Creating an Independent Workflow

Bernhard, a contracting and engineering firm based in the Southern United States sought out a technology consulting firm to help them build out a custom data dashboard that would allow them to better collect and analyze field data from their operations.

A major part of their services involved assessing and analyzing buildings to determine where new efficiencies and savings could be found in making a structure more energy efficient. To do this, Bernhard would collect data from HVAC systems and then input this data into an analytics tool run by a third-party to determine how energy efficient a structure was.

Under this model, Bernhard referred their customers to the third-party for help collecting the data used for analysis. They were also forced to hand over significant intellectual property rights to their third-party vendor to access their data dashboard tool.

The cost of continuing this workflow was unsustainable for Bernhard. In addition to the loss of significant IP rights, Bernhard was expected to pay their third-party vendor $2,000,000 a year for continued access to their HVAC analysis data dashboard. To better manage their workflow and develop greater independence for their business, they contracted with Affirma to develop a custom-build data dashboard tool that the client would be able to use independently.

What We Did

Affirma first met with Bernhard for a series of scoping calls and meetings to discuss their project needs and goals. After scoping the required specifications of this tool, Affirma’s team created multiple workstreams on their development and analytics teams to ensure that the hardware was built and crafted to meet specifications, that the user interface (UI) was intuitive and easy to access, and that the tool would capture data, transmit it to the cloud and then assume a consumable form for Bernhard.

The first stage of the project was creating a workable demo to prove that the concept was possible. After this was completed, Affirma’s teams then created a minimally viable product (MVP) to prove that the tool was buildable.

After the MVP product was created, Affirma began a series of iterations on this tool to develop a commercially viable product (CVP) that was then delivered to Bernhard for use. Affirma continued to make small improvements and updates for the tool such as ensuring that a backlog of enhancements was available, as well as integrating the tool with Microsoft’s Azure for cloud storage and collaboration.

The Result

The tool is now commercially viable and a fully usable product. Affirma will continue to provide maintenance and future updates and enhancements. Bernhard began using the custom build product with great success, even using it for a major project involving assessing the energy efficiency of a sports stadium in Texas.

Bernhard was able to complete the project significantly below their expected costs, netting them as much as a 90% savings on the cost of the initial tool development alone, to say nothing of the continued savings that will occur from no longer needing to subscribe to their third-party’s services.

bernhard data & analytics

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