COLUMBUS, Ohio – The HARDI Foundation’s Demand Creation research project results were announced during the 2013 HARDI Annual Conference. Mike Marks, of Indian River Consulting Group told attendees that the results of the study could affect not only the future of their distribution businesses, but also the many players in the HVAC industry as well.

Major findings included the average number of suppliers used by contractor type, the purchase concentration of those contractors who source from those suppliers, and the average supplier tenure by contractor type.

Additionally, Marks revealed numbers that had direct implications into how a positive or negative interaction with a contractor could affect business down the line. Specifically, he discussed the percent of business switched per year due to supplier dissatisfaction by contractor type, the percent of business switched per year when sold a better value by contractor type, and the percent of customer (contractor) spend that is potentially available to be influenced.

According to HARDI, perhaps one of the most standout features of the presentation was the new market terminology it introduced to members. Phrases such as critical selling event and the failure of a distributor outside of the challengers’ control, gave members new ways to analyze the reasoning behind contractors switching distributors and lines. The presentation also gave strategies that can be used when dealing with new products and services.

“We knew that the foundation had hit a home run on the project when everyone was using the new vocabulary and definitions during the conference,” said Marks. “I particularly enjoyed listening to distributors and manufacturers discuss new alternatives to making markets. I even had several firms asking seriously about the economics of exclusives. It is funny how smart people grab hold of new ideas quickly when they are about making money.”

According to the study, both manufacturer and distributor play an integral role in maximizing business performance.

“The Demand Creation presentation was very informative and should be significant to both distributors/manufacturers on working together more effectively to achieve the main goal which is to sell more products,” said Mike Meier, vice president and COO of Meier Supply Co. Inc. “Looking forward to seeing the complete report on this. Hats off to the HARDI Foundation team for coming up with this project.”

More information regarding the results of the Demand Creation research project will be available in the near future as further results are dissected from the research. Detailed information will be available to HARDI members. HARDI is planning on teleconferences that will allow members a more in-depth discussion with Mike Marks and his team about the findings and their implications.

“This project has really changed a lot of preconceived ideals about Demand Creation,” said Bill Shaw, HARDI Foundation Chairman and CEO of Standard Supply. “The HARDI Foundation is working with Indian River Consulting Group to determine the next step for wholesalers and vendors. In the meantime, the project sponsors are setting up teleconferences with Mike Mark’s team to better understand the results. We expect to have a plan in place shortly to continue to educate both wholesalers and suppliers in more detail and how to use these results to increase their sales and profits.”

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