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A tool for Electrical and Mechanical Specifiers

Schneider Electric – Building Specifier

Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management and automation with operations in more than 100 countries. They offer integrated energy solutions across multiple market segments.

Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management and automation with operations in more than 100 countries. They offer integrated energy solutions across multiple market segments.


© Copyright Schneider Electric

Challenge

Partner Specifiers currently use an offline manual process for creating Electrical and Mechanical specifications for Commercial and Industrial buildings. This process is time intensive and involves using multiple product data sheets for each project.

As an offline process, Schneider Electric Consultants have no visibility of the projects created by Specifiers. This lack of visibility negatively affects the lead generation process. This means Consultants must identify leads through 1 to 1 communication with Specifiers.

In addition, manually specified projects often included outdated or wrongly configured product specifications. This is due to the lack of time that Specifiers have to search for the latest product data and configuration rules.

As a result Schneider Electric required a solution that delivered on four key goals:

  • Generate a higher number of leads and reduce lead capture cost
  • Reduce the time requirements for creating building specifications
  • Provide a single source of truth for product data
  • Drive engagement with the wider Schneider Electric digital ecosystem
Solution

Hack and Craft created an integrated cloud based tool that digitally transformed the specification and lead generation process.

The tool enables time savings by providing an easy to use web frontend and a central location for the latest product data. Validation rules for product configuration and other business logic has also been included. This reduces the number of errors generated during specification and the time spent resolving them. Specifiers now simply click through a step by step journey to create their specification documents in real-time.

Schneider Electric Consultants have access to unique insights and analytics via the Business Reporting functionality. This includes details of newly created projects and the most popular product configurations.

The tool was also fully integrated with the Schneider Electric Single Sign On (SSO) system. This allows users to login with their existing accounts from the Schneider Electric digital ecosystem.

How We Did It

Hack and Craft used our unique four phase agile methodology (Discovery, Development, Roll Out and Continuous Delivery & Support), allowing incremental refinements based on stakeholder and real-world feedback.

At the start of the project we formed an Innovation team comprising key stakeholders, including specification experts and end-users. The Innovation team took part through each stage of the development process, playing a key role in steering the solution to best market fit.

The Discovery phase included an initial workshop to identify the core user stories, pain points, integrations and data sources that we required.

The Development phase comprised a series of iterative sprints. At the end of each sprint Hack and Craft deployed a working version of the tool. This allowed the Innovation team to test, experiment and provide feedback.

During the Roll Out phase we refined the tool to best market fit by conducting Alpha testing workshops and feedback sessions with end users.

In Continuous Delivery Hack and Craft provides a managed service and supports the tool long-term. We also engage with Schneider Electric product owners in monthly steering groups.

Tech

The web frontend uses the Angular framework, enabling dynamic real-time editing of project specifications. The backend infrastructure and APIs are based on an extensible micro services architecture.

A custom data import pipeline handles updates to the product data or business logic. This pipeline includes in-depth validation processes, ensuring customers are never exposed to incorrect data.

The customised Business Reporting web tool provides unique analytics and insights, including lead generation.

Impact

The tool has been rapidly adopted by Specifiers both due to its ease of use and time saving capabilities. A high percentage of these Specifiers are return visitors, generating multiple projects.

The high uptake and strong engagement has provided Schneider Electric Consultants with visibility across many new projects. This has resulted in the capture of many new actionable leads, proving the tool’s value as a lead generation pipeline.

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Outro

Science and technology are the principal drivers of human progress. The creation of technology is hindered by many problems including cost, access to expertise, counter productive attitudes to risk, and lack of iterative multi-disciplinary collaboration. We believe that the failure of technology to properly empower organisations is due to a misunderstanding of the nature of the software creation process, and a mismatch between that process and the organisational structures that often surround it.