Air conditioning industry joins the Internet age

R. Hira Traders says its deal with SupplySpot.com will bring wider choice and price transparency to the region's massive AC and plumbing industry.

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By  David Ingham Published  December 12, 2000

R. Hira Traders says its deal with SupplySpot.com will bring wider choice and price transparency to the region's massive AC and plumbing industry.

The Internet could shake up the region's air conditioning industry if a new agreement between a leading international name and a major local player works out.

International plumbing, AC and mechanical portal, SupplySpot.com, has done a deal with Sharjah-based R. Hira Traders that will see Hira promoting the SupplySpot.com portal throughout the Middle East. Hira will also act as SupplySpot.com's regional sales representative and be responsible for fulfilment and product training.

Hira believes that the Internet could benefit the region's AC industry in many ways. B2B marketplaces like SupplySpot.com are theoretically supposed to increase choice and price transparency. SupplySpot.com also offers a facility where dealers can place excess inventory for sale.

"Through SupplySpot.com, businesses within our region are now able to significantly expand their manufacturer and supplier base, and distributors can sell or liquidate excess inventory via the site's marketplace functionality," says Manish Gira, business manager at R. Hira Traders. "SupplySpot.com represents an ideal solution to many of our region's past deficiencies in this industry."

Michael Hobbs, founder and president of SupplySpot.com, has big ambitions for the deal. He's eyeing a 30% increase in his company's sales as a result of the agreement.

"The Middle East is the world's second largest HVAC market. This strategic partnership enables us to infiltrate a new, substantial market within our industry," says Hobbs. "Partnering with the most established HVAC entity in the Middle East will undoubtedly build our credibility in the region, allowing us to foster instant relationships with key industry players."

The deal highlights one significant New Economy trend: the need for pure dot-com plays to find bricks & mortar partners that can deal with practical, on-the-ground issues such as training and customer support.

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