated the mobile sales enablement application at a recent conference. It was extremely well received and has since garnered praise from the sales team.

As international roll-out continues, TCO DiagnosticSM will become an increasingly central tool for demonstrating the value of AAF products and solutions.