Project Overview

Nortek Global HVAC has been designing and manufacturing reliable heating and cooling products for more than 95 years. The company focuses on creating genuine value for its customers through a unique combination of innovation, product performance and responsive support. Nortek is a member of the ‘heating, ventilation, and air conditioning’ industry, a multi-billion dollar industry that prioritizes energy savings and efficiency.

The Challenge

Nortek Global HVAC’s latest heating and cooling machines operate with more longevity and less energy usage than ever before. However, these advancements come at a price. These new machines are very particular about the amount of coolant they need to work correctly; too little and they don’t function well, and too much is an expensive waste. Nortek Global HVAC needed a solution that makes these machines easier to service for contractors that are not yet up to speed on the new technology.

In addition to requiring extreme precision, the contractors who service these machines often work on the road and travel on a regular basis. They needed an efficient way to connect remotely from a variety of platforms.

Our Approach

Enliven partnered with Nortek Global HVAC to create and develop a custom application that takes their patented engineering algorithms and makes them available to contractors in a responsive web app. This device, called a ‘Charge Calculator’, would allow contractors to troubleshoot and analyze these high-tech systems much more easily, thereby providing valuable service to their customers and maintaining the high quality reputation of the Nortek brand.

Our team got together and created a strategy, and determined which features and characteristics would contribute to the success of this project. Among the most important are:

Build an MVP

We decided to initially launch the minimum viable product (MVP) version of this service to validate the concept, and ensure that the features we create would be the most helpful for contractors. The MVP launch should be fully functional upon launch so it can withstand testing, help collect feedback, and be further developed later on. Even though it is a minimum product launch, all prioritized features should be fully developed.

Work in the Field

Contractors are constantly on the go, and this application needs to ‘work where they work’. Because they operate remotely, it should be accessible via phone, tablet, desktop, and laptop with an outstanding user experience across all platforms.

Great Looks, Even Better Experience

Because it is a complex system, the adoption of this application relies heavily on user experience, and should be easy for contractors to learn and use. Besides looking good, we wanted the application to improve accuracy and reduce waste, using responsive formulas that adjust as data is plugged in. In addition to helping the contractors, the application should give engineers the ability to collect and easily analyze performance metrics.

The End Product

Timekeeping

Time is a very important theme in the performance of this calculator. Contractors frequently need to monitor the temperature of parts of the HVAC, and check back in different intervals. We inserted stopwatch features throughout the application, so contractors never need to interrupt the application to keep time.

Mobile-friendly

There are many components of this application that were not vital to the MVP launch. Accessibility from all platforms, however, is not something we could sacrifice. That’s why the charge calculator was made compatible with iPhone, Android, laptops, desktops, and tablets, all from day one of the release.

Intuitive workflow

Above all, the charge calculator’s purpose is to improve precision, alleviate product waste, and overall assist the servicing contractors. To accomplish this, we built a fully custom user interface that makes the complex workflow streamlined and intuitive. This will ultimately help contractors spend less time thinking about the application and formulas, and more thinking about the actual task at hand.

The Results

Enliven was happy to partner with Nortek Global HVAC to create and deliver an innovative new product to their contractors. In the scope of this project, our team took a complicated prototype for the highly technical ‘charge calculator’ and turned it into a working web application with significant impact for Nortek Global HVAC’s business.

Nortek Global HVAC began piloting the charge calculator at the end of 2016, and have been met with enthusiastic approval. This application allows contractors to more effectively service HVAC machines, with greater speed, more accuracy, and less waste.