Today's manufacturers of HVAC/R equipment are faced with many tough challenges. First and foremost is maintaining and growing market share in a highly competitive market.
The HVAC/R equipment manufacturers that have survived post 2007 through today have had to make many tough decisions to stay afloat. Many have had to reduce their staffing in an effort to reduce costs. This makes it tough to be in the position to develop new, innovative, and energy-efficient HVAC/R equipment to answer the call for energy efficiency.
To maintain and grow their business in a tough economic environment, successful HVAC/R OEMs have narrowed their product offerings to focus on the piece of the market where they can be most competitive, and have the most effective mix of internal resources and external "partners" to help engineer new products to meet the market demands, support their legacy products, and grow the business. Getting there requires a re-assessment of organizational structure, manufacturing best-practices, and market focus, but it proves to be well worth the effort.
The simple question for the OEM to consider would be: How can I reduce my total cost, differentiate my HVAC/R equipment in the market, and increase my market share? Simple question; however, the answer may require some help along the way.
The successful HVAC/R OEMs have analyzed their manufacturing practices, engineering and support costs, and outsourced when necessary, all in an effort to manufacture efficient and innovative machines while at the same time reducing their total unit cost. This has enabled them to price their products more competitively in the market and increase profit and margins internally. These OEMs manufacture a wide range of equipment ranging from heat pump systems to heat recovery systems and special application fan systems to portable chillers. All have determined this is where their mix of core competencies and outsourcing needs are best served.
This analysis would likely uncover any gaps OEMs might have internally regarding product development, engineering, manufacturing practices, market analysis, marketing, software development, codes compliance, and procurement practices. OEMs might discover the need to outsource in some of these areas in an effort to fill these gaps.
Here are a few qualifications to evaluate in selecting a trusted advisor to help OEMs improve their product, manufacturing best-practices, and reduce their total cost:
Are they a "single source" supplier?
OEMs may have multiple locations and must purchase the same component at these locations from different suppliers and distributors. OEMs might not be getting the "quantity discount" they deserve. The more components OEMs can purchase through a single source, the more negotiating power they have in obtaining discounts and incentives from their supplier partner.
Do they have the outsourcing capabilities OEMs need for their control panels?
With a panel solutions partner who has application design engineering expertise in-house, they can help OEMs apply more innovative control to their machines, thereby increasing efficiency and standardizing your components, which reduces procurement costs. The proper panel outsourcing partner can help OEMs re-design their panel, apply control innovation, and thereby increasing their machine's COP. This partner could help OEMs develop and apply the latest advances in technology such as smartphone apps, Bluetooth, and cloud and BAS connectivity to meet or exceed market requirements, and thereby help OEMs increase their market share.