When it’s time to repair or replace an HVAC unit, trying to find the units and parts you need for each brand or a specific type of system through a retail store is not usually the best route. The good news is that you have options. Typically, a contractor will purchase equipment and parts from an HVAC distributor they have an existing account and relationship with. There are numerous commercial, independent and company-owned distributors all over North America. Depending on the brands a contractor sells and maintains, there are local stores ready for dealers to pick up parts everywhere!
You often can order what you need online through the distributor’s eCommerce site, or call a local branch to gather your order and have it ready. Then, you can skip the line and get back to your customers. Independent or company-owned manufacturer distribution stores offer commercial account setup and those with loyalty programs may often save the contractor money. Those savings can then be passed on to their customers. Starting a relationship with a good local distributor has a lot of advantages.
Keeping Stock on Hand
Need to buy maintenance parts and refrigerants to keep in stock? Here’s where more choices come in.
When a customer calls to say their HVACR system isn’t working properly, a contractor needs to have some parts on hand or be able to source them quickly and have them work effectively.
You need to decide what type of parts you need: parts that come from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or universal, aftermarket parts from a different manufacturer.
Often, manufacturers require OEM parts for repairing systems. If not used, then the equipment warranties may be compromised, so be sure to check out the terms of brand equipment warranties before you buy a part. In the interest of saving time and having peace of mind, some contractors stick with OEM parts for reliability (and warranty coverage). Cost can vary!
So, if there is a choice, how do you choose? Base your decisions on price and quality. Universal parts often cost 25 to 60 percent less than OEM parts. Over time, that adds up to a substantial amount of money back in your pocket. Often, the aftermarket part is just as effective as the original. Research the parts to help ensure they are good quality. Know whom you buy from, read reviews, and ask your distributor for their recommendation. Failed parts could end up costing a contractor money in the long run, meaning another trip to see the customer.
Lean On Your Distributor
Whether your HVAC business is new, or you’ve been in business for a long time, consider forming a relationship with a distributor or looking into which distributors in your area may make good partners to help you in your specific business needs. Contractors can rely on their distributors for inside knowledge and experience in choosing one type of part over another. They often can recommend the right solution for each situation. Choosing a distributor who can supply you with what you need when you need it is key. These companies should provide you with the opportunity to consistently find high-quality, cost-effective maintenance and repair parts and help you properly stock your truck to have them on hand. They should also offer uncommon parts when the repairs are more unique.