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Article - May 2000
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Will Change the HVAC/R Industry

Peter Jowaisas, Notifact

'....eliminates the need for dedicated telephone lines and manned call centers.'


The HVAC/R industry is an $81 billion market, with service accounting for $23 billion. In an industry where monitoring is key to efficiency and immediate repair of failed systems is necessary to prevent business disruptions, the Notifact Wireless Monitoring System (WMS) will provide a definitive advantage to those with a vested interest in maximizing their HVAC/R expenditures.

The Notifact Wireless Monitoring System is one of the first practical applications combining the Internet and wireless technologies. Notifact's system allows for real-time monitoring of local and remote HVAC/R units, and direct, multiple notification of any service disruptions. It eliminates the need for dedicated telephone lines and manned call centers.

Through the Notifact HVAC/R website portal (www.notifact.com), owners, service contractors and facility managers can access current operating levels, maintenance schedules, monthly operational reports and operating history analysis. The website also functions as a branded Internet Service Provider and customized home page. Visitors can find e-commerce links for equipment and supplies, technical information support and links to industry and organizational sites.

Notifact WMS will allow independent and national contractors to:

Notifact WMS will allow property owners and managers to:

The Notifact WMS provides real value with a monthly monitoring fee equal to about what some are currently paying for a dedicated phone line. It allows contractors and managers to do their job better by providing comprehensive information for better-informed decisions. It also allows for real-time notification of system failures, greatly reducing down time and business disruptions. The Notifact system sets the standard for improving service capabilities in the HVAC/R industry.

Why Notifact?

Imagine you're a mid-size HVAC/R contractor, supplying new equipment, parts and service. One of your best customers is a chain of steakhouses with 8 locations.

At 2 a.m., a malfunction in one of the restaurant's air conditioning systems shuts it down. At 8 a.m., the cooks arrive. Because they work in the kitchen and the front of the house is empty, no one notices the air conditioning isn't working.

Around 10:30 a.m., waitstaff begins to arrive, but again, no one notices the outage. At 11:30, customers begin to come in, and they notice. The wait staff now realizes that it's really warm. One of them adjusts the thermostat, but without success. Customers begin to complain. A waiter goes over to an A/C vent and observes that nothing is coming out. He takes it on himself to call for service.

Unaware of the existence of the chain's service contract with your firm, the waiter simply grabs the Yellow Pages and dials ABC Heating and Cooling - the first listing. A technician from ABC arrives at 2pm. The lunch hour over, he's just beginning to diagnose the problem. He's never been here before, so he has to go find parts and leaves.

What's happened here? You-the service contractor-have already lost the revenue from this service call. Worse, you're in jeopardy of losing a major equipment sale if the unit needs replacement. And the steakhouse owner is certain to be upset that the service contract they have with you failed to solve his HVAC/R problems in the end!

In the meantime, most of the patrons have fled the sweltering, stuffy restaurant, ruining lunch sales. The restaurant is getting hotter by the minute in the midday heat, and the dinner rush also will be in jeopardy if the problem is not fixed very soon. The steakhouse owner has potentially lost an entire day's business.

How could the Notifact wireless monitoring system have changed this story?

Within two minutes after that A/C unit went down, at 2:02 am, a message containing the unit's location and precise type of malfunction would have been sent via pager, fax, cellular phone, or e-mail, alerting you and the service technician assigned to that client, along with the restaurant's owner or manager.

Your service technician could have met the manager at the restaurant at 3am. Or perhaps, your service technician could be waiting at the restaurant as the cooks arrive at 8. In either case, he could already have the correct parts with him because Notifact told him what the exact problem was. The repair could be made quickly in one stop, and the dining room could be comfortably cool when it opens for lunch.

Notifact-enabled service is value-added service. It allows contractors to dramatically improve response times, and it locks in all service and repair calls to prevent competitive poaching. And the service client is protected from costly business interruptions.


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