PRODUCTS: Less than a year after its launch, a new transactional website enabling engineers to purchase chiller spares online has proved to be a multi-million-pound success for Johnson Controls.
The EasyParts website enables engineers to purchase major spare parts such as compressor rotors, valves and motors online. Top selling items like oil filters, sensors and chiller safety devices are all easily accessible.
John Pritchard, Parts Director HVAC & R said: “The aim in setting up the service was simple - to make it as easy as possible for engineers and maintenance companies to order genuine replacement parts for York brand chillers online. It has worked incredibly well, and we are pleased with the rapid take-up.”
For engineers, there are several benefits of ordering online. The site gives 24/7 access to spares with expedited delivery, important in situations where plant has suffered a breakdown. Orders placed before 2.30pm can be delivered next day.
Users can see real-time stock levels for replacement components, and the
current status of orders, enabling engineers to track deliveries. It also provides access to order history and associated paperwork, such as invoices.
Importantly, the site uses photographs of spares to provide visual confirmation of the relevant part. It includes pictures for most of the company’s 15,000 active lines of stock.
“We wanted to create an Amazon-type site for the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. This is now part of everyday life, and most people are familiar with it and comfortable using it,” says John Pritchard.
The site is underpinned by a huge knowledge bank, containing details of most of the components used in the manufacture of York brand chillers since production began. The database contains some 200,000,000 individual records, taken from the Bills of Materials (BOMs) for York chillers.
These contain detailed engineering data and component lists for every machine made. Chillers are identified with a unique serial number, printed on the data plate inside the chillers’ controls cabinet. There are believed to be around 10,000 York chillers installed in the UK and many more further afield across Europe.
The site is designed to be dynamic and grow over time. As new chillers are manufactured and installed, the knowledge base is constantly updated.
“We began with information on chillers made in the original York Basildon plant, and then expanded to include machines made at other factories across the globe. That process is continuing as we build the knowledge bank,” says John Pritchard. “It is an ongoing project, and as the database expands it becomes evermore useful for customers.”
Johnson Controls provides training in the use of the system at its Basildon site, or on-line, and will also be demonstrating how it works to visitors at the forthcoming ACR Show 2016, taking place at the NEC from 16 to 18 February 2016.
The website is located at https://easyparts.johnsoncontrols.com