• Zach Cook

The Actual ROI of Remote Monitoring


As Delta-EE showed in a recent report there is an increasing desire for connected systems in the domestic market with a 20% increase in connected boilers in the UK during 2020. But in Social Housing ‘nice to have’ isn’t enough. There have to be quantifiable returns on investment to warrant the budget spend. The problem with connected boiler systems is the savings, until recently, have been based on fictitious scenarios. The BCM and Connect Ecosystem, however, can demonstrate and quantify savings.


The first part of any return on investment equation has to be the cost of the systems, more specifically, the upfront cost. Vericon’s Ecosystem is the most complete and effective system in the market. This is because we have chosen to build our business model on creating long term relationships with our clients, meaning the upfront costs and any ongoing fees are kept to an absolute minimum.


The return on investment equation also needs the system to show quantifiable returns. Our Ecosystem has been designed to allow clients to connect the devices most appropriate to their needs, enabling them to remotely monitor and manage the environments. BCM (Boiler Control Module) acts as the in-property gateway so will always be required.


For this article, we will focus on analysing the BCM and Autofill savings.


Real time Fault notifications and Warranties

When a tenant calls the help desk complaining about no hot water or heating, how often are records checked to determine if there is a valid warranty? And how often do you send an engineer first to determine what the problem is?


The Connect portal acts as an asset register and an automated support tool. Our clients can add the warranty end date and warranty provider details, and when there is an actual boiler fault, rather than low pressure or gas outage, the telemetry can be sent directly to the warranty provider. The system will hold the audit log for review and will continue to monitor the fault for escalation if required.


Tenant satisfaction

Interrupted hot water and heating is always a point of contention. With the Connect Ecosystem, any fault condition will be instantly recognised allowing help desks and engineers to take a proactive approach. Instead of the helpdesk taking a call from an irate tenant, a proactive call has no additional cost but maximizes the tenants’ perception of being looked after.


First time fix rate

An increased first-time fix rate is always thrown into conversation by connected system salespeople without any validation and assume it will encourage housing associations to adopt their systems.


To achieve savings with first-time fixes, it is essential to have an agnostic system that works with all boilers in your portfolio. Delta-EE state that remote monitoring can improve first-time fix rates from 1.3 visits to 1.1 visits. This is a 16 % increase in number of calls carried out and will improve tenant satisfaction.


As the BCM works with all boiler manufacturers we generally see around 80% of boilers across a portfolio that can be remotely monitored. If we assume a portfolio of 10,000 boilers this equates to significant savings throughout the year.


Fault analysis

The ability to understand what the fault condition is, as soon as the fault occurs, means that a housing association or service provider is already in control.


A national wholesaler carried out surveys last year to determine the value of carrying full van stock and the results were impressive. They determined that an engineer could carry out an additional 4 calls per day by having the correct parts in their van. This is a mixture of first-time fix rates and not being drawn into ‘Wholesaler Counter Culture’, read our article on this here.


It maybe cost prohibitive to load all your vehicles with complete set of spares, but remote monitoring is a realistic solution. A fault can be triaged, the appropriate spares ordered or delivered to the engineer, reducing travel time and the hidden costs of the wholesaler counter culture.


Under pressure faults

Autofill is an intelligent device that monitors the boiler system pressure and will top up an under-pressure system without intervention from the tenant or engineer. If a burst pipe is detected, it will send an immediate notification to the help desk or engineer to alert a major incident. However, if this is a normal pressure drop or an infrequent issue, Autofill will top up the system, enter a record in the audit log and, if required, put the boiler into preventive maintenance mode. Once in preventative maintenance mode, the system will be monitored to ensure the repair can be carried out at the time of the annual service. The tenant will not need to worry about drops in pressure, so tenant satisfaction levels are impossible to quantify, but the associated costs are.


Conclusion

Across this article, we have shown the savings realisable by using the Vericon Ecosystem and specifically BCM and Autofill. We have shown the benefits and the associated costs. The only thing left is relating this to your specific costs.


With some or all the figures below you can easily quantify the return on investment for your specific business:

  • Cost of repairs carried out on boilers within warranty.

  • Value of tenant satisfaction ratings to the housing association.

  • First time fix rate.

  • Number of calls where more than one visit was required.

  • Aborted costs due to access issues.

  • Aborted costs due to spares availability.

  • Number of calls carried out in the morning vs the number of calls carried out in the afternoon.

  • Cost of call outs for low pressure issues.


If you’d like to learn more about Vericon’s Ecosystem and how it can support your team, please fill in the contact form on the right, call on 01242 582555 or email us at hello@vericonsystems.com

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