May 2005

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Controls Group North AmericaEMAIL INTERVIEW – Jim Hayman & Ken Sinclair

Jim Hayman, Director of Business Development, Controls Group North America

Jim Hayman is part of the Management Team at Controls Group North America (CGNA) in Brea, California. CGNA is a national network of 34 independent wholesale HVAC/R Controls Distributors with 118 branches throughout the U.S. and Canada. Many CGNA Members provide products, support and engineering services for open systems. They are sponsoring an “Integration Forum” on May 13, 2005, in New Orleans for their Members and Preferred Vendors.

Building Automation Solutions through Distribution

At CGNA, we see two-step distribution as the preferred channel for manufacturers of integration products to go to market.

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Sinclair:  How involved are CGNA Distributors in building automation at the integration level?

Hayman:  Many of them have distributed products and provided support for commercial systems applications for years. However, the new high-end integration products in the marketplace today require a level of certification and engineering expertise that exceeds what wholesale distributors traditionally offer. CGNA Distributors now have engineers and staff that understand and support the complex integration applications available for commercial buildings.

Sinclair:  How do those services impact the contractors who buy from them?

Hayman:  It is very difficult for contractors to stay up with the rapid technology changes in building automation without losing valuable time on the job site. Commercial buildings can have synchronized products from multiple manufacturers, making training for each installation a huge investment. CGNA Distributors doing integration provide a single source for contractors to get the information and answers they need to keep working.

Sinclair:  Are manufacturers of integration products embracing the value of two-step distribution?

Hayman:  Yes. Two-step distributors in a network the size of CGNA is a very strong way to go to market. Manufacturers can get their products quickly into the hands of a larger number of end-users while reducing the amount of support they are required to provide from the factory. Installation questions and warranty issues can be addressed locally by the distributor resulting in increased sales and greater customer satisfaction.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Sinclair:  What is the “Integration Forum” in New Orleans?

Hayman:  The forum is a half-day event during our annual conference for our Members and Preferred Vendors. There will be speakers and a panel discussion made up of distributors, contractors, a building engineer and several manufacturers. Honeywell’s Building Control Systems and Tridium are both participating. The title, “Building Automation Solutions through Distribution” communicates the focus: two-step distribution for integration offers more than parts – they offer solutions.

Sinclair:  What do you hope to accomplish through the forum?

Hayman:  Three things: First, our Members constantly share best business practices with one another. The forum is an opportunity for those doing integration to educate all of the Members in the group about this major industry opportunity. Secondly, we want to get the word out to integration product manufacturers that there is an ideal channel already in place for them to go to market – two-step distributors. Third, we hope to attract the attention of editors and the industry as a whole to the value that integration distributors bring to the complex world of open systems.


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