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As I See It

Why I think it’s important that Kohler appoints PHCC members to its Plumber Advisory Council

Contractors need to know who their friends are. Both Kohler and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association jointly announced that five PHCC members are serving on the manufacturer’s Plumber Advisory Council for 2014.

The council, now in its third year, was established to bring the top plumbing professionals together to share best practices, industry knowledge and feedback to better serve Kohler’s customers and the end consumer.

The PHCC council members are John Bain, RT Moore Co., Indianapolis; Ron Capilla, Can-Am Plumbing Inc., Pleasanton, Calif.; Richard Cadogan, Pristine Plumbing Inc., Irvine, Calif.; Bill Lilleness, Best Plumbing & Heating, Seattle; and Alan O’Neill, Abacas Plumbing, Houston.

Council members are nominated by their regional Kohler sales representative. They have been chosen because they consistently excel in their business and are leaders in the plumbing industry. Each member serves a two-year term that includes a three-day visit to Kohler to experience a behind-the-scenes tour and discussions with Kohler executives. In addition, they receive recognition through print and electronic media as well as marketing materials and have the opportunity to meet with non-competitive plumbers to share experiences and discuss best practices. 

Kohler is a 2014 PHCC Corporate Partner, but they are not the only one.

I’m always interested in companies that are interested in my readers and I think my readers need to be cognizant of who their friends are. There are companies out there whose only interaction with contractors is to take their money. There are manufacturers that contractors like but who don’t like contractors. They are the companies that regard plumbing contractors as the butt-crack installers of their beautiful products specified by architects and interior designers. So screw ‘em. They can have Ty Pennington and Nate Berkus install their products.

Take a look at who advertises in the membership directories of PHCC or the Mechanical Contractors Association of America. Who buys a booth at your state association trade show? Who advertises in your state magazine? Who is sponsoring your local association’s golf tournament or cocktails or your meeting program?

The classic exemplar is Federated Insurance. I’ve often said, only half jokingly, that wherever there are two contractors together, there’s a Federated agent lurking nearby asking if he can buy them a sandwich. Federated is also a PHCC corporate partner, as is Viega and InSinkErator. Bradford-White is dedicated to wholesale-only to the trade and is a PHCC corporate partner. Taco makes American pumps in American factories for American contractors, plus they throw a bang-up party for everybody at the PHCC convention. A.O. Smith is the official education sponsor for Quality Service Contractors. Milwaukee Electric Tool President Steve Richman showed up personally at MCAA so he could talk to contractors. Moen and Delta are omnipresent. Who can forget the classic American Standard poster, “The plumber protects the health of the nation”?

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list and I’m sure I’ve left out some companies that do a great job reaching out to contractors. I haven’t gotten into the hydronic side at all. What I’m asking you to do is to pay attention to the companies that are supporting contractors, contractor associations, and apprenticeship training, and who work for the betterment of the trade. There are companies that bend over backwards to reach contractors and who are asking for your business. They should get it.

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