It seems as though ¿e¿ is everywhere these days. There is e-commerce, e-business, e-mail, e-this, and e-that. What does it all mean?

We hear about the Internet every single day. We are told it will profoundly change the way we do business. We¿re told it might even put some of us out of business.

While there¿s still a frenzy surrounding the Internet, it has calmed a bit in the last 12 months. A touch of reality has taken hold, and Internet companies have realized what the brick-and-mortar guys have known all along: You must bring value to the customer in order to succeed.

That¿s what the upcoming e-Contracting Summit is all about. Cutting-edge manufacturers, dotcoms, wholesalers, and contractors will discuss the latest e-business issues facing the hvacr industry at this one-day event, to be held Nov. 4 at the BWI Marriott in Baltimore, MD, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The News has partnered with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) to host this event.

The summit is designed to help you succeed in the new economy. Its purpose is not to tout all the cool, new things out there ¿ even though this information is bound to surface at such an event. Rather, talk will center on what a contractor should expect to see in the coming months in regard to e-business and how the hvacr industry as a whole will be affected.

Attendees will find out how the Internet is changing the way businesses communicate with customers. They will find out how to use web-based technology to help run a contracting company more efficiently, and how to streamline the purchasing of parts and equipment on the Internet. Expect to learn how to attract online customers, how to use the new technologies in bidding and estimating, and how to use new techniques in servicing equipment. Contractors will find out what manufacturers are doing via the Internet and how wholesalers and distributors fit into the big picture.

The aim here is to let contractors know how the Internet and e-commerce can be used to help save time and money in a fast-paced world.

Agenda Set

The format for the event will be panel discussions, kicked off by a presentation from Brian Urbanski of Real Profits. Urbanski is a national Internet trainer who has developed a presentation and approach designed specifically for hvac contractors. Along with partners Jim Graening and Tom McCart, Urbanski will give contractors a clear Internet strategy. Topics will include web-based sales, marketing, billing, purchasing, communications, and customer relationship management.

A panel discussion will follow, consisting of current forces in the dotcom arena. Scheduled to participate in this open forum are representatives from Cephren, Bid-BuyBuild, Buzzsaw, HvacOnline, Buildnet, PlanetHVAC, PartsClick, AC Doctor, and RepairNow. Each plans to outline what his or her company can do for contractors, and describe how the Internet will impact the hvacr industry.

After lunch, a panel of manufacturers, wholesalers, and Internet-savvy contractors will touch upon all aspects of e-business. Manufacturers scheduled to attend include Johnson Controls, Carrier, Lennox, Goodman, Arm-strong, and more. Representatives from these companies will discuss how long the Internet has been on their radar screens, what they are doing today to communicate with contractors via the Internet, and the type of feedback they have received from contractors. We may even get a glimpse into future Internet/e-commerce plans as well.

Several members of The News¿ Contractor Consultants will also be participating on the panel, including Jeff Stewart of Quality Air Conditioning of Las Vegas, NV, and Tom Lawson of Advanced Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc., of Bossier City, LA.

An open forum format will be used. In other words, discussions will go where you want them to go. The e-Contracting Summit is a great way for you to find out everything you always wanted to know about the Internet, but may have been afraid ¿ or too busy ¿ to ask.

For more information or a registration form, contact Colleen Van Gieson at 202-518-3221. Cost is $195 per person. For hotel reservations, call 800-228-9290. Room rates are $99 single, $109 double. Mention the ACCA e-Contracting Summit to receive the discounted rate. Hotel cutoff is Oct. 13.

To register via the web, go to The News¿ website, Registration deadline is Oct. 23.

Click Here To Register Now!

Publication date: 09/25/2000