One Manufacturer's Solution to Getting Paid on Time

That’s an excellent article “[“Getting Paid Means Getting Tough,” April 21] and ever so true. I wonder if there’s a regional twist to this. In places like Phoenix, I imagine staying on good terms with your HVAC repairman might seem more important than in Vermont.

For us, as manufacturers, we have experienced a little something different. That is: the general contractor is hollering for his equipment from about two days before the stated lead time so that the equipment hits the jobsite in time to access draw funds (then it could sit for almost a year before final installation and startup). That draw money is our source of payment for the equipment, and it is not out of the realm of possibilities that the money is “not there” when our invoice is due 30 days later. No “spouse has the checkbook” excuses, but an equally creative stream.

So, we changed our terms in January to be: 50 percent down payment with the equipment order, 40 percent more before it ships, and then 10 percent net 30.

There was some discomfort, however it keeps everyone honest. I wonder if a homeowner would accept this approach.

Michael G. Scharing
Hydronika Inc.
Shelbyville, Ky.

Inspections, Higher Quality, and Too Many Dealers

[Editor’s note: This letter is in response to John R. Hall’s blog, “It’s a War: Rural Vs. Urban Contractors,” April 7.]

John R. Hall is so far from the mark in reporting that there is war between rural and urban contractors, it is pathetic. While inspections do occur more regularly in urban areas, it is because the manufacturers have developed too many dealers that his perceived war discussion took place. Inspection of any of the trades only serves to create meeting the minimum level of local codes. Higher quality means exceeding the code requirements.

Inspections can only be part of the solution. Manufacturers are so busy creating additional dealers for their products, they have created unhealthy markets. If there is a war, that is where it is.

Urban contractors run to the rural market every chance they get because of the lack of inspection. Your headline of “It’s a War: Rural vs. Urban Contractors” is nearly as pathetic as the “Murphy’s Law,” [headline] “Sex in HVAC and Refrigeration” [in that same issue].

Dick Marshall
Strang Heating And Electric
Richland Center, Wis.

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Publication date:06/09/2008