Special to CONTRACTOR
FALLS CHURCH, VA. – The Plumbing-Heating -Cooling Contractors - National Association has scheduled a press conference for Jan. 23 in Chicago to announce that new manufacturers will add their offerings to its Professional Product Line.
"We will introduce two, or possibly three, new partners at that time," said Don Morin, chairman of the PPL Council. While he said he could not name the companies, Morin told CONTRACTOR that one firm manufactures plumbing products and the other has plumbing and heating lines.
The press conference will take place about a month after Delta Faucet Co. decided to discontinue its participation in the PPL, effective Jan. 1. Delta had joined the program in 1998.
"We understand that business priorities change," Morin said. "We look forward to continuing our long-standing working relationship with Delta. Partnerships with industry leaders like Delta are extremely important to PHCC. We’ve both agreed to build even stronger ties between our organizations by continuing to focus on other successful programs offered by the PHCC Educational Foundation."
Dan Murphy, contractor marketing manager at Delta, said: "This year (2001) marked a very exciting time in our company’s history as we embarked on new and aggressive brand and strategic product development plans. Efforts like these require a total commitment to ensure that we are putting the right products in the right place at the right time — for every customer. We’re proud to have helped launch the PPL line and we’re excited to continue our strong support of the PHCC Educational Foundation, including the prestigious Contractor of the Year awards and annual scholarship programs. We are strong supporters of the PHCC organization and this move will not change that."
Both Morin and PHCC-NA President Bill Trombly said that they had heard complaints from their members who had difficulty obtaining the Delta PPL offering from their local supply houses. The problem frequently stemmed from a misunderstanding among wholesalers that they had to carry the Delta PPL faucet in addition to a similar product it was supposed to replace, Trombly said.
"Getting product out to the wholesalers was a problem because there was a misconception that they had to carry the Delta PPL faucet plus everything else," he said. "That wasn’t the nature of the beast."
Both Morin and Trombly said the PPL program would continue to gather momentum, despite Delta’s departure.
"We will miss Delta from the program, but this was a good move for both parties," Trombly told CONTRACTOR. "PPL will get stronger, I believe, as it picks up more partners."
Morin added: "I think in the long term that this will allow more players to be part of the program. I see PPL expanding and growing stronger over the years. The companies involved in the program are doing very well right now."
Other manufacturers in the PPL program are: Bradford White, Anaheim Manufacturing, Ward Manufacturing, Hammond Valve, Plumbmaster, Water by Design and Glentronics.
The PPL Council plans to announce its marketing plan for 2002 in February, Morin said. Marketing efforts this year probably will be oriented more toward the trade than consumers.
Introduced in 1997, the PPL is intended to help professional contractors differentiate themselves in the eyes of consumers with products, services and warranties that are not available at home centers and other retailers. For more information on the PPL, call 800/533-7694 or visit www.phccweb.org.