LAS VEGAS — Incoming President of the NHRAW Jim Truesdell said he looks forward to a growing role for independent wholesalers as they take on the challenges of the future.

Jim Truesdell
LAS VEGAS — Incoming President of the Northamerican Heating, Refrigeration and Air conditioning Wholesalers (NHRAW) Jim Truesdell said he looks forward to a growing role for independent wholesalers as they take on the challenges of new technology, increasing customer demands, and the need to maximize value in the chain of distribution.

Truesdell takes over the reins of the national organization in December at the close of the 55th annual national convention in Las Vegas. He is with Brauer Supply Co., St. Louis, where he has worked for 24 years. The company has been in business since 1881, serving the construction industry, and commercial and industrial businesses in the St. Louis area, outstate Missouri, and southern Illinois. Brauer Supply carries Heil heating and air conditioning products, Lima registers, Milwaukee electric tools, Metalbestos gas vent and chimney products, Trion electronic air cleaners, Greenheck fans, Thermaflex flexible duct, MEZ duct flanges and accessories, Duro-Dyne connectors and fasteners, Field draft controls, Klenk and Wiss snips and hand tools, Roper Whitney and Tennsmith sheet metal machinery, and more.

“As North America and the world struggle to keep goods and material flowing in the face of threats of terrorist disruption of transportation and commerce,” Truesdell said, “our distribution system will rise to the challenge.” He sees NHRAW’s developing concept of Market Center Distribution as a key to emphasizing the strengths of that system with local service centers and the know-how and experience of the industry’s members. Through NHRAW he will work to promote MCD throughout the distribution industry.

Taking the lead

“Rather than struggling to cope with changes in the channel we must take the lead in identifying and pointing out opportunities which we are ideally suited to capitalize upon. We can utilize our existing resources as a platform to adapt to new technology and meet the market’s needs.”

Just as NHRAW wholesalers are the lynchpin of the industry’s distribution channel, says Truesdell, so must the association be positioned to be the meeting ground where people come together with ideas, products, and strategies and where relationships are formed to keep the channel flowing smoothly and efficiently. He sees this as a time of trial. People are uncertain about the future, but the needs are great and waiting for solutions which he feels NHRAW wholesalers can provide through MCD.

Truesdell is an advocate of inviting all newcomers to the industry into this association. He views NHRAW not as a narrowly focused interest group but as a promoter of the health of the distribution industry. He seeks to promote the association as the logical meeting place for all industry players to come together and participate in a world class showcase of ideas targeting the efficient distribution of hvacr products. He will seek extensive interaction with other associations within hvacr and the distribution business so that coordinated solutions can be found to problems and the needs of developing technology.

“As individual companies, and through association programs, we must work to reduce costs in distribution, so that we can deliver better value than others who might try to replace this distribution function which we have done so well for so many years,” said Truesdell. “This means we must constantly analyze transactions, review inventory holding costs, transportation costs, and remove redundancies. At the same time we cannot lose the ‘soul’ and heart of the business which is customer relationship selling. We cannot get lost in cost optimization. We must still focus on customer needs in the way we learned in the quality process.”

Truesdell said is committed to carrying out NHRAW’s accredited education program, the enhanced group casualty insurance offering, and the association as a central information point for the industry in technology through its newly named “Supply Chain Technologies Committee.” He also will work at strengthening relations with NHRAW’s associate members including manufacturers, service vendors and manufacturers reps., as well as working closely with the Membership Committee and Executive Development Forum to increase membership.