By Sullivan Alexander, Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored
Sullivan Alexander, Contributor for the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Martin King, CEO of Legacy Chiller Systems.
- About the interviewee.
Martin P. King is the CEO and founder of Legacy Chiller Systems. A veteran of the HVAC industry, Martin received his degree in Refrigeration Technology from Universal Technical Institute in 1982 and later started King Air Conditioning, his contracting business. His first entry into manufacturing began in 1995, when he built two chillers for Hewlett-Packard for their HP 83000 chip tester. After HP listed his company as a supplier for testers, his manufacturing business took off, and Legacy Chiller Systems was born. King recently became an inventor as well, having just received a patent on his sustainable water chiller economizer system.
- Tell us about your company (services offered, number of employees, location, type of customers you work with, etc.).
Founded in 1998, the company is a leading manufacturer of process chiller technology in the United States. Based in Diamond Springs, California, the company provides a full line of commercial chiller systems, including air-cooled and water-cooled process fluid chillers.We work across several markets, including semiconductor, military, food production, wine/beer production, medical imaging, among others. All of the company’s manufacturing takes place at our plant in Pennsylvania. Between our plant and our headquarters in California, our company has 12 employees.
- Tell us about the key challenges your Businessfaced during the slow economic recovery.
We’ve experienced several key challenges during this time. It seems that decision makers and buyers have poor visibility, and are still reluctant to make capital investments.Foreign competition is also a challenge: with the amount of cash our government is pumping into the economy, our dollar is dropping compared to other currencies,makingit easier for foreign competitors to come in. There’s also the uncertainty around healthcare costs – we’ve been keeping our eye on the situation and monitoring our next steps.
- How did you overcome the challenges, and position the business for growth?
We’ve invested our time and resources into several areas, notably marketing, public relations, and additional staff on our outside sales force. By monitoring the business climate, we determined that we had to think outside the box with our sales and marketing efforts. With our new patented technology, we knew we could market our expertise and knowledge in the process chiller market, and position ourselves for growth. We’ve already been making strong inroads with our PR and marketing efforts, and will continue to do so as we grow.
- What do you see as “hot button” issues in your industry, and what are the implications?
In the HVAC industry, there’s always been the challenge of a lack of qualified, trained people. There is a real demand for highly qualified technicians that understand chillers, as well as other HVAC equipment. These qualified technicians have to be able to repair and maintain our equipment after installation. Another common hot button issue typical to the industry is the VERY slow commitment to buy new capital equipment. Other issues common to ours (as well as other industries) are the uncertainty about employment, healthcare costs and the overall state of the economy.
- What makes your businessdifferent from the competition?
It’s pretty much one main thing: we focus on WHY we do what we do rather than the WHAT or HOW. Our why is to challenge the status quo. It’s what makes us want to improve our equipment, make it better, and ultimately set the bar in the process chiller industry. I listened to what my customers wanted and needed, and it’s what ultimately led me to innovate and patent a sustainable water chiller economizer system that is more cost-effective and saves energy. Here’s a press release.
Sullivan Alexander is a contributor on the Price of Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston), whom you can learn more about at www.contureadvisors.com.
Sponsored by the Price of Business, on Bloomberg’s home in Houston, TX