CE Florida Hosts Virtual Dealer Meeting
CE Florida hosted a virtual business meeting for their Carrier and Bryant dealers on April 22, 2021 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. A virtual trade show followed the informational presentations, lasting until 3 p.m.
Themed “Together We’re Better”, the meeting was fast-paced and well organized, with discussions about how challenges presented by the COVID pandemic were faced and overcome as well as how changes implemented to face the challenges will impact the industry moving forward.
CE Florida President Chad Wetzel began by welcoming the attendees and describing the uncertainties faced early on in the pandemic. “As a distributor we had to learn how to service our dealers through e-commerce and revamp our pickup Express program. As we neared the end of March 2020 we began to worry about the future of our business and our business family which includes our customers. At that point in time no one knew what would happen. As we pushed through Q2 of 2020 we realized COVID may stick around longer than anticipated. We also realized that in Florida there was an increased demand in the residential AOR and new construction sectors. With vaccines in full force and restrictions easing I feel this is an appropriate time for congratulating you for adapting and overcoming the obstacles presented throughout 2020 and into 2021. I thank you, your employees thank you and your families thank you.”
A review of 2020 sales, the residential new construction market and unit movement in Florida was presented, as well as details of the top initiatives for 2021:
1) Adding store locations and improving Customer Service. Adding counter associates to high-volume stores, increasing counter associate customer service, product and internal process training. Adding associates to handle increased factory equipment deliveries and committing to having the right products in the right stores and warehouses (the top 200 highest volume parts and products purchased in 2020 will be stocked locally to improve availability and reduce the amount of warehouse transfers taking place).
2) Development of a multi-family department with a Manager and 2 Inside Sales Associates already added and currently adding an Account and Order Manager. This will improve efficiency and accuracy of providing multi-family quotes in a timely manner and improve forecasting and delivering multi-family needs.
3) Promoting the use of Watsco Ventures’ suite of modern tools to help contractors succeed and grow. The new FlexJob platform to quote repair vs replace and enhance service jobs with add-ons and package installation items and service kits was introduced. Also now available is a commercial financing plan with $0 merchant fees, upfront payments for qualified contractors, total project financing and paperless application process.
New and soon to be available products including all-aluminum condenser coils, the Opti-Clean HEPA/ Scrubber, Carrier/Bryant return air grille-mount purifiers, portable room HEPA air cleaners, commercial UVC lights and the CPS IAQ analyzer were introduced by Craig Kersten, Director of Product Management.
Mark Lanier, Director of Commercial Sales and Carrier Commercial promoted the commercial teams’ experience and knowledge, with three commercial inside sales teams serving the Central/North, South and West market areas, always available via e-mail and phone to assist with plan and spec and replacement jobs. He also announced a large stock of Carrier and Bryant equipment availability at 4 hub locations: Tampa, Jacksonville, Pompano Beach and Orlando.
Dave Lucas, CE Products Director for Ductless and VRF Systems discussed trends in the ductless sector, stating “In 2020, the number of ductless systems installed in Florida grew at a rate of over thirty percent versus 2019, continuing a decades-long trend of being the fastest growing product segment of the HVAC market. 2021 looks to continue that trend as consumers and business owners have become familiar with the diversity of styles, ease of installation, zoning capability and efficiency benefits that these systems offer.” Dave discussed launches of new indoor and outdoor units and expanded offerings of match-ups with conventional fan coils and air handling units.
Jason Willis, Carrier Factory Residential Regional Sales Manager for Florida, presented Carrier/Bryant dealer factory program offerings including personal use program, consumer rebates, My Learning Center access, dealer locator listing, call tracking and online lead generation. Factory Authorized Dealers benefit from additional programs such as priority locator ranking, 3rd party ratings and reviews and increased consumer rebates.
Matt Locke, Director of Sales, Bryant and Carrier, discussed the pandemic’s impact on the industry, focusing on changes he hopes remain in place. “Things like an increased focus on home comfort, home environments, IAQ and the importance of home energy efficiency, these are things that we hope will not change going forward. I believe we’ve also learned about two additional things. Flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances that we’ve all seen and speed to react and take advantage of these opportunities with great products. We’ll continue to thrive in the face of adversity. We’ll quickly adapt where and when needed. And with your help, we’ll continue to put points on the board and win. I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work.”
Keynote Speaker Astronaut Mike Massimino provided an entertaining biography of his life illustrating challenges that he overcame to become an astronaut and some of his experiences during Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions aboard the Columbia space shuttle in 2002 and the Atlantis shuttle in 2009. In 2002 he performed two spacewalks totaling 14 hours and 46 minutes and in 2009 he became the first person to use Twitter in space. He related a sense of camaraderie with the audience as a glorified mechanic making repairs to equipment in space. He summed up by encouraging everyone to embrace change and technology and “Keep in mind the big picture. You are keeping us comfortable and providing us with clean air. Continue what you’re doing, be there when you’re needed and thank you for letting me share my story with you.”
Chad Wetzel returned to close out the business portion of the meeting. “Our theme for the meeting is “Together We’re Better” and I hope that throughout the presentation today showed our commonality and passion for a desire and focus in truly being better together. Our mission is to make these words a reality between CE Florida, our customers and our vendors. Our focus needs to be on building your business, not our business. Our business will grow with you. Thank you for your time, your loyalty and your faith in us as a true business partner.”
A digital trade show featuring interactive sessions with vendors concluded the virtual dealer meeting.