The HARDI member spotlight serves as a regular feature through which the association management highlights standout individuals in the HVACR industry and their companies. For our December Member Spotlight, we spoke with Brian Neustadt, Vice President of National Accounts for Neuco, a Master Wholesaler of HVACR Controls, based out of Bolingbrook, Illinois. We highlight Brian for his help in kickstarting the conversation around the Controls Industry and assisting HARDI in their research on the topic.
How did you get started in the HVACR Controls Industry, and what has your career path looked like since then?
Being 3rd generation in a family owned business, I have been in and around the company for the majority of my life. I always felt that Neuco would be where I would end up and 18 short years later I still feel the same way! My dad and cousins were firm believers in starting at the bottom and earning your way up. So my journey started in the warehouse from sweeping and garbage, to returns, purchasing, and then sales. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
What are Controls and how did they become the focus of Neuco?
Controls are basically the “organs” or parts that make equipment/hvac systems run. All controls are needed to allow the function of that piece of equipment to run properly and efficiently. This has been a focus for the company for well over 50 years with my grandfather and great uncles realizing the need to have replacement parts available for customers in timely matter. That same focus and niche is still the main driver in our business today.
You can watch the full history of Neuco here.
What is one thing about the industry that has changed that has surprised you?
I shouldn’t be surprised of any technology these days in the world we live in but I cant help but be a bit surprised at how much the industry and the equipment, controls, processes, and software have become so much smarter in what seems like such a short time. IT has become such a vital and dependent part of our company that is hard to keep up with but a necessity.
How did the conversation start with HARDI to put a focus on Controls and this research?
We had been looking at what direction we wanted the Controls Council to go in and when we would ask the question, What is a controls distributor?, we found there were a lot of different answers depending on who you asked. We wanted to help bring some clarification to what the controls market is and the opportunities that exist.
What outcome from the research did you find most valuable?
I think the research sheds a lot of light on a topic that may tend to get overlooked some. There is a large market out there for controls. And one that can add a lot of value, revenue, and profitability to a business.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Anyone outside of this industry that asks me what the best thing about my job is, I always say without hesitation the people and relationships. Customers, vendors, employees, I really think some of this world’s best most genuine people are ones I get to work with every day.
What is your favorite Holiday tradition?
Family is a big deal for us and the more the better! Squeezing as many as we can into our house and laughing all day/night is about as good as it gets.
Brian will be leading a Controls Session at HARDI Annual Conference next week in New Orleans. It is recommended that you watch our Controls Webinar prior to attending the session for the full picture.
“THE BLURRING OF LINES IN THE CONTROLS INDUSTRY”
The types of controls in the HVACR industry and the ways they go from manufacturer to end-users have experienced possibly the greatest amount of change and disruption that any other aspect of the HVACR industry. HARDI spent much of 2019 studying HVACR controls and their distribution strategies and has uncovered a number of fascinating opportunities and threats to members of the traditional HVACR distribution channel. This session will provide an overview of these research findings and introduce several ways HVACR distributors can and should adapt to these new paradigms.