The Time For Ductless Is Now, Says Manufacturer

June 14, 2002
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Mitsubishi Electric's MXZ30TN multi-evaporator heat pump.
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — Mitsubishi Electric has proven its commitment to training. In August 2001, the manufacturer opened its Atlanta training center (ATC) in order to educate dealers and distributors on the advantages of ductless technology.

Mitsubishi says that this training effort has been a huge success. The company has even taken its ductless message on the road in its efforts to reach a new goal. By the end of the year, Mitsubishi wants to educate over 1,000 dealers about the benefits that ductless air conditioning can offer. In fact, the theme for Mitsubishi’s training mission is, “It’s Now.”

According to Mike Smith, marketing manager for Mitsubishi Electric, there is no better time than the present for dealers to start introducing ductless systems to customers.

“All of the elements are in place to take advantage of ductless technology,” says Smith. These elements include lower pricing on ductless systems, better profitability for dealers, and more visibility for the product.

GETTING THE WORD OUT

Mitsubishi Electric is spreading the “It’s Now” message through its Diamond Alliance and its Diamond Dealer conferences.

Smith says that the Diamond Alliance is a joint effort between engineers, distributors, dealers, and Mitsubishi Electric. These four entities, according to Mitsubishi, work together to effectively deliver the ductless product line to the consumer. Smith also says that the alliance program stems from Mitsubishi’s mission “to be the best supplier” for engineers, distributors, and dealers. He explains that when these entities work together as allies, everyone wins.

The Diamond Dealer Conferences are held at the ATC and all over the country.

Smith says that the level of interest in the training available at the ATC has been simply amazing. “It’s blown our minds, the level of interest we’ve been able to generate,” he says.

Smith also says that dealers from near and far have been traveling to Atlanta to receive the training. This level of interest has prompted Mitsubishi to take its message on the road.

“We really have made an effort to get dealers in line with our products and get them familiar with ductless,” said Smith.

With this in mind, Mitsubishi zone dealers have been holding the Diamond Dealer conferences across the United States. The company then takes the time to tell dealers of the benefits involved in going the ductless route. Mitsubishi also gives them the opportunity to become a Diamond Dealer.

Through the Diamond Dealer program, dealers can earn sales leads that can boost Mr. Slim ductless installations. To become a Diamond Dealer, dealers take part in ductless training programs. These include the “It’s Now” conference, as well as four other training modules, including a CD-ROM training opportunity. The more training a dealer receives from Mitsubishi, the more potential sales leads that are provided, according to the company.

These sales leads are generated via the Mitsubishi website. Diamond Dealers are listed at the website, where homeowners interested in ductless cooling can find the Mitsubishi dealer closest to them.

Smith also says that dealers taking part in the Diamond Dealer program see results in a very short period of time. He pointed to one dealer in the Miami area who attended the “It’s Now” Diamond Dealer conference and started receiving sales leads less than two weeks after submitting the information for the listing on the dealer locator site.

Mitsubishi Electric's Mr. Slim indoor unit.

DIAMOND DEALER SUCCESS STORIES

The Diamond Dealer conferences not only give contractors the opportunity to receive sales leads, but also the opportunity to see how ductless systems can be a lucrative business venture.

The dealer meetings present the contractors with the success stories of other dealers. Smith says that Mitsubishi put together a video presentation that focuses on how ductless technology has been a successful application.

The video spotlights an application that took place in Americus, GA, at the Magnolia Manor Retirement Center. The retirement facility decided its 30-year-old HVAC system needed to be replaced. The president of the facility wanted a system that would not require as many service calls as the previous system, and one that would allow more individual control for each resident room.

Parker Heating and Air Conditioning was commissioned by Magnolia Manor to meet these needs. Wes Wheeler, the general manager for Parker, narrates the video for contractors and talks about his experience installing ductless technology for the retirement home.

Wheeler explains that ductless was not the first choice, although it should have been. Wheeler presented the president of the facility with a proposal involving PTACs, which was ultimately scrapped. The retirement facility felt that a PTAC design would make the building look too much like a motel.

Wheeler went back to the drawing board and sought the advice of Mingledorff’s, a Mitsubishi distributor in the area. Mike Harris of Mingledorff’s suggested to Wheeler that he present the ductless option to the president of the facility. In fact, Wheeler did just that and received an overwhelming response from the retirement home. The president of the facility asked why the option had not been offered sooner.

The entire project totaled 176 heat pump systems. Parker averaged about two to five system installations per day. According to Mitsubishi and Wheeler, the installation was a tremendous success, and each resident of the retirement facility was able to better control the temperature and climate in their own space.

Wheeler says that his only mistake was not offering the ductless application sooner. Smith says that this is one of the key points that Mitsubishi would like to get across with the “It’s Now” campaign.

“We are trying to offer this to contractors as a first resort and not a last,” says Smith.

He also explains that the time is ripe for ductless because of trends in the industry. Smith says that during the conference, contractors spend time with a worksheet calculating their own profitability. The contractors can then factor in the advantages of offering ductless and how it will inevitably increase their profits.

According to Smith, the overall profitability of the unitary A/C industry has been down. On the other hand, the interest and appeal for ductless applications has gone up, leading dealers to new sources of profitability.

For more information about Mitsubishi Electric and its training, call 678-376-2900 or visit www.mitsubishielectric.com/hvac (website).

Publication date: 06/17/2002

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