A Soulo Case Study

Honeywell / Resideo

Technical Writing

Client Overview

Honeywell has been a technological leader for over 100 years. In that time, they’ve built expertise covering a wide range of industries, from indoor air quality products to aviation, among many others. Their products are often the go-to solution for home or business use.

In 2018, Honeywell spun off their Homes division, which primarily made products for use in people’s houses (such as thermostats, sensors, cameras, etc.), to create a new business called Resideo.

Example of a Honeywell technical document for a Zone Panel.
Example of a Honeywell TechDocumentExample of a Honeywell TechDocument showing technical illustrations of a thermostat.Example of a Honeywell TechDocument showing a wiring guide.Technical document showing product data for THX9421 Prestige product with Honeywell brandingTechnical document showing product data for THX9421 Prestige product with Resideo branding.

Relationship

The relationship between Honeywell and SOULO goes back to 2005, when Honeywell partnered with Soulo Communications to manage the documentation for a handful of their lines of business, primarily indoor air quality, combustion, and building technologies. The responsibilities included managing documents, writing, editing, and preparing those documents for print, all according to Honeywell’s brand standards.

With SOULO’s expertise in managing Honeywell’s documentation, it was natural for the relationship to continue with Resideo. Leveraging SOULO’s expertise, Resideo could meet tight timelines without interrupting production goals.

Ideas

Resideo had hundreds of products in their portfolio from the start. These were products homeowners and businesses used every day. There were thermostats, doorbells, humidity controllers, and more.

Because of the way the spinoff was created, all of these products needed to be rebranded from Honeywell to Resideo. For the products themselves, Resideo updated the branding internally, changing the manufacturing process to use the Resideo brand or the Honeywell Home brand, which Resideo licensed.

But products were only part of the challenge.

Honeywell/Resideo logo.

The Challenge

Almost all the products were packed with installation instructions, owner’s manuals, or quick start guides. Packaging itself was also branded, as were the marketing communications materials. All of it had to change, from Honeywell to Resideo or Honeywell Home. This amounted to thousands of documents that needed rebranding: new logos, new fonts, updated graphics and text, etc.

Furthermore, there was a deadline in play: the legal structure of the spinoff called for additional payments from Resideo to Honeywell if Resideo was still using the Honeywell logos after a certain date. The time crunch was on.

Honeywell and resideo sellsheets showing the difference between the two.
Honeywell Home and Residieo rebrand comparison image
Honeywell Home to Resideo rebrand sell-sheet example.

Create

Given SOULO’s long experience managing, creating, and revising Honeywell’s documentation, the process of rebranding the documents to Resideo was familiar. The main part of the process included importing the old documents into new templates, updating logos and graphics, updating fonts, and updating text.

A smaller (but still very important) part required an extreme attention to detail in checking for several other issues. This included removing trademarked products that didn’t carry over to Resideo, removing Honeywell logos and text from all images (even in instances that would be nearly invisible to the naked eye), looking for outdated part numbers and product names, etc.

Large or small, the process of rebranding to Resideo fell under the purview of SOULO’s experience and was accomplished smoothly.


The larger challenge of the rebrand project was time management. There were thousands of files that needed to be updated, and each file had its own timeline to meet production schedules. If those deadlines were missed, Resideo’s best-selling products would not hit the shelves on time.

To meet this challenge, SOULO relied on our experience to efficiently rebrand each file. To keep track of the timelines, we used a project management application that allowed us to build our own schedules based on Resideo’s timelines for each product.

By combining expertise, efficiency, software and services knowledge, and a deep well of experience with the materials, we were able to meet all the varied timelines Resideo had for each file.

Working with a Legacy

One of the biggest challenges to this rebrand? Legacy documents. Many of them were so old—some dated to the 1970s—that no source files existed. Quite a few of these documents were for products that were no longer manufactured, but fell under the Resideo aegis. The literature is stored on their customer portal, so it had to be re-branded as well, to support customers who encountered one of these long-lasting devices.

All we had to work with were scanned PDFs, often crooked, partial, or of poor quality. We developed several workarounds for these. Many were re-created completely. This was especially common for short documents, which could be re-typed, or for documents where the scan fidelity was good enough that Acrobat’s optical character recognition (OCR) could interpret the text and render it so we could copy and paste it into a new template.

Honeywell technical document french translation example
Honeywell Printed Documents

The most painstaking of these was an old installation guide in French. The OCR process couldn’t parse the typeset ligatures (these are instances where two letters touch, as in “fi” or “fl”) or any of the diacritical marks. Those had to be replaced one at a time. Because we are not a translation agency, we made sure to have that document proofread by French translators to make sure we hadn’t introduced any errors.

The other solution we had for these documents that only had a scanned PDF as a source was to separate the documents into individual pages, and place them as images into the new template. This had the downside of not being able to edit the documents in the future, but given that they hadn’t changed in 40-50 years, that didn’t seem like a huge risk.

Results

The Resideo rebrand project required us to use our knowledge and experience to work efficiently and keep to a tight schedule. It required us to process thousands of files in a quick, clean, and consistent manner. In short, it was the SOULO team’s experience and knowledge that helped our longtime client keep their schedules on track.
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