A Shared Stake in Customer Success

Assurance 360 Program Makes Customers' Interests Honeywell's Own

By Keith Larson

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In the old way of doing service and support, suppliers and their customers weren't always on the same page. Downtime due a failed system or device always meant bad news for the asset owner, but sometimes meant added business for the supplier. Honeywell Process Solutions is out to turn that relationship on its head, according to Doug Bach, manager, HPS Americas customer marketing.

"With Assurance 360, our best day is our customer's best day," Bach explained. "In a break-fix relationship, that's not the case."

Bach, an architect of the company's Assurance 360 services model, described the new program to attendees of the Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) conference, November 4-7, in Nice, France. "We're seeing a change in the skill set necessary to care for process control systems," Bach said. "We combed through reams of assessment data [from customer facilities], and realized there's a gap, an opportunity to work together based on outcomes."

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Today, industrial organizations are tasked to improve operations, respond to changing business conditions, uphold best support standards, and reduce total ownership costs--all the while struggling to stay on top of rapid changes in technology direction and applicability, properly align support strategy with business strategy, and minimize risk and downtime. These tasks distract asset owners from core business activities, said Bach. As evidence, he cited user surveys that indicate "50% of customers say they're not sure of all the implications of a given decision."

That's the tall order that the Assurance 360 program is designed to help meet. The Assurance 360 program comes in two levels—Assurance 360 Optima and Assurance 360 Performa.

The Optima program is a pay-for-performance solution designed for companies that do not have the time, resources or expertise to handle system maintenance and upgrade tasks or for which they are not a core competence. "In the Optima program, Honeywell takes ownership of the outcomes," explained Bach. "The outcomes define the revenue we get paid."  The scope of Optima activities includes system change management, proactive services, reporting and even technology upgrades if risk assessments reveal a threat to agreed-upon outcomes.

In the Performa program, Honeywell acts as consultant and plant staff is responsible for doing the recommended work. Performa customers also benefit from regular reporting, although Honeywell is not compensated based on the results. "In the Performa program, we are only recommending changes and practices," said Bach.

"Assurance 360 is all about transforming how plant assets are managed, assuring system performance and outcomes, while allowing customers to focus on operations," Bach said. "With Assurance 360, we're with you every step of the way."

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