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Case Study

HVAC Company Uses RPA to Cut Total Cost of Ownership for Legacy Devices

24/7 real time monitoring performs triage on all alarm events
Response time reduction for callouts due to automation
6000 hours of technician time saved

Residents in 160 countries count on products from a global HVAC company to keep their groceries and homes perfectly cool. To ensure superior service, the company must continue to innovate. Their leadership emphasizes that digital capabilities are a differentiator, both for the company’s processes and products — and they aim to be regarded as the best in customer engagement. So, when sensors in grocery stores generated false alarms, delaying technicians’ responses to genuine issues, they created a digital solution — with help from an SS&C Blue Prism digital workforce.


It’s not uncommon to see a shopper lingering over the freezer section of the grocery store, deliberating over one brand of frozen food or another. But leaving the door open too long can cause the temperature inside the freezer to climb which triggers a failure alarm in the HVAC company’s regional command center. Technicians can’t determine if the alarm indicates a catastrophic failure or a simple false alarm, so they’re dispatched to the grocery store. If a genuine alarm gets stuck in a long queue of false alarms, food in the refrigeration unit can be spoiled by the time the technician arrives. The food must then be discarded — a cost and sustainability concern.

When employees attempted to determine if an alarm was false or genuine, they had to run manual data extractions and then shift through individual alarm notifications. Analyzing the data required them to log into multiple systems — and often they were automatically logged out of one system as they gathered data from another. And since some of the systems were so old, the company couldn’t build a direct integration because the units in the stores didn’t have application interfaces to enable data transfer.


The company, with assistance from EY, dispatched a team of SS&C Blue Prism digital workers to handle triage for each alarm. Digital workers quickly go into each system to gather information and then analyze alarm data. Did the temperature climb for a few minutes and then drop? Someone closed the freezer door. As the minutes pass, is the high-temperature holding? There’s likely a problem, and a technician is immediately dispatched.

Digital workers diligently monitor the alarms 24/7 and in real time — a key service to customers as hot summers have become more common and there’s less time to successfully fix a broken unit before food spoils. Using digital workers is the only way to communicate with these legacy systems since many don’t have application interfaces.

The new solution was advantageous when the company brought an additional 1500 locations online. Digital workers supported the new locations and there was no need to hire and train a new staff of technicians. And it’s helped the current technicians too. Since digital workers have prevented call-outs to false alarms, technicians have saved 6000 hours over 18 months. The response time for technicians has significantly improved and costs associated with food spoilage have decreased.

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