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Is Home Depot really a threat?

Tim_12
Tim_12 Member Posts: 14
The company that I recently departed from has been selected as a contractor for parts of Mass., RI and CT I guess that if you want to be the big dog then you have to be a Home Comfort Specialist for Trane in order to be considered by H.D. I can just imagine what kind of monepoly this would be?? I know that H. D. will be doing the financing 100% and the contractor will sell,install their own parts and systems in part with the supply house that H.D. deals with that sells Trane!! Not only do we have to contend with big boy Petro and HOP now H.D. soon we will all be working together one way or another!!

Comments

  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    I'm not sure.

    The oldest Home Depot in my area has been around almost as long as I have been in business, 10 years. From day one, you could go there and buy everything you need to install your own heating system. Eveything from the boiler and indirect to baseboard, zone valves and thermostats. You know what? Not once has a perspective client come to me and said either of these statements, "I bought my stuff at Home Depot and I would like to hire you to install it" or "Your price is too high, I can buy everything at Home Depot for 25% of your price." Places like Home Depot have always and will always be here in one connotation or another. People who value their mechanicals and consider what we do a skill, will not shop there. Make yourself a professional and you will have few worries about what "they" are doing.

    As far as this new partnership with Weil-Mclain goes, let's wait and see how it plays out. I can't imagine Home Depot allowing me to make my margins on installing heating equipment for them. Now, if they had real business savy, they would go out of their way to hire us since there would be no issues with the systems we install. I would imagine, due to the corporate mind set, Home Depot (or others) undoubtedly think they can have it both ways. The best guys at their dictated or limited pricing. Naturally, the laws of nature won't allow that to happen for a very long period of time. Some people forget that what makes this the greatest country in the world is our fierce independence and our reluctance to being controlled and told what to do or how to do something.

    What, me worry? Nope. This is just my rather myopic view of things

    Warm Regards,

    hb

    "Expert in Silent Warmth"™

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    I agree with you hb

    This is merely a big wake up call for our industry, in my opinion. If the traditional "chain" is weak or broken, guess what! Someone else will find and fill the need.

    I live within a stones throw of Sam Waltons hometown. Certainly they have squezed small operators out. Keep in mind they employ tens of thousands, are incrediably generous regarding charitable causes. Rarely a week goes by that WalMart isn't helping out a family in need around here. Boy & Girl Scout troops have free use of their facilities for fund raisers as do many others.

    Many of my customers sell product and derive income from WalMart including farmers, ranchers, small manufactures, trucking, accounting firms, reps, engineers, architects, general contractors on and on.

    If nothing else it is a prime example how a small farm town boy can make it big in America, and drag thousands along to success with him, including many small manufactures in my area. Show me a large corporation today that doesn't shop globaly for product and services. Seems Sears and a few others have learned a hard lesson regarding "sweat shop" purchases and I imagine this practice is not ethical or acceptable anymore. Do you know for sure who, and where all your heating controls components are made?

    I highly doubt Weil makes special "cheapened" castings and boilers for the box stores. I think a little more info, and time is needed to see how this pans out.

    If you were to install for HD would that mean they would need to consider the Viessmann line :) See ya in a couple weeks.

    hot rod

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • johnny2
    johnny2 Member Posts: 13


    Well said. Obviously you are one individual "Professional" who can clearly think for himself and look beyond those feeling theatened. With a shortage of technicians in the industry a "Honest, Reliable, Sincere and knowledgable" contractor who works hard day in and day out will always be rewarded with the sale no matter who he represents because he earned it. PS This is the same guy who will also charge 20-30% more because he's worth it.

    Thank you!
  • SEEMS TO ME

    Quite the opposite, we used to have the boy scouts selling christmas trees at locally compettive prices, It was the largest tree site in the area, and they sold out every year. That is till wal-mart came to town and needed a seasonal loss-leader, $4.99 cents per tree, also seems the "scouts" only lasted two seasons after that!! these so called "charitable" contributions seem to have a very profound advertising campaign behind every donation they make !!



    bjmurphy
    (please do not turn this into a religious debate)
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Just to be clear Murph

    My post has nothing to do with religion what so ever. We have been down that road before :)

    Charitable causes in my book include Save the whale, Greenpeace, Police Athletic League, VFW, Vietnam Vets, victims of fires, Wetstock fund raisers etc. Nothing to do with religous causes. Hope that clears thing up, and prevents controversy.

    Where you stand depends on where you sit. In my area I see much more good than harm caused by the company I mentioned. Just my opinion.

    hot rod

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    ps Murph

    Local Scout troops in my area continue to do very well in Christmas tree sales, regardless of the 3 WalMarts in town.

    They have cleverly learned to increase services. They offer dilvery, and pick up of the old tree. They then forward the old trees to the conservation dept for placement in various lakes for bass habitat, or other proper disposal means like mulch companies.

    They have sold out all of the 8 years we have been here and bought from them!

    When the going gets competitive the sharp folks find a way to up the ante and thrive :)

    hot rod

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • no debate HR

    I was remembering things said last week on another list about scouts and it went way off the subject (i did not mean you) The understanding that I have of wal marts sales philosophy is that when they enter an area they canvas where other shops are strong, then they have the size and power to rip the jugular from any competition !! the scouts were just the example that comes to mind. I must confess I did make a puchase of a pair of socks when i found myself in a wal-mart a few years ago (that was so i did not feel strange for checking things) but other than that ,I tend to support the smaller shops, that do not capitalize on marketing of hiring the elderly and others that are challenged !!
  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Contractors talk

    Good insights from both sides if I say so myself:

    http://www.achrnews.com/CDA/ArticleInformation/coverstory/BNPCoverStoryItem/0,1336,86356,00.html

    I'd be happy to hoist a placard on this subject at The Gathering.
  • keith
    keith Member Posts: 224
    has nothing

    to do with feeling threatened. It has to do with deciding who you are pursuing. Are you in business to service a customer or H.D. The manufactorers have done plenty of research and decided that the losses incured from a few disgruntaled defectors will more than be offset by new referals from H.D. For some, the advertising, store credit and other percs will be enough to turn them into labor suppliers. Others may want to be the lead dog on the sled team, because as the saying goes "The dog in the back always has the same view".
  • GREAT STORY JOHN HALL

    I really liked the part where homey kept all the money for months and months. sounds like a big opportunity for some areas!! but it sounds a lot like high volume /low profits for the contractors involved. To put it simpley something has to give, price, quality, or fast responsive service!!


    as the saying goes "you cannot have all three"

    good stuff !!
    murph' (SOS)
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    You wanna' fight back?

    Do what I did. Send the link Dan posted below a to all of your clients and friends. Maybe they'll tell two friends, who in turn will tell two friends. You never know! Thanks,Dan.

    http://www.planetfeedback.com/sharedLettersList/0,2941,103912-27-0-0-20-0-fb_date-desc,00.html

    Warm Regards,

    hb

    "Expert in Silent Warmth"™

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • joel_14
    joel_14 Member Posts: 116
    marry the devil

    As I understand it from Trane dealers . They make the sale at whatever price they want and HD gets a cut. Every 1 is conscerned about it being all about price . I say NO WAY. Most people I know go to HD out of desperation because they can't find a contractor to fix thier broken front steps or paint thier lawn mower shed price doesn't seem to be a motivator it's convienence. People want to see, feel, touch, and here what they are buying. What the manfacts need is retail stores that they set up through locale dealers just like car companies do with a real nice show room. Now they don't want to make that investment so HD does it for them. I would look at it just like every other type of advertising I do. And I would sell my company not HD. The biggest thing they want is people to finace everything. Some say HD will Squeeze our margins to nothing, WHY???? that's kind of silly since they are working on a commision basis don't you think?? I would think they would want us to get as much as possable. Now if all the reallly good contractors suck up to them and biuld good relationships with your individual store managers where does that leave the cheap guy? outside the window wishing he could get in. Now if they switch this and go the Sears route which is a total disater for all (at least around here) .Then fine it's divorce time and see you later. Same thing you do with anyone biulder who might be trying to squeeze you. I don't know, it's like those old guys who are loaded and Marry some ex Nymphomaniac playboy bunny. Course they know in a couple years they are gonnna keel over but hey what a ride in the meantime. If they have second thoughts that's why they've got a real nice pre nup to ease the bleeding. Why couldn't we do the same thing.
This discussion has been closed.