XpediAir general manager Warren Shoulders (sitting) and distribution and sales manager William A. Faris discuss the company’s IQ system. The digital business system is designed to provide ease of access to product information, quotes, and more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - As most HVAC wholesaler-distributors will attest, there is no shortage of manufacturers who claim to offer the right product mix to satisfy the needs of a broad customer base. While most offer good products and competent service, there often is a gap between their product lines and the precise needs of their customers.

It's at this point that compromise becomes part of the equation, said Warren Shoulders, general manager of XpediAirâ„¢.

In Shoulders' estimation, customers often must select the better fit rather than the right choice. In addition, the service side of the transaction can have its limitations. Shoulders said standards for ordering flexibility, accuracy, and timely delivery can be viewed quite differently between buyer and seller. This is where XpediAir comes into the picture.

"Success often means different things to different people," said Shoulders. "If you're an HVAC distributor, a key ingredient to your success most likely includes having access to the products your customers need most - high-quality products from leading manufacturers that can be acquired in a fast, efficient, and reliable manner."

Shoulders said his company can provide wholesaler-distributors product resources "that are not just dependable, but a cut above - and that's not just 9-to-5 resources, but anytime resources that can respond fast. Orders are received and confirmed almost instantly. Stocked items are shipped quickly, and built-to-order items are scheduled for production immediately, ensuring prompt delivery times."

In a nutshell, this company has fully converged product ordering and distribution methodology with the power of digital technology.

These are summarized proposal package materials produced by XpediAir. Its IQ business system is designed to provide a complete proposal package customized to the project. It includes list and net pricing, cut sheets, ratings, drawings, and project data. All work is performed without creating model numbers or encountering any codes, price sheets, or spec sheets, the company said.

Power And An IQ

By utilizing digital technology and the Internet, XpediAir is able to employ an open-ended digital portal concept "designed to facilitate a flow of information and products based solely on customer demand," Shoulders explained.

The company is not product-focused, he pointed out. This distribution company sells only through distributor partners. The company's entire business strategy is incumbent upon strengthening the traditional three-step distribution strategy, "not just pushing its products through your warehouse."

In his eyes, XpediAir's innovative product distribution concept is reflected in the company's digital business system, the IQ. With this system, distributor-members have 24-hour access to product information, customized product-selection options, pricing, product ordering, order confirmation, and shipment tracking, "providing contractors and engineers with precisely what they want and need from a distributor-wholesaler," he said.

Moreover, distributor-members can access the system from any computer with an online connection, "all in a safe and secure digital environment," Shoulders said. This is designed to give members the flexibility they need to manage their businesses when it best suits their schedule.

Using XpediAir, a distributor "can configure the exact product his customer needs," said Shoulders. "The IQ digital business system provides a complete proposal package that's customized to the project and includes list and net pricing, all cut sheets, ratings, drawings, and project information on the fly. All work is performed without creating model numbers or encountering any codes, price sheets, or specification sheets."

According to Shoulders, the company's IQ system eliminates potential errors in reading tables, pricing products and accessories, or researching competitor equipment.

The IQ system was designed to be simple to understand and navigate, Shoulders said. "It will make any distributor employee a virtual product expert. On a broader scale, the system allows distributors to sell noncommodity products and eliminates cumbersome processes that add no real value for customers, saving administrative time and expense."

All orders, quotes, and proposals are password-protected. They can be stored online indefinitely for future reference or revision. Modifying the specifications of a quote is fast and easy, said Shoulders. "No order entry is ever required."

XpediAir public and member Web sites provide a competitor equipment cross-reference tool, designed to give the user instant and accurate information on selecting the correct replacement product. The company's concept is to be more than just a Web-based gateway to a product-ordering system, he said. Through its channel of product communication, XpediAir is designed to be a "comprehensive product information center." In the coming months, he said, the company will offer a variety of tools and programs through its Web site to help distributors run their businesses more effectively and profitably.

"XpediAir's focus going forward will be to continuously answer the call from distributor partners by adding the products they need for their customers."

For more information, visit www.xpediair.com or call 888-973-3424.

Sidebar: Around-The-Clock Service

XpediAir general manager Warren Shoulders identified five "around-the-clock" commitments to service his company has made:

1. State-of-the-art IQ system - "The XpediAir IQ business system utilizes available industry-leading technology to provide instant access to a full-featured system, all within a safe, secure environment," he said.

2. Intuitive product selection - "You can order standard preconfigured products or customize your selections to get exactly what your customer needs," he said. "All products and price lists are available as soon as you log on. In a snap, we'll be confirming your order for delivery."

3. Convenient estimates and order summaries - Using the shopping cart feature allows users "to save multiple orders, whether they are actual orders to be placed or orders anticipated from customers," said Shoulders.

4. Accurate order placement and confirmation - "The company helps you place orders with maximum accuracy and efficiency and minimal hassles," said Shoulders. "You'll receive precise order confirmation, complete with product details, pricing, and shipping information."

5. Order status updates - By logging onto the network, members can get updates on their order status anytime, from any computer with an online connection.

- Mark Skaer

Publication date: 10/18/2004