Building HVACR Distribution Through Technology

June 1, 2006
A partnership is, by definition, a mutual cooperation and responsibility for the achievement of a specified goal. It's precisely this type of relationship

A partnership is, by definition, a mutual cooperation and responsibility for the achievement of a specified goal. It's precisely this type of relationship HARDI has entered into with Computer Pundits Corp. (CPC), Management Information Systems Group Inc. (MISG) and Trade Service Corp. These three premier technology providers have agreed to work in partnership with HARDI toward the common goal of providing the newest and best technology to HARDI members. This exciting partnership — called HARDITek — is a win/win for all involved.

HARDITek exists to support growing technology needs of HVACR distributors. Member technology support is accomplished by focusing the association's efforts at identifying the technology needs of members, building requirements based upon those needs, determining the best technology available in the marketplace and partnering with those providers whose products complement each other for the good and profitability of HVACR distribution.

HARDITek is an exclusive HARDI HVACR distribution industry technology program. This group of well-positioned partners — CPC, MISG and Trade Service — allows HARDI to leverage exceptional opportunities and offer extra value to our members. The designers have taken care to identify key areas where products and services connect, and potentially multiply the value to a distributor who uses all or part of the program.

Computer Pundits Corp. (CPC)

Wholesale-Distributors and Manufacturers spend billions of dollars each year on catalog production and distribution in multiple media (e.g., paper, CD-ROM, Internet, etc.). The average business is expected to spend from $10,000 to $150,000 on the ability to produce, deliver and update traditional paper catalogs. Although electronic media catalogs such as the Internet are promising, they are still underused and difficult to gauge ROI.

Service technicians and contractors still need to have immediate access to hard-copy catalogs. Also, businesses need a much more cost-effective, flexible, time-sensitive, easy-to-use, targeted and reliable solution to retain market share. Gathering catalog content such as product descriptions, specifications and artwork for each product is a daunting task.

As a solution to these and many other related problems distributors face, Computer Pundits Corp. offers a breakthrough in technology: Catalog Builder. It created Catalog Builder software to offer businesses a complete solution to their catalog needs. It provides customers with the flexibility of producing electronic catalogs on paper, CD-ROM, the Internet, e-mail and fax. You can easily produce catalogs as a whole or in mini-form, and update or change it in minutes directly from a customer's PC. Catalog Builder doesn't require a skilled graphic designer or IT person to operate. An office administrative person with minimal training can operate the program and maintain a distributor's catalog on routine basis.

Computer Pundits Corp. also provides a catalog content database with descriptions, specifications and images for the products from hundreds of manufacturers. Computer Pundits has successfully produced turnkey catalogs for many HARDI members including Carrier, Trane, Baker Distributing, Independent Supply and many others. Client testimonials have established that Catalog Builder saves 60 percent to 90 percent of the traditional catalog production and distribution costs.

For information about Catalog Builder or to schedule a free demonstration, contact Bob Metzger at 888/Pundits or [email protected].

Management Information Systems Group Inc. (MISG)

Connectivity with your trading partners to exchange mission-critical business documents is the basis for supply chain efficiencies. TransLink®, a managed EDI network service with an integrated, on-network document translator and WebDX, TransLink's Web-forms gateway for non-EDI capable companies. It offers an end-to-end solution that is affordable, reliable and scalable to each company's unique requirements. With one simple connection, TransLink's suite of performance products connects you to all your trading partners seamlessly and consistently.

MISG, a leading provider of e-commerce solutions for more than 25 years, partners with HARDITek to provide the HVACR community with end-to-end EDI connectivity. With more than 3,000 clients and processing in excess of 750,000 business transactions annually, MISG helps companies realize the many benefits of electronic business-to-business communications.

For more information on any of the MISG products, contact Paul Newman at 919/406-8838 or [email protected].

Trade Service Corp.

The latest addition to the group is Trade Service Corp., a long-established provider of product and pricing services to the HVACR industry. HARDI recently finalized arrangements endorsing Trade Service as the sole, exclusive and official product and pricing service for HARDI members.

Now HARDI members have access to a professional and time-tested third-party resource to maintain manufacturer's price and product information contained within their business system, also enabling more effective merchandising of the items they have to sell, both stocking and nonstocking. Trade Service works closely with the industry's business system providers such as Eclipse, Infor (NxTrend), Activant Solutions (formerly Prophet 21), etc., to ensure that the manufacturer content HARDI members need can be seamlessly loaded into their enterprise system.

Trade Service provides product and pricing updates to HARDI members every week, making the data available either through magnetic media or via Internet download. The HARDI/Trade Service partnership also ensures active involvement by HVACR manufacturers who provide the source material that Trade Service channels to HARDI members in the precise format their system requires. In addition to pricing information, Trade Service provides HARDI members with long product descriptions, full-color images and electronic links to actual manufacturer's catalog pages.

For more information about Trade Service, contact Bob Stone at 317/733-8939 or [email protected].

Literally, the partners complement each other in a chain of technology products geared to the enhancement and profitability of HVACR distribution.

All partners will appear with HARDI at association events. The three organizations are committed to leveraging their partnership to benefit the HVACR industry as a whole, focusing specifically on HARDI members, manufacturers, technology companies and standards development groups.