Photo courtesy of Grand Wailea Resort.

In this economic climate it can be difficult to think about the future, but HARDI is making it easy for its members by holding its annual meeting on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

Distributors will have the opportunity to network and discuss issues with other members of the Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International at the Grand Wailea resort and nearby Wailea Marriott. The theme of the Oct. 23-27 event is “Set your course.”

The course HARDI is hoping attendees will follow is the one that leads to future profits.  Keynote speakers and educational sessions will focus on ways distributors can strengthen their business for years to come.

Here is a preview of some of the programs that will be available to HARDI members.

Looking ahead

While the annual HARDI meeting officially opens Oct. 23 with committee meetings and welcome activities, the message of profitability really gets started Oct. 24. On that Monday, several HARDI committees will be meeting in the morning, including the committees for professional development and training, HVAC systems, sustainable building, refrigeration and more.
,br>At lunch time Oct 24, HARDI will welcome its first keynote speaker. At 11:30 a.m., Mike Workman will present “Realizing 2006 Profitability with a 2012 Mind-Set.” Workman has experience in education and distribution consulting. According HARDI, Workman remembers the record profits that many distributors were experiencing back in 2006.

The aim of Workman’s speech is to prepare HARDI distributors for the year 2012 with the mind-set that made 2006 such a success for many businesses.


On Oct. 25, HVAC contractors will share their secrets for succeeding during the down economy. At 9:15 a.m., HARDI members are welcomed to attend the contractor panel. The event is titled “A Detour Down the PCH-Profitability Collaboration Highway - A Road to New Business Opportunities.”

Greg Gill of Action Air Conditioning in San Marcos, Calif., and Dave Kyle II of Trademasters in Lorton, Va., will show attendees how they were able to diversify their businesses to stay relevant and profitable.

Gill will describe how Action Air Conditioning was able to enter into the solar market by working with suppliers. Kyle, through partnerships with distributors, was able to create a new government services division in his company.

The goal of the contractor panel is to show how contractors and distributors can team up to not only create new markets but to create new paths to revenue.

The future

Immediately following the contractor panel at 11 a.m., HARDI will welcome its next keynote speaker. Alan Beaulieu will present “The Future is Your Decision.” Beaulieu is a familiar face at HVAC and sheet metal conferences. As an economist and president of the Institute for Trend Research, he has been an economic consultant to several companies since 1990. He is HARDI’s chief economist.

Before joining the Institute for Trend Research, he was a principal with a steel fabrication company.

During his speech, Beaulieu will not only give HARDI members some perspective on the future, but what they can do to make sure they are making the correct decisions as they go forward. A number of topics will be presented during this session, including a short-term and long-term economic forecast, an outlook for the housing industry, what distributors can expect from the non-residential construction industry and what economic indicators distributors should be looking at.

Beaulieu will also touch on government issues, including how Washington, D.C., will have an impact on business, as well as taxes, inflation and interest rates.

After the keynote session at 1:15 p.m., HARDI will hold several concurrent sessions. The Distribution/Logistics Management Committee will discuss logistical and distribution issues with a focus on electronic commerce in the HVACR industry. The NATE Distributor Council will meet to discuss how distributors can promote North American Technician Excellence certification. The Supply Chain Technologies Committee will take a look at e-commerce and business-to-business technology. The Supplier Members Committee will focus on HARDI’s supplier members and issues that are important to those members.

The day will wrap up with an economic forecast for HARDI regions. Each month, HARDI tracks the progress of distributors in each region and compiles the statistics in the monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) Report. At 3 p.m., HARDI will go over the TRENDS reports for the Northeaster, Mid Atlantic, Central and Great Lakes regions of HARDI.

TRENDS reports will continue at 7 a.m. Oct. 26. HARDI will discuss Southeastern, Southwestern, and Western HARDI regions. 

The Course

Workman will return at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 26 to close the educational portion of the conference. He will build off his earlier presentation with a session called “Know the Road-Set the Course.”

While Workman’s Oct. 24 presentation provided HARDI members with a roadmap for profits, the Oct. 26 session will take a look at the best way to navigate that map. Workman will discuss marketing opportunities, how best to deal with roadblocks that can trip up a business, and the best way to achieve profit.

For more information or to register for this year’s HARDI conference, call (888) 253-2128 or

HARDI to launch magazine focused on distribution

BNP Media, publishers of SNIPS and the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News, and the Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International have entered into an agreement to launch a new publication.

This bimonthly magazine will cover every aspect of HARDI and the HVACR distribution community and will be the official publication of HARDI.

“We are very excited to begin this venture with HARDI,” said Mike Murphy, the News editor in chief. “We plan on bringing the same solid reporting and coverage of the HVACR industry that you find every week in the News to the HVACR-distribution market. There are a lot of great distributors out there with a ton of cutting-edge ideas, and we want to publicize them.”

The partnership combines HARDI’s HVACR wholesale distribution expertise with the support of the editorial and production team behind the News to provide those in the industry with enhanced and expanded access to timely and relevant HVACR information, officials said.

To compliment the new distributor-focused magazine, the editors of the News will also publish a branded distribution section six times a year.

The new partnership with HARDI will encompass much more than a print publication, officials added. There will also be a digital edition of the magazine, a website, monthly email newsletters, and a mobile-based platform of the magazine on the iPad.

“I couldn’t be more impressed with the production and editorial capabilities of the News team. This partnership unites their proven communications acumen with HARDI’s growing voice in the HVACR industry and will be dedicated to delivering content rich HVACR supply chain-specific communications,” said HARDI’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Talbot Gee. “In addition to our core audience of wholesale distributors, the communications will focus on providing content promoting a smarter, more efficient supply chain and stronger channel relationships that will benefit manufacturers, contractors and anyone else involved in selling HVACR systems and components.”

The magazine and website are set to launch January, just in time for the AHR Expo in Chicago.

“This magazine is going to use the News’ style of design and editorial content which our research indicates is extremely popular with distributor readers,” said Kyle Gargaro, managing editor of the News. “There will be news-oriented stories featuring standout distributors, updates on HARDI council and committee projects, as well as editorials, analysis, and forecasts on the most important aspects of the HVACR distribution. We feel we have a successful mix of stories in the News, and we want to bring that same commitment of excellence to the distribution industry.”