Heatcraft Branch of the Year 2015
Heatcraft Management and Staff gathered at the Holiday Inn at Warwick Farm, NSW on 19th January for the annual Heatcraft Australia and New Zealand Sales Excellence Awards Dinner. One of the major awards of the night was Branch of the Year – which went to Castle Hill (NSW), led by Branch Manager, Michael Nieland.
Throughout the past 12 months, the Castle Hill Branch not only excelled in the areas of Sales Growth, but also in the areas of Safety Compliance and Stock Cycle Counts.
Achieving excellent customer service is a core value of the team.
“Responding to our customers is a daily priority for us. We work extra hard to go above and beyond for them in terms of shipping orders, answering their technical queries and anticipating their future order needs.”
“In terms of safety compliance, we acted as soon as we were made aware of any criteria. The idea is to know what needs to be done and get it done, when it arises.”
Throughout the year, the team won Branch of the Month in June, August and September, and Branch of the Quarter in Q3 and Q4. In terms of what else contributed to the team’s success over the last year, Michael commented;
“Working with customers who have specific needs and projects, making sure orders are moved as quick as possible from start to finish with minimal fuss. I find having good relationships goes a long way, particularly if issues arise, lastly a follow up conversation is always welcomed.”
The branch is supported by Field Engineer, Russell Cheeseman who is often on hand to assist with project quotes and technical enquiries that come to the counter.
In October last year the business responded to requests from the Branch Team on getting the product levels right across the entire branch network, to both address current shortfalls and to satisfy the peak demand season.
Michael Ryan, Director of Sales commented;
"The benefits are very real. If the shelves aren't stocked then it can delay a project which is generally time critical, and we know delays can be costly.”
“It’s worked for our branch and I know for many other Heatcraft branches”. “We’re pleased to be able to offer a wide range so our customers know they can generally get what they need when they call us.”
The Awards night acknowledged other areas of excellence in the organisation and congratulations are extended to the other winners from the evening. Some of them included:
Region of the Year - NSW
Account Manager of the Year – Judson Hamsa (VIC)
Strategic Account Manager of the Year – Dalveer Sangha (NSW)
L-R: Marc Russell (Customer Service Representative), Michael Nieland (Branch Manager), Robert Lagan (Customer Service Representative), Russell Cheeseman (Field Engineer)
Heatcraft partners with L&H to expand distribution network
Heatcraft Australia and Lawrence and Hanson (L&H) Electrical are excited to announce a new distribution partnership in Australia and New Zealand. The partnership is designed to create an easier buying experience of HVAC+R and Electrical products for both Heatcraft and L&H contractors.
Heatcraft is a leading OEM and Wholesaler manufacturing and distributing refrigeration and HVAC equipment, parts and refrigerant. Heatcraft offers key brands including Kirby, Lennox, Interlink and Gas2Go in over 70 locations throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Lawrence & Hanson Electrical Wholesalers are Australia’s leading distributor of electrical materials, products and services to the contractor and industrial electrical markets. L&H has 180 branches throughout metropolitan and regional Australia.
As part of the distribution partnership, Heatcraft will expand its footprint and open new Heatcraft Plus branches utilising the L&H network. The Heatcraft Plus branches within L&H are a branch in a branch concept. They are branded Heatcraft Plus because they are additional (Plus) outlets for the Heatcraft network. Heatcraft Plus branches will have a product range and stocking similar to that of a standalone Heatcraft branch.
Heatcraft Plus provides:
• Transactions at an L&H branch just like a standalone Heatcraft location
• Access to the Heatcraft Smart@ccess online tool for ordering and for pick up
• Convenient access to HVAC+R and Electrical products
• Ability for contractors to pick up all of their needs at one location from 2 companies they can count on
• Increase in contractor efficiency of doing business
The partnership is an exciting response to customer needs and offers contractors a complete product offering unmatched in the market today. It provides contractors a one-stop shopping experience which is important in today’s economic conditions ensuring more time on site and less time arranging materials.
Heatcraft has currently opened two Heatcraft Plus branches at Penrith, NSW and Wagga Wagga, NSW. Heatcraft and L&H plan to expand this combined offer geographically making it even easier for customers to access Heatcraft products outside the current Heatcraft network.
Tools for WorldSkills
Heatcraft Australia together with CPS Products and Teng Tools is pleased to donate a variety of tools valued at $5,000 to WorldSkills Australia. The tools will be used by National Refrigeration 2014 Winner Beau Kupris as he represents Australia at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil on 11-16 August.
Beau is one of 25 WorldSkills Skillaroos that will attend the WorldSkills Competition. The competition takes place every two years and is the biggest vocational education and skills showcase in the world.
In 2015, 59 countries with over 1,200 competitors will compete in 50 skill categories.
When asked how he has been preparing for the event, Beau commented,
“I’ve been doing extra training at Granville TAFE, with Michael McHugh and Brian Mobbs overseeing my work. Whilst the nerves are starting, I’m very excited to be competing. Representing Australia just by doing my everyday job is going to be amazing.”
Beau was thrilled to collect the donation from Heatcraft Vice President, Tom Overs.
“Most of the tools I have been using are dated. I can’t wait to get them back to the TAFE and start using them”.
Heatcraft Australia thanks CPS Products and Teng Tools for their generous contributions.
Productivity on the go at Heatcraft
Heatcraft continues to develop its smart@ccess platform with customers now able to check stock
availability and order from the new online product catalogue.
“Our customers want to stay productive in today’s connected environment. We’ve made improvements to
our smart@ccess customer portal so that they can easily find product information with net pricing and stock
availability at their nearest branch before placing an order - all from their desktop, tablet or mobile phone”,
commented Janina Geraghty, Heatcraft’s e-Business & Communications Manager.
The extensive online product catalogue will include technical documents, installation manuals, brochures,
user manuals and more. Visitors can search by line item or product category and find information quickly
thanks to a new site-wide, multi-faceted search function. The search function will pre-populate as you type
and display a list of categorised results including PDF documents and brochures.
The smart@ccess online ordering system is unique because customers have the choice to either add to
cart straight from the catalogue or create their order through our industry leading project tools. This takes
the guess work out of project estimations and ensures they purchase the right product for the application.
Real time order status updates let customers know when the order is ready for pick up, so they can plan
their day’s travel and eliminate waiting time at the branch. Customers can also consolidate orders and
better plan their job requirements, reducing the risk of forgotten items.
The new additions to smart@ccess join the suite of project tools and account maintenance features which
have been providing convenience 24/7 to Heatcraft customers since the portal was launched in 2012.
Janina added, “The additions have been developed to meet the specific needs of our customers. We
conducted a survey and have responded promptly to their feedback. Heatcraft is focussed on improving the
customer experience and helping our customers improve their productivity."
Heatcraft customers who do not already have a smart@ccess login should contact their nearest Heatcraft
branch today to register.
Investing in our Future - An interview with AIRAH 2014 Student of the Year
Heatcraft Australia is a proud sponsor of the AIRAH Awards. In 2014, Heatcraft sponsored the Student of the Year category. Winner, Matthew Web shared his insights into the future of HVAC&R.
What is biomimicry and what lead you to specialise in this area?
Biomimicry, from Greek "bios" (meaning life) and "mimesis" (to imitate) is innovation inspired by nature. It offers designers - in all fields of human endeavour - innovation opportunities to develop new products, processes and systems in a more sustainable way. By studying natural adaptions in great detail, humanity has the opportunity to learn new or alternative strategies in all aspects of human technology. With the rapid development in the biological sciences – particularly in microbiology and genetics – there is an ever-growing body of knowledge from which to gather new ideas. The scope for identifying biological inspiration to solve design problems is virtually limitless.
There are three key requirements to effectively applying biomimicry to building engineering innovation. Firstly, both the design problem and its biological solution must be well defined and understood. Secondly, a suitable characteristic, species or ecosystem must be identified that will enhance the performance. Thirdly, a viable process is required to successfully translate ideas from the natural world to the technological domain. Architecture has taken inspiration from the natural world from its very beginnings. Recently, however, much of the recent focus has been either on aesthetic appeal or directly applying living elements to buildings, such as green walls. Alternatively, I am focussed on functional biomimicry, which practices a translation of biological characteristics to building design – and not necessarily the formal aesthetics. Functional biomimicry aims to understand nature in detail so that the physical, chemical or material essence can be abstracted to the technological domain. By reverse engineering biology in this way, functional biomimicry can play a critical role in improving building performance and occupant comfort.
I suppose that was the attraction of biomimicry for me - alternative solutions and new ideas for building design already exist if we could study and perceive the natural world in a different way. I have always had an interest in the natural world too, and the possibility to combine a study of nature with sustainable design was too good an opportunity to pass up.
We see you are focussing on building facade design. What changes are you advocating here?
There are plenty of opportunities to improve upon existing facade design, which tends - at times - to focus on the aesthetics and has been somewhat isolated from the rest of the building services. In actuality, building facades play a critical role in achieving the desired Indoor Environment Quality desired by occupants while also improving building energy efficiency. In other words, I'm advocating better integration between design disciplines and a more holistic design approach when it comes to facades. I think this is becoming more recognised within the industry. In biomimetic terms, the surface area of an animal isn't designed independent of its heart and blood vessels - they are suitably sized and balanced to provide nutrients to all of the animal's skin as well as adequate cooling and heating abilities to cope with temperature extremes.
When speaking about biomimicry specifically, we can observe the efficiency and effectiveness of skins in nature, which present a vast array of different interfaces that can provide inspiration for new facade ideas. Additionally, natural skins in nature are reactive and adaptive - they do not present one single set of constant properties to the external environment. Skin is a key component in human thermoregulation and acts as the heat transfer interface to the external thermal environment. If the brain’s hypothalamus detects excessive heat gain, sweating begins, promoting evaporation. Hairs flatten against the skin, and warm blood flow to vessels beneath the skin surface (vasodilation) maximises radiant heat transfer. If we can efficiently mimic these characteristics for a building skin, we can design buildings that are more comfortable for occupants and reduce environmental impact at the same time.
The PIXEL building in Melbourne is pretty special. What was your involvement on this project?
The PIXEL building (shown below) is indeed special and represents a state of the art example of what can be achieved in sustainable design with holistic design approach and a willingness to embrace new and innovative technologies. PIXEL achieved a maximum score in Green Star and a LEED platinum rating - the highest score for a new building. I was involved through the design process, working in particular on the energy and daylight assessments with our Sustainability director, Shane Esmore. We tested various options and configurations using simulation software and also calculated the buildings' operational energy consumption, as well as assessing the impact and effectiveness of the original architectural shading design (by Studio 505).
You've done a lot of research, what have been your key findings?
I have done some research - but the industry changes all the time so there is always more to learn! In terms of sustainable design - if we look at the natural world I think we have come some way but there are still challenges (and opportunities) ahead. Nature is inherently self-sustaining and regenerative. Nature runs on sunlight, never follows a linear path of consumption, uses only the energy it needs, curbs excesses and relies on diversity. Even if we partially followed those principles it would move design in the built environment far further down a sustainable path.
With specific reference to my PhD, I've managed to design a type of building facade that mimics animal skin. Tested with mathematical simulations, I've shown that fur can be an effective, lightweight insulator when applied to the exterior of buildings. Fur can also be adaptive by extending and flattening to change it's insulation capability. It can rotate to better capture or block sunlight, depending on the whether cooling or heating is required. Furthermore, I've been able to adapt and translate the principles of heat transfer in living tissue (bioheat transfer) to building facades. Again, simulations have shown that the biomimetic facade can be an effective method to cool (and heat) buildings and maintain thermal comfort, roughly equivalent to hydronic systems. Adding a layer of external fur is a further improvement. This studies exemplify how biomimetic concepts can be modelled and simulated to assess thermal performance and occupant thermal comfort.