On Aug. 1, Delta Faucet released the first wave of faucets it is offering through the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association's Professional Product Line.
Delta Faucet introduced nine base models it will offer through the PPL program. A price list and literature to distribute to the trade are in production. Delta's PPL faucets incorporate two physical enhancements specific to the program, said Ken Martin, business unit manager of the OEM division of Delta.
"Some of the nine base SKUs are two-handle products, which are part of our Less Handles Program, so potentially contractors will have several thousand units to offer to their customers," Martin said. "The PPL products will be basic Delta models with some enhanced features. One enhancement is a pressure-compensating aerator that resists lime-up and keeps a steady spray pattern. That aerator is only available on our PPL products. Also our two-handle products will have brass stems with 1/4-turn stops, which is a feature available only on one other Delta line."
Delta's PPL products will be shown at the American Supply Association conference in September in San Antonio, Texas, and the PHCC convention in October in Nashville, Tenn. Delta announced its participation in the PPL program in October 1998 in Toronto and contributed $200,000 to the PPL marketing program at that time. In addition, Delta will donate a percentage of the sales of these products to the PHCC-NA.
"We truly see this line evolving and being a plus for the trade," Martin said. "We are also investigating labor reimbursement as an enhancement for the future."
Phase II of Delta's PPL faucet offering, which will include other product and value-added enhancements, is scheduled for introduction in January 2000.
"We challenge other manufacturers to demonstrate their continued support to contractors and wholesalers by participating in this worthy project," said Chuck Dowd, Delta's president.
In fact, just before the Delta introductions, Ward Manufacturing became the sixth member of the PPL. In July, Rosemont, Ill.-based Ward, which makes pipe fittings, joined Delta, Bradford White, Anaheim Manufacturing, Hammond Valve and Water by Design as the newest member of the program.
Ward will offer its grooved products, plain-end fittings, branch connectors, malleable threaded fittings, cast iron fittings and its Wardflex flexible natural gas piping through the PPL. Product packaging will carry the PHCC logo. All of Ward's PPL products carry a lifetime warranty and are available only through wholesale channels.
With six manufacturers committed to the PPL and negotiations in progress with several others, the PPL is getting closer to its purpose of offering a complete line of plumbing, heating and cooling products, said Don Morin, PPL chairman.
Balancing marketing efforts between consumers and professionals will be a critical part of the success of the PPL marketing campaign, said Allen Inlow, CEO of PHCC-NA. PPL representatives were scheduled to meet with the advertising company producing the television commercials by the end of August to discuss the progress of ad production.