Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Electric’s digital transformation

Chris Osment, Director of Information Technology at Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS), is on a personal mission to eradicate faxes for good.

The longtime Simplus partner and Salesforce pioneer was recently interviewed by Diginomica about the dramatic transformation that’s happened over the years at METUS. We’re proud to be part of this journey and wanted to share some of the highlights from Chris Osment’s comments:

 

The beginnings of transformation:

“He had a napkin and on one side of the napkin he was drawing the diagram of a large building that was going to be built. And there were some markings on it, some diagrams for the air conditioning system. On the back was a list of materials, a list of air conditioning equipment that would go in that building. Now, our sales team are trained engineers, they know this stuff by heart. They’re good at it. But what we were not good at was order management, inventory management, margin calculation, getting approvals done. So I asked him what he was going to do with that after?

At that point, I realized, here is a certified skilled engineer with customer relationship skills, wasting his time running around the office trying to figure out how to close the deal. That’s when I knew here’s where we need to go. Where we needed to go was to put it in their hands. Don’t have them drive to the office and ask people face-to-face.”

— Chris Osment

 

Then vs now:

“Slow quoting, manual processes, people looking for missing spreadsheets and different sets of numbers and different emails. We cleared all that up. We moved the clutter out of the way. We sped up the information flow. We put it at our fingertips. And that made them better at their job.”

— Chris Osment

 

Simplus’ partnership with METUS:

“Our strategy in this multi-phase, multi-year project was that we wanted to improve and we wanted to show immediate impact, but then we wanted to build a pathway to, in our words, the unified view of the customer. I wanted to leverage our sales engineers relationship skills. They’re good at it and I wanted to put more and more data in their hands and more and more different views. We’re still on a path to take the best of our people and make them better. Take the internal operations and smooth it out – that’s the underlying theme of our roadmap.

We always start the beginning of a phase with, ‘I want you to map out this phase’s journey’ because I like both Simplus and my team to understand how we’re going to get through it. Effectively, the 60% of brain power that occurs up front, on a whiteboard and charting it out, makes the 40% of implementation go very, very well. It’s a two-way partnership. We have to commit to providing them with the business workflow information and the understanding of the business and the phase we’re in, and they commit to us to diagnosing how automation can help that. And we generally come out with not just good, but excellent rollouts with our teams.”

— Chris Osment

 

Innovation with Salesforce:

“We were the 30th customer on CPQ, so we were charting new territory. We were one of the early adopters of Communities in 2016. What we did is we set up a community with the basics – here’s your audience, here’s a view of our inventory, here’s a view of pricing if you want to create your own quote and submit it to your sales rep. We stood that up in 2016, and what it helped us with was giving the users, giving our external partners the ability to create the outcome.

We started to get forecasting inventory – what are they thinking about selling? That helped us to get a view of future inventory demand. … In 2016 I think we had about 600 users on our portal. Today, we have 19,000, so we have got engagement from our customers.”

— Chris Osment

 

Looking ahead:

“I want to go 100% online with our customers within two years. How many of [us] still get faxes? I’m on a personal mission to eliminate them! After looking at Mulesoft, I foresee us being the integrator, helping us to go to our customers and say, ‘No more faxes. What’s your procurement system? And we will use Mulesoft and connect to that’. That’s the idea that I’ve gotten.”

— Chris Osment