Member Insights: Week 2 Pulse Survey Results on Impact of COVID-19

BY Sarah Jilbert and Brandin Bursa
4/21/2020 - COVID-19

We sent our second weekly “pulse” email to distributors and manufacturers on Friday April 17th, to see a snapshot of the industry and how it’s changing week by week, in response to COVID-19.

Note that these results are not statistically significant but provide a general “pulse” of where the industry sits. For a quick visual of the results, refer to the infographic at the bottom of this post.

The weekly pulse is a complement to our scientifically significant Monthly Sales TRENDS Reports and survey responses are due April 23. Please contact Sarah to start receiving this monthly report.

Distributor Snapshot (128 distributor respondents)

 Weekly Sales:

  • The graph below shows that 40% of respondents indicated their weekly sales were down between 5-20%. 71% indicated their weekly sales were down more than 5% this week compared to 54% of respondents last week.
  • All regions had a majority answer of sales being down 5-20% compared to the previous week. However, over 10% of respondents in the Central, Mid-Atlantic and Southwest regions answered that sales are up more than 5% compared to the previous week. In the Northeastern region, 26% answered that sales were down 40-50% and 13% of respondents answered that sales were down more than 50%.

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 12.09.05 PM

Weekly Employment Changes:

  • 63% have not made any employment changes
  • 24% have reduced employee hours compared to 32% last week
  • 11% have laid off employees compared to 13% last week
  • 9% have reduced employee compensation which is the same as last week
  • 6% have furloughed employees compared to 17% last week
  • 5% have hired new employees compared to 8% last week


  • During the week, 61% of participants indicated their customers have applied or plan to apply for a loan, 20% indicated their customers are shutting down, 65% indicated they are still seeing business (down from 74% last week) and 17% indicated their customers need more help.
  • Similar to last week, 42% of respondents have seen no recognizable change to customers paying performance. 36% have less than 15% of their customers extending payment schedules.


  • 65% of respondents indicated they have not experienced supply chain disruptions this week while 17% of respondents have experienced parts disruptions and 16% experienced equipment disruptions. These are similar figures to last week.
  • 50% of respondents have heard there will be no expected product shortages from suppliers, which is down from 63% last week. 38% expect product shortages, 9% expect prices to increase and 23% do not expect prices to increase.
  • 75% of respondents have not asked for their supplier for extended terms, which is up from 69% last week. 20% have asked their supplier for extended terms and were accommodated with no penalty.

Supplier Snapshot (63 manufacturer responses)

Weekly Sales:

  • 44% of respondents said sales were down between 1 – 20% this week
  • 26% said sales were down between 21 – 40%
  • 23% reported steady sales this week compared to last
  • 6% have increased sales

Weekly Employment Changes:

  • 61% reported no changes in employment this week
  • 18% have laid off or furloughed employees
  • 21% have reduced employee hours or pay

Production Facilities:

  • 8% have had production closures this week due to COVID-19
  • 92% were running at full production capacity this week

Challenges Meeting Distributor Orders:

  • Due to the early recognition of HVACR as an essential industry, production from suppliers has been very strong during the pandemic. As you can see from the graph below, supplier’s confidence in meeting all distributor orders is at 94%. This should bode well for the supply chain as we head into warmer months.

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 12.11.10 PM

 Distributor Ability to Pay

  • 43% of respondents reported no change in paying performance
  • 49% reported that less than 15% of their customers are asking for extended payment terms
  • 8% reported that more than 15% of their customers are asking for extended payment terms

HARDI Pulse_4.20 email 2-01

HARDI will continue The Weekly Pulse until the end of April, and then will reevaluate based on the situation at that time.

For questions about Pulse, or to join HARDI to participate in Pulse or the Monthly Sales TRENDS Reports contact: 

Wholesaler Account Manager, Sarah Jilbert at
Supplier Account Manager, Brandin Bursa at