EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Brad Muehlbauer, president of Koch Air LLC, presided over much of the 2016 Carrier Dealer Meeting, April 14-15, at the Tropicana Hotel Conference Center in Las Vegas. The event coincided with the company’s 80th anniversary as a Carrier Distributor. More than 200 contractors from the region served by Koch Air attended the two-day meeting. Koch Air is the only Koch Enterprises Inc. company serving the HVAC industry and has seven locations serving customers in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri. Koch Enterprises is a global, diversified, privately owned corporation that has been serving customers for 142 years from its headquarters in Evansville, Indiana. The company is listed in the Indiana Business Journal’s Top 10 Private Companies.
Muehlbauer opened the second day by announcing, “Sales are up four years in a row, and our market share is up on sales of ducted split-system units. Ductless sales growth and shares are strong.”
He told the blue oval fans that he expects moderate growth for the economy but reminded them that, in the area served by Koch Air, there are still opportunities for dealers to grow their Carrier sales. “As well as we are all doing, there is room for growth,” he said.
He told the contractor audience that Koch Air had reorganized in the past year to “create faster responses by decentralizing some management functions in order to better serve our customers.” He added that Carrier dealers could expect Koch to provide continued improvements in B2B tools and its inventory system.
After his remarks, the focus of the meeting shifted to products, including ductless mini splits, geothermal, and expanded inverter products. In addition, Koch and Carrier spokespeople discussed light commercial product growth opportunities and other program and marketing strategies.
Pam Hoppel, channel marketing manager, Carrier, said: “Last year, Carrier introduced the mta360 program for its partners that created 320 percent growth in consumer traffic to contractor partners’ websites.”
She also spoke of a relatively new tool, Demandforce™, that is currently generating $71,000 per month in additional sales for contractors.
Regarding the general need for training in the industry, she cited a study that shows a direct correlation between training and sales growth. She further said contractors could benefit from advanced training in financing options.
“We see a 30 percent increase in average ticket sales when contractors use financing,” Hoppel said.
She referenced a study that revealed how consumers pay for home services. Thirty-one percent use credit cards, 26 percent opt for a home-equity loan, 11 percent borrow the money, and 21 percent use cash. “Therefore, consumers are using some form of financing to pay for home services nearly 80 percent of the time; that’s an important factor to consider, especially if you don’t offer your customer a financing option every time,” she said.
In addition to the mainstage topics, the agenda included breakout sessions on ReviewBuzz, a consumer-review program promoted by Koch Air; geothermal loop link training; Apex chat training; a tradeshow; product showcases; and a closing keynote leadership presentation by Mike Montano, founder of ReviewBuzz. Networking and socializing opportunities included an opening evening kickoff and tradeshow, lunches, and the Koch Air 80th Anniversary Extravaganza Celebration.
Publication date: 6/13/2016