RenewAire®, a leading manufacturer of HVAC and indoor air quality (IAQ) products, announced it reduced light to heavy commercial equipment lead times an average of 50 percent over the last six months. Equipment delivery is now near pre-pandemic levels when RenewAire was among the HVAC industry frontrunners in short lead times.
Like all HVAC industry manufacturers, RenewAire was challenged by post COVID-19 order spikes for mitigative IAQ equipment. The order increases combined with global supply chain interruptions and worker shortages led to longer commercial equipment lead times that peaked last March prior to management’s new employee initiative.
RenewAire’s six-month-long staff expansion focused on improved assembly technician recruiting and training strategies despite the Madison, WI area’s unprecedented low 1.9% unemployment rate. The 40-year-old ERV/DOAS manufacturer increased its residential and commercial equipment assembly workforce for assembly, which is accomplished 100% in the U.S. at its Waunakee, WI headquarters. Consequently, RenewAire added nighttime and weekend shifts.
As capacity rises, RenewAire President Scott Forest forecasts 2024 Q1 lead times to be 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 10 weeks for light, medium and heavy commercial products, respectively, which will be posted at the company’s 2024 AHR Expo booth #S7588 in Chicago.
The forecasted rate is expected to equal and potentially surpass RenewAire’s pre-COVID-19 lead times. The COVID-19 era didn’t shut down manufacturing. Instead, RenewAire continued significant orders and shipments growth from 2020 to 2022. That growth helped the company maintain its more than a decade-long string of year-to-year sales records.
The lead time reductions have drawn many new customers, especially those requiring expedited or customized orders that other manufacturers can’t yet meet. “We now have the flexibility to accommodate a project’s needs faster,” said James Abney, RenewAire’s Technical Sales Support Manager. “Lead time is one of RenewAire’s historic value propositions, so this restores our positive vibe in the market.”
“Our lead times are now mostly in line with the competition and major complementary equipment manufacturers,” added John Schilling, RenewAire’s Regional Sales Director–Southeast. “According to capacity advances the last six months, it looks like we’ll soon be back to quick lead times that earned us our reputation for meeting commercial project timelines.”