MTodd Cramer president of Johnstone Supply ndash Knoxville sits astride the Harley won by the company team Awaiting their turns are l to r Rod Rushing vice president and general manager Unitary Products at Johnson Controls DeWight Wallace CEO of Johnstone Supply Tim Brusseau UPG strategic distribution account manager at Johnson Controls and Lori Hayes product manager ndash HVAC equipment at Johnstone Supply

CLUTCH! Knoxville Johnstone Supply Wins a Harley from JCI/Coleman

April 3, 2014
The Knoxville store posted the largest percentage increase in sales of Johnson Controls Unitary Products Group in 2013 purchases over 2012 reported by any Johnstone Supply distribution center.  

When M.Todd Cramer, president of Johnstone Supply-Knoxville first laid eyes on the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Road King Motorcycle — at the Johnstone Supply 2013 Spring Sales Planning Meeting and Trade Show last March — he turned to his Vice President of Sales Ron Carter and remarked, “We need to do whatever we can to bring that bike to Knoxville.”

One year later, the Coleman brand of Johnson Controls Unitary Products Group (UPG) presented the special bike to Cramer during the 2014 show in Nashville, TN, for the largest percentage increase in 2013 purchases over 2012 reported by any Johnstone Supply distribution center.

Johnson Controls rolled out the competition during last year’s trade show among Johnstone Supply distributors that provide the Coleman line of HVAC products, hoping to see growth in Coleman sales through Johnstone Supply’s network of six distribution centers and more than 370 independently-owned locations.

“The Coleman brand of HVAC equipment is a product of Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, and Harley-Davidson represents another great Milwaukee institution. So it seemed only natural that the Coleman brand would team up with the legendary motorcycle manufacturer and create this competition,” said Tim Brusseau, UPG strategic distribution account manager at Johnson Controls. “We have seen substantial growth in Coleman sales over this past year, which speaks to the commitment of Johnstone Supply distributors to the brand.”

Johnson Controls made the decision more than two years ago to provide the Coleman HVAC product line exclusively to Johnstone Supply, with the exception of a few areas in the country. “We saw it as a tremendous opportunity for Johnstone Supply to grow their customer base and expand into the add-on replacement business, while giving them the ability to determine how they go to market in every marketplace. The decision has resulted in increased profits and growing margins – a win-win-win for dealers, Johnstone and for us, Coleman.”

For Cramer, the growth of Coleman purchases did not happen by accident. “We hired Ron to target what we saw as our ‘Coleman opportunity.’ For the first time we had someone who understood how to drive the brand and had the customer service mentality to be able to go out and explain to our customers how to grow the brand and, in turn, grow their businesses.”

Cramer remains pleased with the Johnstone Supply decision to carry the Coleman line of HVAC products. “Coleman had good quality when we took them on, and it’s only gotten better with the purchase of the brand by Johnson Controls. The brand that is so well known for its camping and outdoor gear is gaining popularity inside as well, as homeowners come to know the Coleman HVAC brand. Meanwhile, Johnson Controls is working hard to get our products to us quickly and efficiently, so that we can maintain an inventory that allows us to take care of our customers and allows them to take care of their customers with quality products. We remain pleased with the products and the service we receive and are anticipating even more success this year -- perhaps more than doubling our 2013 Coleman purchases.”

This year’s success will likely encourage Johnstone Supply-Knoxville to compete for next year’s prize: three Coleman ATVs, to be awarded to two Johnstone Supply contractors and one Johnstone Supply distributor on the basis of sales of extended warranties to consumers. Announced at this year’s trade show, this newest competition will run through 2014, with award presentations scheduled for the 2015 trade show.

To learn more about the Coleman brand of HVAC equipment, visit