Baker Distributing hosted dealer meetings for their customers in Orlando on February 10, 2022, and Ft. Myers on February 15, 2022, to review the effects of COVID 19 over the past two years and update them on what changes are coming in the future. The Orlando event was held at the Drive Shack golf venue and Tampa dealers met at the Topgolf facility there.
“2021 presented us with numerous challenges such as social distancing, product shortages, price increases and other things we couldn’t see coming,” stated Baker Distributing regional manager Dennis Nelson at the Ft. Myers event. “Going through these struggles wasn’t easy and we appreciate everyone standing by us. We turned away new customers we could have gained to show that we were sticking with you, and I thank you for being patient and riding things out with us.”
ICP Regional Manager Michael Jacobsen discussed the shipping and labor challenges the manufacturer faced and what is being done to meet the needs of the future. “We have added one line to our factory in Mexico with another coming on in the fall and are doing everything we can to make sure you have the products you need for the summer and the rest of the year.”
Michael also explained the changes to equipment ratings, efficiency increases and implementation of SEER2, HSPF2 and EER2 nomenclature taking place in 2023. “That means 70% of our products will not meet the new minimum efficiencies and 100% of our products will need to be retested. The retesting is due to new standards increasing static pressure from 0.1 External Static Pressure (ESP) to 0.5 ESP, which is closer to real-world conditions.”
Air handlers are being redesigned using smaller, higher efficiency coils, allowing for the same footprint of current air handlers. Other upgrades will result in the reduction of air handler SKUs, making inventory and purchasing decisions easier.
Four tools from Watsco Ventures designed to power contractors’ business growth through sales, finance, service and operations, were presented to the contractors.
OnCall Air HVAC software for sales success streamlines the quoting process and simplifies decision-making for consumers, allowing them to access quotes, select add-ons, choose financing options and accept the job at any time, on any device. The program allows contractors to build even the most complex quotes in minutes, get product, pricing and availability information directly from Baker and add products from their accepted proposals to their Bakerdist.com cart with just a click.
Credit for Comfort is an easy-to-use app that allows contractors to offer residential and commercial customers different financing options with approvals down to 500 FICO scores.
Alert Labs smart sensor solutions use a cellular connection to provide 24/7 remote diagnostics, monitoring and alerts for AC health, floods, leaks, humidity and temperature at customers homes and vacation properties. WiFi is not required.
Housecall Pro integrates operations with customer service so contractors can schedule and dispatch jobs, process payments and build trust with customers, increasing efficiencies and saving time.
Wilbur “Champ” Chaney of Baker introduced the contractors to StockPro, a Baker Managed Inventory Solution. A former warehouse manager and inventory control specialist for a major HVAC and Plumbing contractor in Orlando, Champ has hands-on experience with the challenges and pitfalls of manual warehouse and vehicle management procedures. One of the keys to StockPro’s value is bar-coding every item in inventory, keeping track of parts as they are placed on service and installation vehicles and upon their return. StockPro is also a one-place ordering tool for all of a contractor’s vendors, minimizing supply house visits and increasing efficiency.
Following the meetings, the contractors enjoyed dinner and refreshments and an evening of friendly competition at the golfing facilities.
Visit www.flhvacinsider.smugmug.com Event Archives for more coverage.
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