HVACR Combinations – AD & IMARK, Continuum & Moblico

HVAC Puzzle

In the last week two combinations in the distribution space caught my eye. The first was a partnership of two service providers that has immediate impact for HVACR distributors. The 2nd was the announcement of a proposed Affiliated Distributors (AD) and IMARK merger for electrical distributors is worth watching to see if that is the start of bigger combinations between AD and IMARK.

The question becomes, “what do these pieces of the puzzle mean for HVACR distributors and manufacturers?”

Moblico and Continuum Collaboration

The announcement of a collaboration between Moblico and Continuum could be interesting. Moblico had been providing mobile engagement solutions for a large number of HVACR distributors for many years. Continuum is a more recent entry into the space and delivers some unique multi-party returns management solutions.

In the press release announcement, they stated that this strategic partnership is “aimed at transforming the way distributors manage warranties, repairs, and returns.”

For the HVACR channel (manufacturers, distributors, and end-users) the returns process is cumbersome and time-consuming.  HVACR distributors at almost every HVACR distributor there are associates dedicated to managing this process with titles like – Warranty Claims Specialist, Warranty Communication Specialist, and Warranty Managers to just to name s few.  Any solutions that can help make this human process more efficient could be additive to the channel and worthy watching.

IMARK and Affiliated Distributor (AD) Intent to Merge Announcement (Electrical Channel Only)

This big news in the electrical channel was called by my colleague David Gordon simply as “the shocker of the year.”

David wrote a great in-depth analysis of the intent to merger in HVACR’s sister publication Electrical Trends that covered the intent to merger in great detail. https://electricaltrends.com/2024/06/12/thoughts-on-the-ad-imark-merger/

It is vital to note that this merger if approved by IMARK members is for Electrical Only and does not include IMARK/Blue Hawk and AD HVACR distributors or any other channels.

What does this mean for HVACR? At this time nothing, but…as David noted in his column, “It was inevitable that the best independents with their entrepreneurial direction, local market knowledge, and ability to make local decisions quickly continue to merge their advantages.”

These are two strong organizations that deliver value for their members that “competed” in the space who are now merging. If the merger is approved by IMARK members the combination of services in the Electrical Channel should benefit their members.

Where one party has better agreements, they can move to the best agreement. This increases the “buying power” for all the services the organizations offer, and it should create efficiencies and savings for distributor members.

Whether this first merger move between IMARK and AD is a harbinger of future collaboration between the two parties in other channels is pure speculation, but it is worth watching to see if the electrical merger delivers the expected value.

As always, we would love to get your feedback, so please feel free to comment below or reach out to me directly at john.gunderson@dorngroup.com




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