In the commercial HVAC field, speed is king. When a customer calls, chances are their heating and cooling system has failed. Every moment their equipment is down, their business gets more and more uncomfortable. And uncomfortable customers don’t hang around.
The faster a commercial HVAC dealer can get the equipment replaced, the happier the customer will be. To that end, Allied Commercial and Power created the Allied Crossover App.
FINDING WHAT WORKS
Replacing failed commercial heating and cooling equipment isn’t a simple process. You can’t just pull the old unit off and stick on whatever you have in stock. It’s actually very much like swapping out the engine in a car; unless you use the exact same model from the exact same manufacturer, none of the hoses, bolts and wires are guaranteed to line up.
Compatible equipment can be found among different manufacturers, but the process of finding a perfect match can be very time consuming. And remember, time is a luxury that commercial HVAC contractors rarely have.
In order to offer faster, more effective service, Allied Commercial asked Power to create a mobile app that would determine the perfect equipment solution for every application, no matter which brand of heating and cooling equipment was being replaced. Contractors could carry the app with them to every rooftop, and expedite the replacement process
INSTANT MATCHES, INSTANT SOLUTIONS
Together, Power and Allied Commercial decided that the app required several crucial elements
EASE OF USE
Allied Commercial contractors are always under the gun for time. So the easier the app was to use, the faster they could get the replacement process started — and get their customers comfortable again.
BREADTH OF PRODUCT
With so many companies manufacturing commercial heating and cooling equipment, Allied Commercial contractors never know what’s waiting for them when they climb onto their customers’ roofs. The app, therefore, had to include every commercial heating and cooling product Allied Commercial manufactures, along with the ability to cross-reference that equipment with every other manufacturer’s product line.
Replacing a piece of commercial heating and cooling equipment often requires the use of an “adapter curb” between the roof and the new piece of equipment. The curb’s purpose is to adjust the new equipment’s airflow, electric lines and gas lines to precisely match the building’s ductwork holes and utility connections. The Allied app had to know which equipment required curbs, and which did not. If a curb was required, the app had to know which one.
It wasn’t enough to simply replace the equipment. Allied Commercial wanted the ability to exactly duplicate — or even improve — the performance the customer had enjoyed from the previous unit. Therefore, the app needed to include a complete list of equipment accessories.
- Brent Wills, Senior Developer
Right away, we knew that it had to be self contained. The contractors can’t always be sure they’ll have access to Wi-Fi where they’ll be working, so an app that had to pull data might leave them hanging.
THE ALLIED CROSSOVER APP IS CREATED
Initial planning for the app started in October 2014, with development beginning the following month. Senior Developer Brent Wills was chosen as the best person to handle the development. His extensive experience in the field was ideal for making the app uncluttered, useful and fast.
To facilitate fast matches, the app follows a very straightforward process. The splash screen is simple and clean, with a window that asks only for the model number of the existing equipment. As the user begins to enter the model number, the app begins to auto-complete, presenting a list of possible matches that gets smaller and smaller as more digits are entered.
Once the full model number of the old equipment is entered, the app presents the user with a list of available sub-models manufactured under that model number, perhaps listing a 3-, 3.5- or 4-ton capacity version of the same unit.
After the sub-model is determined, the user selects from a series of possible configurations for that model, including the drive system of the blower motor, the energy source (gas heat, electric heat or electric cooling), the input voltage and the number of heating and cooling stages offered.
Once the exact piece of old equipment is determined, the app presents a list of every possible accessory available for the existing unit. After checking off the installed accessories using radio buttons and defining different sub-configurations of those accessories, the app shows a list of Allied Commercial equipment that will replace the old unit and deliver the same or better in terms of performance, capability and energy efficiency.
KNOWING IS ONLY HALF THE BATTLE
Once the right matching equipment is identified, the app presents the contractor with several additional resources to help make the replacement job move quickly and effectively.
A QUICK-REFERENCE SHEET
Available as a PDF, this document allows the contractor to become familiar with technical details of the new unit, including cooling and heating capacity, gas consumption and tonnage. The sheet also takes the user through the line logic, detailing which digit of the unit’s model number refers to which feature.
SELECTING AN ADAPTER CURB
In the world of commercial HVAC, a wide variety of adapter curb styles and configurations is available. The Allied Crossover App shows the contractor which curb is needed to make the new Allied Commercial equipment interface perfectly with the building’s ductwork and utility connections.
Via pop-up box, the app confirms the accessories the dealer has selected, to guarantee the new unit delivers the same features as the old one.
FIND A DISTRIBUTOR BUTTON
This button saves the contractor time by connecting directly with the distributor-locating service on the Allied Commercial website, thereby allowing the replacement process to begin immediately.
For convenience, the Crossover App allows the contractor to output the replacement model information as a text file for instant sharing via email and social media and for cloud storage.
CALL ALLIED COMMERCIAL
With just a tap, the contractor is connected directly to Allied Commercial’s helpline to find the answers to any additional questions or to request technical assistance.
VIEW ALLIED COMMERCIAL SITE
This button provides instant access to the entire Allied Commercial website, including technical documents, product information and the latest technology.
Nine months after its release, the Allied Crossover App was downloaded over 500 times, rating an average of 4.3 stars on the Apple Store and the Google Play store.
Furthermore, the Allied Commercial website has recorded over 700 visits from Crossover App users. These visitors were highly qualified, spending 94% longer on the site than the average user, while recording a conversion rate – defined as distributor locator searches – 230% higher than site average.
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