Three years ago, I began my journey by serving as HARDI’s Secretary/Treasurer. Today, I have the distinct honor of calling myself your HARDI President. Over these past few years, the knowledge I’ve obtained from HARDI leadership and the valuable perspectives I’ve gained from HARDI members such as yourselves have been instrumental in preparing me for this role. Because of your involvement, I am equipped to wear the mantle of president as we head into 2015.
I want to thank Royce Henderson for everything he did to lead us through a successful 2014. I am confident that I speak for everyone when I say he could not have been more engaged and passionate. He has cared deeply for our HARDI members, and his effective leadership has readied us for a tremendous 2015. I look forward to carrying the torch as we move forward.
Every new HARDI president has the rare opportunity to set a vision for HVACR distribution in their year, and my intent is to make real progress getting past the traditional frictions that can occur between distributors and manufacturers. I want HARDI to find better ways to help manufacturers grow, share and meet their other objectives through their wholesale distribution partners before they seek alternate channels.
I want HARDI to be able to help distributors who may be struggling to meet performance expectations of a particular product line so they have a chance to correct and keep earning access to that line. I want HARDI to be able to help top-performing distributors document and demonstrate their value to manufacturers so they are not constantly wondering if their biggest supplier isn’t also their biggest competitor.
I want to highlight the true value of distribution – stocking the right products for the local market, selling them at competitive wholesale prices, and forging lifetime relationships with our customers. As technology provides new avenues, and younger generations offer new ideas, I am certain one thing will not change: One of the principal advantages of a distributor is our ability to do business with the customers in the way that best benefits them. Throughout 2015, you can expect HARDI to continue to develop the programs that help us meet these goals while introducing new initiatives to help us continue to grow.
By now, you have hopefully heard about one of our biggest new developments, the Sales Manager Certification Program, which is quickly gaining a strong user base. This comprehensive training program helps sales managers develop their ability to strategically lead their sales force and maximize their impact on growing the top line. Also gaining traction is our Emerging Leaders program for future executives. If your organization doesn’t already have a future executive enrolled in this program, I urge you to identify a key player within your organization. When the day comes that you pass the baton, you’ll be glad you gave them the competitive edge.
We’re in for an exciting year as our supply chain continues to grow in complexity and the avenues to market are as plentiful as ever. To quote what has become the mantra of Talbot Gee and the HARDI staff, “HARDI and I unashamedly and unabashedly represent the interests of HVACR distributors and the suppliers whose growth strategies are committed to wholesale distribution.”
I hope I will be looking back at my year as HARDI’s president proud of the significant progress we’ve achieved to make our channel smarter, better and more profitable for all involved.
Looking forward to a great 2015,