Total Market FocusIf you have seen the new Steven Spielberg movie, Lincoln, you may recall when Daniel Day-Lewis portraying President Lincoln asks, “Do you think we choose to be born? Or are we fitted to the times we’re born into?” I found this to be an extremely interesting question as a manufacturer looking at the current economic conditions and our forecast for the road ahead – how do we fit into the times we’re born into? It’s a question every business should continually ask as we all strive to maintain relevancy in a constantly changing and evolving marketplace and time.

In the summer of 2009, Ingersoll Rand formed its new Residential Solutions business by bringing Schlage, Trane and American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning together to create new opportunities for HVACR distributors and contractors, while offering an innovative set of products and services for homeowners. Fast-forward nearly four years, and advances in technology and changes in consumer behavior have shifted and shaped many of the products and services we see today and will see tomorrow, when it comes to managing your home.

As we look at the forecast for the comfort and efficiency side of our business, we are focused on Total Market Focus as a strategic priority.

Innovation is at the heart of everything we believe and everything we do. Our customer focus, together with our determined spirit and the way we operate and conduct our business, demonstrates our innovation. Innovation is not only about fitting into today’s world, but it’s also about planning and preparing for what lies ahead – for the times we’re born into and the times we’re working into.

We want to ensure that all of our Ingersoll Rand Residential Solutions brands are providing the products and services consumers want, at all price points. It’s about providing security and energy-efficiency solutions that matter and then connecting everything together to meet and exceed homeowner expectations. Being a total-market-focused manufacturer means we need a total-market-distribution focus, and that is what you will see from us, as we extend our quality and reliability proposition to every segment of the market.

People want to be able to manage their lives, including their home comfort and security needs, on their terms – not ours. Affordable, highly functional and more energy-efficient homes will continue to be the mainstream trend. According to ABI Research, by the year 2017, 90 million homes worldwide will employ home automation systems. Consumers are growing increasingly sophisticated about technology, and as their needs evolve, every member of the Ingersoll Rand Residential Solutions team must have a finger on the pulse of the market, so we are able to respond at the right time with the right solutions.

Nexia Product FamilyFor example, Nexia Home Intelligence brings together the best home automation technology in a simple way, allowing consumers to remotely manage multiple home functions and features, including door locks, heating and cooling, video surveillance, lights, shades and whole-home energy usage, via any web-enabled computer and most mobile devices. The beauty of the Nexia system is that consumers can continuously shape their home automation needs to control their house the way they want to, from anywhere they happen to be.

Our goal is to continue getting products to market in a timely fashion, so distributors and dealers can quickly take advantage of available opportunities. Our promise is to continue improving our excellent channel relationships and, as we know, relationships always drive business results. Which is why all of our Residential Solutions brands are continually looking for ways to evolve and grow in order to help distributors and dealers connect with consumers.

Fitting into the times we’re working into means focusing on driving current performance and future growth. It’s about continuing to invest in the future and providing products and solutions that offer a competitive advantage. It’s also about leveraging capability and maximizing the performance of our channel partners to build and grow their businesses.

Abraham Lincoln is quoted as having said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” There are no shortcuts when you are creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient home environments for today and the times we are working into.

Gary Michel is president of Ingersoll Rand’s Residential Solutions business based in Carmel, Indiana. For more information, visit www.ingersollrand.com.