A global company adopting remote support
NIBE Energy Systems is part of the listed global NIBE Group and offers a wide range of intelligent, energy-efficient indoor climate comfort products, including heating, air conditioning, heat recovery, ventilation, and water heating for homes, apartment blocks, and commercial properties. Most solutions are based on recovering renewable energy from soil, rock, sun, water, or air that contributes to a smaller carbon footprint and better energy utilization.
XMReality Remote Guidance is installed in NIBE Energy Systems’ Service Desk in its Swedish Headquarters. They serve about 90 service partner companies and approx. Five thousand customers in Sweden and more across the Nordics and Europe, from expert technicians to expert installers and plumbers to those with a different experience with heat pumps.
We spoke with NIBE Energy Systems Berry Christensson, After Sales Service Manager, about how they use XMReality to take their service to the next level.
The challenge for NIBE
NIBE Energy Systems works with a large number of subsidiaries across Europe. The service partners, installers, and plumbers supporting NIBE Energy Systems in Europe have access to the Swedish NIBE Service Desk in Markaryd for support. “My team is about 20 technicians, and they all have access to Remote Guidance,” says Christensson.
“We never know from one moment to the next who will call our Service Desk,” says Berry Christensson, “we work with a broad spectrum of customers and service operators. From Markaryd in Sweden, we serve about 90 service partner companies and approx. Five thousand customers in Sweden, and more across the Nordics and Europe, from expert technicians to expert installers and plumbers, to those with a different experience of heat pumps.”
Unlike heating service engineers in Northern Europe, many of the service partners, installers, and plumbers NIBE support have little experience in heat pumps or indoor climate systems. Yet the demand for first-time fixes remains in a fast, competitive market.
It’s not just the number of customers that is growing but also installers and service technicians. So too, is the complexity of products. With new intelligent heat pumps and sophisticated technology, it has been much more user-friendly and installer-friendly, especially for inexperienced users. But in demanding and challenging cases, when the service desk supports large numbers of professionals with little experience, there may be a need for more advanced support tools.
Solution: remote guidance with XMReality
“We see it as a great opportunity to further strengthen our direct contact between NIBE and our service partners onsite and to shorten the distance between them. This tool enables a direct feed to be established to get instantaneous feedback on changes and improvements, thereby avoiding extra communications or customer visits. Any problem solved on a first visit is valuable, not only in time and money but also in customer relations”, says Christensson.
OPEN ACCESS A KEY PURCHASE CRITERION Open access was why NIBE Energy Systems chose XMReality over other solutions. “The other solutions I looked at all required us to set up service agreements with our field technicians,” he says, “they weren’t systems that allowed anyone to call in. For us, XMReality implemented a solution where anyone can access Remote Guidance on any browser with a single web link.”
THREE TROUBLESHOOTING SCENARIOS Leaks and misconnections are typical troubleshooting scenarios for Remote Guidance. “With leaking pumps, or water or gas leaks the field technician can’t explain, we can use a Remote Guidance camera to identify the fault. Electric boards we used to identify cables that have not been correctly connected. Often on a site, the heat pump sets off the alarm, but a nearby component caused the problem; in those situations, you can sweep the whole system with the Remote Guidance camera and see what’s going on.”
THE RIGHT TOOL FOR TOUGH CHALLENGES Remote Guidance is particularly valuable, Christensson says, for difficult-to-identify problems. “It’s a good tool when the solution isn’t obvious or simple. If a fault has gone on for some time without being solved, the customer wants to change the product, and you don’t get a second chance. That’s often when we’ll use Remote Guidance.”
“For me,” says Christensson, “excellent service is all about access and availability. Customers these days expect instant access to service. Plus, they expect products to be connected to the Cloud, so they can check data and troubleshoot. You can gather many data from our heat pumps now. I see Remote Guidance as part of this movement towards increased access.”
“If an installer has a problem installing one of our products, it saves much time if we can solve it directly with him rather than report the fault to a service partner who then has to book a new time to meet the customer. Solving the problem at first contact saves time and travel, which means we can walk the walk regarding sustainability and reducing carbon footprint, which is a big part of our brand".
The result using remote support
Seeing is believing. XMReality Remote Guidance is a highly visual tool. Experts can identify faults—and show technicians exactly how they can be fixed using real-time hand gestures, pointers, or even overlays of physical devices. A “show-not-tell technology,” it overcomes language barriers, diagnoses faults, and demonstrates solutions for complex products.
NIBE Energy Systems uses Remote Guidance when working in its export markets and must support its European subsidiaries. Sometimes they have someone onsite, and we may speak different languages. Remote Guidance can help bridge the language barrier in that situation, “If anyone knows the products, our experts can show them visually, and they ‘get it’ immediately,” says Christensson. “We see great potential in using Remote Guidance with our connected heat pumps. Better and more accurate troubleshooting means shorter downtime and reduces the proportion of incorrectly replaced spare parts, and also to achieve increased customer satisfaction and reduced travel”, says Christensson.
NIBE Group is a global organization contributing to a lower carbon footprint and better energy utilization. The three business areas are – Climate Solutions, Element and Stoves. NIBE develops, manufactures, and markets a wide range of eco-friendly, energy-efficient solutions for indoor climate comfort in all properties, plus components and solutions for intelligent heating and control in industry and infrastructure.
From its beginnings in the Småland city of Markaryd nearly 70 years ago, NIBE Group has grown into a global group with 17,000 employees on average and a global presence. From the start, the company has been driven by a strong culture of entrepreneurship and a passion for responsible business operations. Its success factors are long-term investments in sustainable product development and strategic acquisitions. Combined, these factors have brought about strong, targeted growth, which generated sales of just over SEK 25 billion in 2019.