Supply chain and economic pressures are forcing contractors across the HVAC Industry to face some harsh realities – things take much longer and cost much more. This can put a strain on every channel within the HVAC supply chain.

These issues are why it is so important for contractors to develop strong partnerships with their distributors. Together they can withstand almost anything the world throws at them. Alone, things can be so much more difficult.

Why Training?

Distributors see great value in training contractors because they want their partners to be prepared to deal with anything the market throws at them. Chad McAllister, vice president of sales for R.E. Michel Co., LLC, Baltimore, MD, says, “We focus a lot of effort in training our contractor customers because we see a direct impact on callback and warranty claim reductions, as well as how it helps them increase billable hours.”

McAllister adds that training benefits the marketplace because properly installed equipment “equates to less energy usage, more comfortable homes, and facilitates word-of-mouth sales that is the core of contractor referrals.”

In St. Louis, MO, Air Management Supply Branch Manager Craig Broadfield agrees with McAllister and adds, “Being more than just a distributor by partnering in the growth of the dealer is how we like to do business!

“This is important to Air Management. We want our dealers to have every opportunity to grow and better serve their homeowners. We believe if they continue to strive for something more and become better, it allows us to continue to grow with them as their partner,” he adds.

Training is also an opportunity for vital communication between distributors and contractor customers. In Grand Rapids, MI, Behler-Young CEO Doug Young says, “there is no doubt that the supply chain issues are still challenging. This challenge means that open, honest communications from my team to our contractor customers are a must.

Distributor partnerships should bring value in training to the table

“When you’re a 97-year-old company, training becomes a core part of how you operate. Whether it’s technical, product, sales method, or business training, we try to offer contractors help. That is why we partner with organizations like National Comfort Institute to help bring world-class technical training to our contractors.”

The Value to Contractors and Distributors Alike

During economic slowdowns, many companies tend to tighten their belts, which often means training falls under the category of “optional expense.” But from a distribution standpoint, the opposite is true. They see training as an investment, no matter the economic situation.

“At RE Michel, we want to be a complete partner to our customers, says Tracy Johnson. Tracy works with Chad McAllister in the corporate sales department and adds, “To us, training is one of the most important services we provide to a contractor. If we can be a resource to them for all their needs, it will only make our industry the best it can be.”

Broadfield says that the more knowledge the dealer brings to the home when providing service or replacement, the better the consumer experience they provide. “This creates more confidence in having the contractor work on their home. That gives the marketplace more competition based on competence versus just price.

“I feel training has more value than some may realize,” Broadfield continues. “Whether you pay for a class or attend for free, the important part is that the information you take away from training is something you can build on!”

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