The Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) added its first "Integrated Wholesaler" members to its current membership of over 450 HVACR distributor companies.
Johnson Control’s York Unitary Products Group, a long time manufacturer member of HARDI, became the industry’s first equipment manufacturer to formally recognize its factory branch operations as legitimate wholesale distributor businesses by making them HARDI’s first Integrated Wholesaler members. The Integrated Wholesaler membership category was created by HARDI over two years ago as a means to include the industry’s factory-owned distribution operations in the distributor community with access to distribution’s best practices, education, benchmarking data and idea exchange.
York factory branches have existed for decades and have evolved into multi-line, full-service distributor operations faced with the same tight margins, personnel and logistics challenges and channel relation dynamics as the traditional HARDI independent distributor member. However, unlike many HARDI members, York branch managers and branch personnel often come from manufacturing backgrounds rather than having grown up in the family’s wholesale distribution business, so the Unitary Products Group has reached out to HARDI to tap into decades of distribution experience.
The measure was initiated by the manager of York’s flagship Philadelphia branch, David Delancett, and led by the top leadership of the Unitary Products Group: Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Matt Peterson and Vice President and General Manager of the Unitary Products Group, Tom Huntington- whose career started in the wholesale distribution business.
The Unitary Products Group has demonstrated an unprecedented commitment to sound, effective and profitable distribution by having its branches become the first Integrated Wholesaler members of the industry’s only wholesale distribution trade association.
York, with long-standing partnerships with several of HARDI’s most staunch supporters — including cfm Distributors, Inc., Kansas City, MO; Johnson Supply, Houston, TX; and Empire Gas Electric Equipment Co., Denver, CO — has worked closely with strong independent distributors to make this new relationship with HARDI possible. York recently hosted HARDI’s Vice President, Talbot Gee at their Annual Distributor Meeting of authorized York distributors and factory branches in Phoenix, AZ to present the meeting’s distributor best practices session.
The increased contributions to HARDI’s already extensive trends and benchmarking data from the new integrated wholesalers will now take into account a segment of the wholesale industry that has existed for some time but has never been formally included in any of the industry’s wholesale association reporting.
“This has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be happier for the industry, the science of wholesale distribution, or York to see this groundbreaking commitment to distribution by an equipment manufacturer” adds HARDI Executive Vice President and COO, Donald Frendberg.
HARDI’s inaugural Integrated Wholesaler members include the York Factory Branches in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Canada.