Since Heatcraft began strengthening its customer service network two years ago, the company's technical capacity, geographical reach and customer support services have never been greater.

The wholesaler has achieved its goal of taking the customer experience to the next level and is now busy bedding down its expansion and looking to consolidate its efforts in 2017.

Heatcraft's director of marketing, Roger Pecnik, said the company has undertaken an aggressive expansion which represents years of hard work.

“It takes time to get everything successfully in place it cannot be done overnight,” he said.

“We have reached a point where we are now locking down our strategy and can confidently say that our Custom Driven initiatives are now paying dividends.”

With a renewed focus on customers, Heatcraft has delivered a much broader value proprosition for its clients.

In addition to strengthening regional operations and increasing field engineering support, Heatcraft has been working hard to form a much closer partnership with its customer base.

Pecnik said account managers were charged with reaching out to customers and understanding their business and to customise solutions that fit.

“We never take a cookie cutter approach to anything, its about getting the right technology and the right products to our customers,” he said.

“The good news is that customers are making use of our customised solutions.”

Central to this strategy has been leveraging Heatcraft's global resources. “Our customers have access to resources worldwide including four innovation centres and three dedicated research and development centres.” Pecnik said.

This global capability was certainly evident at ARBS 2016 with the Heatcraft stand supported by Robert DelVentura, the United States-based director of R&D at Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration and Masood Ali, senior mechanical engineering manager, Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration.

Heatcraft Australia has its very own innovation centre in Sydney's south west which provides product demonstrations, product development and research.

“The centre has become a focal point for customers this is where they can utilise resources from around the world and talk to key engineers,” Pecnik said.

Contractors have also benefitted from Heatcraft's strategy, according to the company's director of core account sales, Michael Ryan.

“Our distribution partnership with Lawrence and Hanson Electrical (L&H) has provided better regional access to products,” Ryan said.

“Since this partnership began there are about a dozen new shops and this will continue in 2017.”

Heatcraft is also preparing for the HFC phasedown with the wholesaler currently testing and trialling new gases that will be available next year.

“We are assessing our gas strategy going forward,” Ryan said.

“This isn't just a local challenge but a global one. Fortunately, we are a global company so we are always aware of the latest developments going forward.

“Having the right gases and the right products is important so our customers don't have to retire equipment too early.

“We are here to help customers futureproof their investments.

“Industry has been through phaseouts before and at Heatcraft we have been through a few.

“We have done it before and are well placed for the changes ahead.”

Award winning success

Heatcraft's Customer Driven initiatives have begun to deliver results. Recognition of Heatcraft's success was on show at the 2016 AIRAH Awards in November.

The Best HVAC&R Retrofit or Refrigeration Upgrade Award which showcases innovation at its best went to the IGA Boccaccio Cellars project in Melbourne.

This project was a multi-million dollar refurbishment which included a Kirby hybrid Co2/R134a parallel rack system to deliver heating and cooling.

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