Several hundred distributors met September 19-22 in St. Louis, MO to review progress the Nordyne family of brands has made in the last year.
The event came on the heels of the HVAC Comfortech conference that was held in St. Louis, September 15-18. Many distributors stayed through the weekend, combining business with pleasure (golf) on Monday and Tuesday during the Nordyne gathering. The Monday evening highlight was the World's Fair dinner party at the History Museum in Forest Park.
Nordyne President and CEO David LaGrand began the meeting on Sunday evening with a grass roots, nononsense message. "Ninety-seven percent of the air conditioning products we sell today will be obsolete on January 23, 2006, when the new efficiency standards take effect. Eighty-seven percent of our air conditioning products become obsolete in 2010 as a result of the change to R-410A refrigerant. We've got our work cut out for us.
"Nordyne brands are positioned for growth as our manufacturing has moved from three to four plants with new distribution centers to better facilitate our production schedules," says LaGrand.
LaGrand reemphasized the companys commitment to independent distribution, "You sell to independent contractors, we sell to independent distributors. Thats the way we like it, and thats the way we'll continue to do business."
Doug Jones, vice president sales, spoke to the distributor group about the need to help contractor customers realize how to provide more value to retailoriented consumers. Drew Fitzgerald, vice president, marketing, picked up that mantra, "What are we going to do differently to help our dealers? Almost three-quarters of consumers dont know what brand they own. Contractors must become the brand."
The bulk of the meeting was dedicated to discussing services and products that Frigidaire, Tappan, and Westinghouse distributors can use to assist their respective contractor customers.
The three-day event culminated with Distributor Advisory Council meetings on Wednesday.