Tankless water heater manufacturer Rinnai America Corp. recently launched a turnkey hot water solution for its commercial customers and includes both repair and replacement services. The program taps into Rinnai’s network of service providers to dispatch help to any small business dealing with a water heater issue. The program covers all water heaters, not just Rinnai units.
The target market includes commercial businesses of all types and sizes. This includes hotels, restaurants, and other businesses, all the way up to franchises with up to 1,000 locations. James Woodruff, Rinnai's senior director of commercial business, said the company started the program in a small way in 2017.
“Hot water is a necessity and a vital part of our customer's business,” Woodruff said. “We offer our expertise in water heating as a service to our customers that is turnkey and simple. This allows them to worry less about their business operations while we ensure their hot water is there when they need it.”
To ensure the customer has the right solution, the program delivers pricing quotes and 100% guaranteed system sizing. Additionally, in order to provide a solution for its customers, Rinnai handles all aspects of the businesses’ hot water from selecting the provider to processing payments for the job.
“Very few companies are willing to own every step of the process,” said. Nick Adams, Rinnai's commercial national accounts operations manager.
Creating a Healthier Way of Life
Hot water is crucial for the types of businesses Rinnai services. In some cases, it’s about comfort. But in others, Adams said, such as restaurants that need to clean dishes, it’s a matter of public health. “Creating a healthier way of living” is the company’s tagline.
Woodruff said many of the providers in the network were recruited by word of mouth. Others were recommended by distributors. Now the company has an enrollment form that Rinnai staff uses to vet providers.
“We want to make sure they can represent us well to the customer,” Woodruff said.
Once a provider joins the network, Rinnai starts assigning them to calls in a designated service area. Many of these accounts will have other opportunities for the providers, such as refrigeration needs at a restaurant. Being in the network also helps providers ask the parts and equipment they need to service these clients.
“Supply chain is the name of the game,” Woodruff said.
Increasing Production Capacity
Speaking of supply chain, Rinnai is expanding its capabilities with its soon-to-be-completed North American facility located in Griffin, Georgia. Rinnai is investing in product development for tankless water heaters, boilers, and wall furnaces, and will add 150 positions by early 2022. Most are within the manufacturing and distribution sector and range from associate-level positions to managers. Rinnai is hosting a six-part series of virtual and in-person job fairs, specifically focused on recruitment for the manufacturing facility as the company leads up to the official grand opening in early 2022.
“We’re extremely pleased to continue our company’s development in Georgia as our Griffin facility gets up to speed,” said Frank Windsor, president of Rinnai America Corp.
Rinnai is also expanding through acquisitions. In September, the company acquired Industrias Mass, a leading commercial water heater manufacturer in Mexico. Mass has about a third of the overall commercial segment in Mexico. The company operates an 86,000-square-foot plant and employs more than 100 people across the country. This acquisition marks the first by Rinnai America Corp. and follows the launch of its strategic business initiative announced earlier this year, meant to accelerate the company’s presence via acquisitions and partnerships.
“Acquiring Industrias Mass is a critical step in our commitment to the Latin American market,” Windsor said.