Johnson Controls uses metrics to transform its business

2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Awards: David Mercier

2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Awards

David Mercier
Global director of continuous improvement, Global Workspace Solutions Div.

Johnson Controls

The Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) division of Johnson Controls manages more than 1.4 billion square feet of corporate real estate for 300 customers in more than 500 locations worldwide. But it did so with few standards, little ability to benchmark or identify best practices, and no way to help customers define metrics. Thus, the business was little more than a collection of disconnected local teams. David Mercier, GWS's director of continuous improvement, was charged with making the division metrics-driven, both to satisfy customer demands and to help GWS benefit from best practices across all its operations.

Ironically, many in the business thought they were metrics-driven -- there were more than 500 contractually obligated measures across 33 contracts in the United States alone. But that contract-based variation made it impossible to benchmark performance and compare regions to identify best practices. So Mercier first focused on establishing metrics that mattered both to GWS and its customers, creating a consistent set from which the contracted metrics could be derived, while providing for the first time the pan-GWS metrics needed to compare regions and encourage the adoption of best practices. He then made the data centrally available via an Actuate Performancesoft Views analytics tool -- a major step up from the combination of Excel workbooks and PowerPoint presentations that had comprised the analytics "system."

Although the deployment saved GWS $500,000 (a small sum given the company's $3.8 billion budget), the real benefit was discovering the business rules previously hidden across GWS's operations and applying consistent metrics companywide, which Mercier believes will deepen customer relationships and strengthen GWS for the longer term.

[ Discover how the lessons learned from the 2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Award winners can help your IT efforts. ]