FORT SMITH, Ark. - Rheem Manufacturing Co. recently announced that Birmingham, Ala.-based Wittichen Supply Co. will distribute Rheem products throughout Alabama and west Georgia. As part of the agreement, Rheem products will be Wittichen's primary heating and air-conditioning product line.

"We are constantly looking to provide our HVAC contractors with the best products and services available to meet their needs," said Wittichen General Manager Charles Herring. "By partnering with Rheem, we have one of the most respected and well-known brand names behind us, as well as a manufacturer known for quality products and services. Combined with the fact that Rheem provides the shortest lead times in the industry, it's an ideal fit for us and our contractor customers."

"We are excited about our partnership with Wittichen and what this means to the marketplace," said J.R. Jones, president of Rheem's Air-Conditioning Division. "We're partnering with a company that shares our business philosophy and has an intense focus on providing first-class customer service. Both Rheem and Wittichen are eager to please their customers, and that makes for a great distributor partnership in which everyone wins."

According to Jones, Wittichen's longevity, stability and extensive reach within the marketplace, as well as its desire for continued market growth, were attractive attributes for Rheem in forming the official partnership.

"For Wittichen, Herring said Rheem's status as a private company fits nicely into their growth plans, since Rheem has the ability to be flexible and adaptable in its business operations to meet changing market conditions. Herring also cited Rheem's strong commitment to contractor-focused support initiatives and programs, such as North American Training Excellence certification, and Rheem's continued role with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

Wittichen Supply Co. is a wholesale distributor of heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration parts, equipment, and supplies, established in 1914. It started as a small division of Wittichen Chemical Co., a chemical distributor founded by Carl F. Wittichen.