It may be a relatively small start-up, but Thermondo is making big waves in the home heating industry.
What sets Thermondo apart from its home heating installation competitors? Its state-of-the-art technology, which it skillfully deploys in every facet of its business, from lead generation and equipment sales to ongoing maintenance and repairs.
In a market dominated by traditional (and, frankly, old-fashioned) practices, Thermondo provides a digitized energy solution, retrofitting customers’ homes with smarter, greener heating solutions. It even uses a proprietary algorithm, named “Manfred,” to customize each home’s heating system for maximum efficiency.
Home Heating Goes Digital
Heating homes is a major cost for consumers in Germany, where Thermondo is based. But where there’s a huge cost, there’s a huge opportunity, which Thermondo is keen to exploit as customers seek out technologically and environmentally savvy strategies to slash their monthly heating bills.
“The heating market needs providers who can go from centralized and analog to digitized and distributed,” explains Jessica Tan, chief product officer at Thermondo. “Our aim is to be the partner for consumers in this journey.”
Thermondo digitizes the whole process of retrofitting home heating systems, from generating leads for new customers to managing after-sales service.
With its Manfred algorithm, the company can analyze a relatively small sample of data points to create a customized retrofit plan using the latest equipment from leading German heating manufacturers. Even better, Manfred can generate a comprehensive price quote in mere seconds, a process that could typically take weeks using traditional methods.
Tan is delighted that the company has silenced those who doubted whether the industry was ready for a digital shake-up.
“It’s a very old-school trade in an extremely fragmented market,” Tan says. “A lot of people were quite skeptical that the industry was open to change.”
But consumers have embraced the new approach. Established in 2012, Thermondo has seen astronomical growth of roughly 600 percent over the past four years. Today it installs 300 to 400 heating systems for consumers every month, each designed specifically for their individual homes and requirements using Manfred.
Personalized Plans, Consistent Service
Thermondo’s 150 field service engineers bring a wide range of experiences and skills to the table, but they all strive to provide the same thing to customers: consistently excellent customer service. Consumers want certainty about when an engineer will arrive, how long a job will take and who to contact if the heating breaks down at 2 a.m.
It’s a very old-school trade in an extremely fragmented market. A lot of people were quite skeptical that the industry was open to change. — Jessica Tan, chief product officer, Thermondo
To help ensure this high level of service, Thermondo initially built an app for both installation app and service. But organic application development struggled to keep pace with the company’s rapid rate of growth. At times, local installers issued their own paper receipts, and, if an installation involved more than one engineer on-site at different times, information often fell between the cracks.
“In most cases, [the process] worked well because we had small teams,” says Tan. “But when it came to making that scalable, we were looking for something that could bring speed to our organization and help us become more efficient and effective quickly, because we expect to continue to grow.”
Thermondo handpicked ServiceMax as the platform that would best future-proof the business. Deployed via a mobile Android app, Thermondo began a phased rollout of the ServiceMax platform in October 2017.
The company’s ultimate vision is to offer heating as a service. That means rather than selling products and maintenance, customers would buy an integrated service from Thermondo to keep their homes at a steady 21 degrees Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) every day.
“We will give you the heating system and we will provide all of the maintenance to make sure that whenever you want to come into your house, it will be the perfect temperature — and you’ll just pay us a fee for that service,” Tan says.
That’s the goal, at least. In the meantime, Thermondo is perfecting its own technology mix to reach more attainable goals — zero downtime and predictive maintenance.
Images courtesy of Thermondo