How to Identify Different Types of Coil Manufacturers
by Dan Jacobs, July 17, 2018
Educated buyers are always better decision makers when buying any product, and the HVAC coils market is no different. When you know who you are dealing with, what the company specializes in, and how they operate, you can more easily determine who you would like to work with. Our purpose here is break down the HVAC coil market to help buyers make informed decisions as to who they would like to work with in the future. To begin, there are a few obvious distinctions between different types of coil manufacturers.
OEM Coil Manufacturers
There are probably more than a hundred HVAC manufacturers that build equipment with coils as an integral part. However, most, if not all, buy their coils from a coil manufacturer for installation in their own equipment. Most coil manufacturers love this type of business because of several large advantages. First, manufacturers get paid quickly (who doesn’t like or want that?), and the business is fairly level from month to month. The coil business is “production oriented”, and while there is less of a profit margin, the business is predictable, level, and easy to budget and forecast. Because of this, OEM business is the goal of most manufacturers – provided the profit margins are still OK.
Air Handler Manufacturers
Some air handler manufacturers build coils for their own equipment, and if they have the excess capacity, they will build coils for outside customers. While they may market themselves as coil manufacturers, always remember that their first priority is to build coils for their business. The outside customer is their second thought.
Custom Coil Manufacturers
These coil facilities can build custom coils of almost type and ship when you want or need your coils. They are considered “custom”, which meets the requirements for the replacement and/or design/build market.
All of this sounds pretty easy and straightforward, right? It really should not be too difficult to figure out the type of manufacturer that you want to use. As you may already know, the reality is very different when you start contacting suppliers. Most companies want to be hybrids, where they try to be everything to every customer. Most coil manufacturers have a hard time admitting “no, we do not do that”. They would prefer to take your order and your business, and then fail to deliver on their promises. Coil manufacturers can’t really fill their plants with OEM business one day and then decide to build custom coils the next. They can’t satisfy the coil needs for their own product lines, as well as outside customers simultaneously. There are combinations of business that just do not work, and mixing OEM and custom business falls into that category. Look for these 5 signs to make sure that you are not dealing with the wrong company.
Unexpected Changes in Delivery Times
If you contact a manufacturer on Tuesday, and the shipping time is 2-3 weeks, and then without notice, the shipping time goes out to 7 weeks? You are probably working with the wrong company.
Cancellation of Quick-Ships
If your supplier offers quick-ships on coils 35 weeks per year, and then the program inexplicably vanishes for 4 months? You are probably working with the wrong company.
Changes in Response Times
If your supplier takes 3-5 days to get back to you with pricing, drawings, or anything else that is required to make a purchase? You are probably working with the wrong company.
If your shipments are consistently late for any reason, you are probably working with the wrong company.
Companies Selling Around You
If your supplier sells to anybody and everybody and fails to “protect you” with pricing or your relationship with your customer, then you are definitely working with the wrong company!
Capital Coil & Air is a custom coil manufacturer in the truest definition within our industry. We do not, and will not, fill our shop with OEM business at the expense of your custom business. We do not change our shipping policies every 10 weeks in response to plant loads. We will not sell around you and say “yes” to every email/inquiry that we get. We have a clear idea about what we want our company to be, who we are, and what we do well.
If you need a custom or standard coil, please contact us. If you need a coil built and shipped quickly, please contact us. We do not change our business model based on what our competitors are doing. We welcome the chance to earn your business, so please call us for your next coil application!