Assurance 360 Program Makes Customers' Interests Honeywell's Own

June 17, 2013
Two Program Levels Make Sure Customers Are Not Left on Their Own for Upgrades and System Maintenance
About the Author
Nancy Bartels is Control's managing editor. You can her at [email protected] or check out her Google+ profile.At this morning's opening presentations at Honeywell Users Group Americas 2013 in Phoenix, a recurring theme was that Honeywell wants to stand by its customers and develop long-term, rewarding partnerships that work to everyone's advantage. In a presentation this afternoon, Shawn Gold, global program manager - performance services, fleshed out that vision in describing the company's new Assurance 360 service program.

Conversations over time with customers have taught Honeywell that some of the challenges keeping their customers up at night include the need for continuously improving their operations and responding appropriately to changing business conditions, while upholding the best support standards and reducing total cost of ownership. At the same time, they need to maintain a knowledgeable staff, manage the complexities of open technology, maintain an appropriate technical direction applicable to their specific situation, maintain the correct alignment between support strategy and business strategy, minimize risk and downtime, and reduce the total cost of ownership of their assets.

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 Gold. "The outcomes define the revenue we get paid. We have some skin in the game."

"It shouldn't be that when you have bad day, Honeywell has a good day." Honeywell's Shawn Gold explained how the Assurance 360 aligns its interests with those of its customers.Honeywell has ownership of the risk and of change management. Optima customers get a dedicated performance manager responsible to them who has active management of all incidents and plans. There is an established performance baseline with defined outcome metrics.

It is a truism, said Gold, that when a customer has a bad day, the service provider has a good day, because when the plant is down, the customer is willing to spend the money it takes to get it up and running again. Assurance 360 turns this idea on its head. "It should be that when you have a good day, we have a good day too," Gold said.

The Way It's Done

An Optima project begins with an assessment of plant performance, an audit of the existing system, benchmarking and risk assessment. Then a maintenance plan is developed that is unique to the site. In the Optima program, Honeywell does not enter the contract until the determined remediation steps have been taken. Then, once the contract is signed, on-site and Honeywell experts are identified to work on the project, and a dedicated performance manager is assigned to manage every aspect of the implementation.

The six elements of the plan include change management, establishment of remote performance monitoring by Honeywell, proactive service management, management of upgrades and new installation projects, development of performance metrics and scorecards, and comprehensive reporting of results.

It is on these scorecard results that Honeywell's compensation is determined.

Assurance 360 Performa

The Performa level is a similar program, but with less direct involvement from Honeywell. It's designed for companies that feel they have the internal resources to handle these issues, but want to make sure they haven't overlooked anything critical, said Gold.

"We provide oversight," explained Gold. "The company has to do the work, but Honeywell monitors what's going on. In the assessment phase, we make suggestions for improvements, but there is no need for remediation in the contract. We do remote monitoring, define proactive maintenance and create a sustainable task list. We offer expert help, but no onsite management. We recommend change management practices. We do skills assessments and recommend training."

Customers of the Performa level do not have an onsite performance manager, but they do have access to a performance specialist who can recommend time-appropriate upgrades or new technology and risk/benefit assessments. The specialist participates in planning meetings and works with plant personnel to manage the implementation efficiently and cost-effectively.

Performa customers also benefit from regular reporting, although Honeywell is not compensated based on the results. "This is more of a report card," explained Gold. "In the Performa program, we are only recommending changes and practices."

The Assurance 360 programs offers shared risk and reward, comprehensive lifecycle coverage, risk and change management, best practices, increased performance and a clear contract with named specific outcomes.  "With this program, we're with you every step of the way," said Gold.