ACR Journal

February 2022 | March 2022 DISTRIBUTOR / WHOLESALER 24 As one of the largest and most successful independent air conditioning distributors in the UK, Cool Designs Ltd (CDL) has never rested on its laurels. Cool Designs invests in stock, sta and systems in anticipation of a busy year Volume 8 No.2 And, despite the challenges currently facing the sector, the coming year is no exception, with plans in place to grow in all product sectors covered by its leading portfolio of Toshiba, Carrier, CIAT and Fujitsu air conditioning equipment. “The global shortage of containers that hit UK suppliers last year – not helped by driver shortages, component shortages and Covid-related disruption – will hopefully ease this year as suppliers catch up and the forward-thinking measures we are putting in place bear fruit,” says Darrel Birkett, CDL founder and managing director. This includes big investments in stock to ensure customers have access to equipment when required, amounting to £2m in value across all products. The company has always maintained high stocks of Toshiba RAS units, and is extending the policy to multi-splits, digital inverter units and the recently introduced Haori residential split units. CDL reports significant success with Toshiba’s innovative Haori, which enables clients to use matched textiles from a room’s decor to wrap the indoor unit. “There is really nothing else like it on the market,” says Darrel Birkett. “Homeowners like the ability to incorporate it into their colour scheme rather than using the classic o -white box, which is designed mainly for use in o ces and commercial environments.” Customers also liked the unit’s filtration features, he said, which in the age of Covid and the growing awareness of IAQ is coming to the fore. The case for heat pumps was also now more persuasive than ever, given the pressure to decarbonise heating and replace gas-fired systems. Other elements in CDL’s proactive stance to further strengthen customer support are increased sta ng and investment in new order systems. On sta ng, this includes the appointment of an additional internal salesperson at the Warrington o ce to help with order processing, and an Applied product specialist to support project delivery. On the systems front, the company is rolling out a new cloud-based end-to-end software solution that streamlines the flow of information between customers and suppliers. Among the benefits, it enables details of orders sent by email to be automatically populated into CDL’s order system, saving time and reducing the chance of errors. This is particularly useful for larger VRF projects, where there may be scores of units with complex model requirements and options. Alongside, CDL is developing a dedicated online e-commerce platform to help customers working from home. This will give the ability to place orders directly online, 24/7, with full access to account details, including order history and active orders. “Increasingly, people are comfortable doing this. However, it will of course remain optional and just another way to communicate with us to increase convenience. We will continue to accept orders via all the traditional channels – phone, email, text – whatever channel our customers prefer.” CDL compound full of CIAT units CDL's new HQ offices

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