Mr. Imran Siddiqui (Managing Director), Air Design HVAC talks about the challenges he had finding a competent software that fit all of Air Design’s requirements. He also talks about how GrowSmart has helped them solve their operational challenges, improve productivity, reduce people dependency and increase technician utilization. Mr. Imran Siddiqui is now less worried about the day to day operations and now has more bandwidth to start thinking about further expansion of the business.
About Air Design HVAC
Exclusive channel partners for Carrier and Toshiba air conditioners.
7+ years of experience.
Leaders in the field of air-conditioning in the process industries and residential areas.
Awarded the number one dealer for the last three years in the Carrier VRF segment.
Have been awarded the most promising dealer by Toshiba air conditioners pan-India basis.
Entered the Willis Carrier Club Dealer within a year of inception.
Lack of a reminder system for payments due to be collected. Hence most payments would go overdue hurting cash flow.
Lack of a standardised process and hence no control over the project costs when scope changes occur.
Excessive person-dependence to use software that required special training even for day-to-day operations.
Further expanded business in 2 new territories - Pune and Hyderabad with just establishing on-field tea availability, with the backend work happening in the head office itself.
Key excerpts from the video
“The customer is satisfied.. you say around 70% of the customers are satisfied they are appreciating our efforts towards the service.”
“ If you ask me honestly now I am a free man, I can do the expansion of our business. ”
“With the help of Growsmart, it's now process-driven and everybody can enjoy their personal life.”
“So an all in one system is a better option, because it gives it a very seamless approach, it will cover all the areas.”
Full Video transcript
We are the fastest-growing company in the Carrier fraternity. With the help of GrowSmart we have expanded two of our service branches - one in Pune, one in Hyderabad. If you ask me about the inventory benefits, I can say around 20-30% we have saved on the inventory. So with GrowSmart things are more under control. If you ask me, it is just as smooth as butter. You can say anything what we want or what any of my staff want we can just have, anytime - anywhere. My technician reaches the client's place faster. They are quick enough by around 30-40%. The customer is satisfied.. you say around 70% of the customers are satisfied they are appreciating our efforts towards the service. Particularly in service, all of our customers are satisfied. If you ask about the productivity of the overall business module, I can say it has increased by 30-40%. If you ask me honestly now I am a free man, I can do the expansion of our business.
We are Airdesign. And Airdesign HVAC Private Ltd. was formed in the year 2014. We are exclusive channel partners for Carrier and Toshiba air-conditioners. We are into air conditioning to the process industry where we cater residential, as well as the commercial areas or the process industries. We do all kinds of complete HVAC solutions. We have been awarded the number one dealer for the last three years in the Carrier VRF segment. And we have also been awarded the most promising dealer by Toshiba air conditioners pan-India basis. We are the dealer who has been in the WCCD (Willis Carrier Club Dealer) within a year's time.
Before implementing GrowSmart
Before using Growsmart, we used to have a Tally software for all accounting purposes and Excel for all the project-related work. We had tried one CRM software for the service industry but that didn't work for us. And then, uh, it was like we were going for manual work only. So first you’ll see my major issue was in data management and the profitability analysis. We assumed a big margin at the sales stage. But after doing the project, we find that we never achieve those margins. And after-sales service was also an issue for us. Like my service department didn't get the proper data from the project team. And once the warranty expired, we faced challenges converting those customers into AMC business. And customers also complained we are not getting the proper services on time.
One of the major issues is the project overshooting. The cost incurred during the project was very high and we were not able to control those costs. So that was one of the major issues we were facing before GrowSmart.
How did you evaluate the software?
So, um, one of my cousins is also into IITs and few of my friends are into IITs. So I've checked with them. So they were into SAP, which are the bigger versions of these systems. So that was not viable for my kind of company. So looking at that budget, it was very difficult for me. So I googled some software which are...which will be economical to my organization. Fortunately, the GrowSmart team directly contacted me. And I checked the demo of the system, which I found was really, really helpful to me. It was very fortunate that the GS team has already worked for the HVAC industry and they knew each and every process of the HVAC segment. Even the material - they were aware about how low side activity goes, installation process, how it happens and which material is required to have an HVAC project get executed. So those were the points I was very much happy to see that they were aware of the industries and it was industry-specific. And I even checked with my cousin. So his response was also that, if at all any software is providing 90, 95% of the solution, it will be great to have that kind of stuff. So, uh, I just thought that it is perfect for me.
How did you go about the implementation?
If you ask me about the implementation, it took eight weeks’ time. Wherein we provided all the data. We collected all the data like customer master and all the contact details and all the material specifications. Each and every stuff we gathered and we shared with the GrowSmart team. Then we started implementation. During implementation, we found that it is very necessary to appoint a few designated candidates who will understand all the processes well and they can train all the other staff. Because having all the key resources during the implementation will be a great challenge. So at that time, we hired two candidates who work there day in, day out for this data migration work. The day we started the implementation we had a conference call with the Growsmart team. They had a video call with the team. They established all the data that was required. So likewise we started doing the migration work.
So initially we started with the Project work. We started and thought, well how it works let us see in upcoming projects. So we started implementing the Projects module. Then we moved ahead to the Purchase module. Once the purchase and procurement was okay, we started putting data into the Service module. So once these 3 activities were clear, we moved out to the Account section. Because Accounts is like, we cannot rely on any third party software. Earlier we used to have Tally. And you might be aware that accounting people are not very friendly with moving to other software. So at that time we used to have parallel work. During that time we used to work in the Tally as well as in Growsmart. After the quarterly closure - we used to have a quarterly closure and we were checking whether the data was matching with the Tally data or not. Once we were satisfied that the data was matching to our Tally, as well as with Growsmart. Then we completely switched over to Growsmart.
Results: Streamlined Operations
So before GrowSmart we only used Tally and we faced a lot of challenges and the resistance from the Accounts team. Whereas after implementing GrowSmart the accounts team is the department who are enjoying a lot of benefits from Growsmart. Now, they don't have to sit beside the Project team and prepare the tax invoices, or cross check the BOQs, POs. They do not have to do anything. Just click off a few buttons. The tax invoice is generated. And the leakages in the store area, wherein we store our raw materials. So now everything has been under control. It is under my watch. If you ask me, honestly, now I'm a free man. I can do the expansion of my business. With the help of Growsmart I have expanded 2 of my service branches. One in Pune and one in Hyderabad. So my entire backend team is working over there. They just need to work on the field. I don't need to have a branch office over there and have a complete set of team to do the backend work on their behalf. Now, my head office will do all the backend activity. They can remotely work on the field. They will not need any full backend office over there. With the help of Growsmart I can do all those activities. And I can think in those areas. I'm having a lot of time. So I can do actual sales work, having a good relationship with the clients or taking feedback from the client on how my project team is performing, how my sales team is performing, how my service team is performing. So if you say, I can take a lot of time for my other activities as well. Not like I'm completely busy doing all the day-to-day activity. So with the help of Growsmart things are now under control.
Results : Cost control and profitability
One of the major issues was that whenever scope changes, whenever there is a scope change in the project we never get notification from the project team. They just took the material and installed it as per the client's request. But at the time of billing we find that the cost has shot up and the client was never accepting those changes. They only say if the scope was getting changed, they should have (been) notified, or they should have got it addressed at the earlier stage. But with the help of GrowSmart now, whenever the changes happen, it is amended at that stage only. So we can ask the sales team to get approvals from the client, get the amended POs, or get the approvals on the client or the customers, end users. So which will help us do the business in a proper way securing our profitability of the projects.
Now with the help of Growsmart, we have better cost control. We can use our resources in a better manner. Now, the inventories are very streamlined. We don't have dead inventories in our stock. So with the help of Growsmart our Purchase team has been geared up. So they are procuring the right material at the right time at the right cost. So, which is helping our Sales team, giving them a better baseline for each and every project, which is helping them to take advantage over the competitors. They can now give a tough time to other competitors as well. So with the help of GrowSmart we are aware of how much margin we are making. So it's very beneficial for our team and all the cost has been controlled at a very initial stage.
If you ask me about the inventory benefits, I can say around 30 to 40%, we have saved on the inventory. Like it is not we are using less material in the project, but we are using it in a smart manner. Like we are not investing in the dead investment and all the material, the wastage, if you see ask any contractor, he will have a major pain area as the waste on the projects. So we are today saving a lot of cost on the wastage. We are minimizing those percentages from 10 to 3 to 4%. We have reduced around 6 to 7%. Now, better planning helps us to take up better inventory in the stocks.
Results: Impact on Productivity
If you ask about the productivity of the overall business module, I can say it's been increased by 30 to 40%, the productivity has increased. Now the team is taking less amount of time in generating reports, in generating the profitability of each and every project. Project progress report has been completely streamlined, wherein we can notify our customer on a regular basis and all that stuff was taking a lot of time.
Earlier if you see, if I went to any of our customers for collection of the payments, whenever I asked my Accounts team to get the ledger they took 1 day’s time to give me this ledger. Now I don't need their support. I can myself trace the outstanding of the customer or the project. And I can show my customer this is outstanding, and I can independently work. Now I don't require the accounts team to come along with me or take a ledger from them and do the collection work. Now I'm independent and I can work accordingly.
After using Growsmart now each and every engineer, the field engineers can indent the material from the remote site with the help of their tab or the mobile. They do not need to come down to the office and make manual entries in Excel, then give it to the Purchase department, who in turn will go to the Project head to get the approval and check the profit variance. It was time-consuming activities that were happening. Now with the help of Growsmart, we can do each and every work remotely. Every staff member is free and they can work independently.
Results: MIS and data driven decisions
If you ask me, it's just smooth as butter. You can say anything that we want or what any of my staff want, they can just have it any time, anywhere, anytime! With the help of just a few buttons, I can get any report, any kind of report. Like the stores, materials lying in my warehouse, material lying at the site warehouse also. I need not ask my project engineer to tell me, what are things lying on the site? So, likewise I can have a fair idea of the project profitability or the project progress. So where in, I can control the project. Even in the after sales business, in the AMC business, nobody does the evaluation of the AMC business. We have a presumption, all the HVAC dealers have a presumption that we are earning a lot of money in the AMC business, but honestly speaking there are few contracts where we lose money. We never analyze those areas. We have some customers where we earn a lot of money, but we never provide the services required by the customers. Because we have a presumption in our mind that we are not earning from this customer. But actually if you see, we are earning from those customers as well. So with the help of Growsmart, we can analyse each and every customer, each and every contract, how much money we are earning from them. In the earlier times we used to have in-house meetings in the general terms.
Like we used to take reports from each and every department. They themselves will prepare the report and I have to rely on them, that data, all are accurate. If they show me a 50% margin, I have to believe them. If they show me negative 10% then also I have to believe them, that this job is making a loss for us. So now with the help of Growsmart, those things are not there. Now we do meetings on the Growsmart Dashboard itself. Where you can check the report from each and every module and we can discuss it. And if at all we find any change that needs to happen, we can work on that and all the reports are accurate now. Now we don’t have to rely on the individual basis.
Results: Purchase Efficiency
If you ask me, for the turnaround time for the purchase department earlier, it used to happen that all the engineers come up with their request to the purchase manager or the department head. So since it was manual based, it took a lot of time. Now they can make requests from their mobile. So all the requests have been coming directly to the purchase module. So now, he or she can plan accordingly. Whatever amount needs to be billed or whatever amount needs to be purchased. And the main thing is that now since we are having GrowSmart in place, we can track our Purchase rates. Like there are default rates set up in the purchase module wherein whenever there is a hike in the market rates, it restricts the purchase department, doesn't allow the purchase department to take, purchase goods at a higher rate. So with the help of Growsmart, now my project team and the purchase team can counter with the supplier that these rates are there in the system, and we cannot, the system will not allow. And it will go in this case, will go to the boss and your payment will not happen. So now the negotiation is happening, you know in a smoother way. And the vendor is also realizing that we cannot fool the contractor by taking such advantages. So likewise we have saved a lot of money. Not because the inventory quantity has been reduced, but definitely we have reduced the purchase costs and the proper smart inventory management system has been placed over now. So it is helping us a lot.
Results: Service response time
If you asked me about the resolution time, the resolution time is almost the same, but the response time is quick. Now my technician reaches the client's place, a little bit faster. They are quick enough by around 30 to 40%. Now they cannot roam here and there saying that I have reached the site.
Now they have to report to the customer's place. And in that manner the technician's utility, usability has been increased. So around 30%, I can say that it has improved. And the turnaround time has been reduced. Earlier we used to take 6 to 8 hours’ time to attend to the client, just to check what the complaints were. Now, its quick and faster. Now the technicians reach the client place very fast. Say around with, if today, if you log the customer in the morning, in the first half itself the technician will reach the client place and attend to the machine. The resolution and whatever the complaint needs to be addressed if at all it is a minor call, there itself it has been closed. Any major issues are there, it will take 24 hours’ time. So those areas are there, those other technical things we cannot help in those. But definitely the technicians are now very much clear that they cannot play with the management, or just don't take their own time and have a lethargic approach. Now they are quick, they are quick enough. And they, they also want that their performance should be improved and their recognition should be also there.
Now with the help of Growsmart, the technician has been utilized properly. Now we can, they can track them in the Google map, where and all my technicians are placed. Now turn around time has been reduced. Now that technician cannot lie to my CRO that I am stuck here, I have already reached home, I am already doing work at site. Now my CRO can easily track them (and know ) which exact location they are at right now. So according to them, uh, we can easily track them and get proper use of the technicians. The technicians have the tendency that once they receive a call at 5 o'clock, they will say that I am stuck in this work. And it is going to take a few hours more. So I'm not able to attend to this customer. Wherein the reality was different, he might have reached his residence as well. So with the help of GrowSmart, all the technicians are under track. With the help from Growsmart, we can have a history of the machines, the history of the contract, like when this machine was serviced and who was the technician who has attended to the customer in the past. So with the help of Growsmart we can track the history of each and every machine. So by that data, my CRO helps the technician who's attending the next time because it never happens that the same technician is doing service to the same machine each and every time.
Sometimes it happens that today ‘A’ technician is going and tomorrow the ‘B’ technician will go. With the help of case studies there and the data history of each and every machine is there, the CRO will give feedback to the technicians that this was happening earlier. Now you need to check this thing. So the resolution time is faster now, and we can track the history of each and every machine. If the machines are getting repeated complaints, then definitely there is something wrong with the machine, which seriously needs to be looked into and some senior technician approach is required. So the CRO can approach the senior management and ask for a replacement if something serious is happening on site.
Results: Digital Transformation
Before Growsmart, we used to submit our quotations in the Excel format. Now with the help of Growsmart we are sending through the system and we have created our own templates. Wherein we can place our logos or the style and the format, what we need as a template for the quotations. So now with the help of Growsmart we are having very professional looking templates. Prior to Growsmart, we used to send progress reports in the Excel format. Now we are sending it through Growsmart. So it is a better customer experience. Customers are getting a better experience. And if you see the after- sales service, earlier the technician used to carry the service report, prepare the report, replicate it and then get it signed by the customers. Now they are getting digital reports. Which clients are very appreciating us for the digital approach and the adaptability of the system. And we are planning to go with the app also. So in the coming days you will see that all our clients will get the application also in their mobile. Wherein they can have better visibility of their machines, details, and contract history and other stuff like that. So it will be better to communicate well.
Now the customer doesn't have to give repeat calls to the service team, when my technician is coming, when he is going to arrive. It's just like Ola and Uber. They can trace themselves when the technician is going to come and how much time it will take. So it's better now. Now the customer is also understanding the importance of technology in all these sectors. They find that when the HVAC team is also adapting those things So we have got a lot many appreciations from our customers.
The customers are satisfied around, say, you can say around 70% of the customers are satisfied. They're appreciating our effort toward the service. Particularly in service, all our customers are satisfied because they are getting the contract history. They are getting the history of each and every machine. They know how many machines are placed. So their assets have been managed by us. So with the help of GrowSmart, they know the air-conditioning asset or whatever, they invested, all the data related to HVAC has been secured in AirDesign in Growsmart. So they appreciate this kind of effort taken by us.
Results: Impact on people dependency
So earlier a lot of people's dependency was there. If one team, one department takes leave, the work is halted, it never moves. So we need to disturb them and call them to get approvals. So life was very difficult. But with the help of Growsmart, it's now process-driven and everybody can enjoy their personal life. And the things will not be stuck up. And the project will run. And all the work is very smooth now.
Prior to Growsmart, people were very overloaded and they could not even think of taking a long leave. Now each and every staff member can enjoy and work remotely. With the help of the Growsmart app on their mobile, they can even give approvals or give notification to each and every member of the organization. And they can have a synchronized way of doing work and they can work remotely as well.
All-in-One vs. Multiple solutions
If you ask me more about the multiple systems, as a business owner I am not going to learn Tally. So I am not able to get into the Tally and check the data and facts and figures about the Accounts team. So in GrowSmart I can check all the accounts or related areas as well as the project, as well as the purchase and the sales area. So in a multiple system, if at all I’m putting Tally on my system, I will have to run to Tally, just to check what is happening in the account section. And I have to take advanced Excel training to do work like procurement or the project progress thing. So to get all those training, giving training to other staff, is a very difficult thing. So an all in one system is a better option. Because if it gives it a very seamless approach, it will cover all the areas. And for the owner, it is very beneficial because you will not keep on thinking or overthinking about what is happening, how is happening, what will happen. You can just rely on the system, just peacefully sleep and rely on the system and get all the data whenever and whatever you require. During traveling also, you can check the data, check the facts and figures, and you are just rest assured of the technology, with the help of technology. My and everyone’s business will grow (to achieve) whatever target we are (aiming for).