A. Robert Carnevale, chairman and CEO of Bradford White Corporation, is a leader with incredible foresight and loyalty. In 1992, Carnevale was head of the ESOT that took control of Bradford White. This was at the beginning of the rise of the DIY-era, with “big box” retail stores appearing on every corner and so many other industry manufacturers rushing to claim their piece of that market. In direct contrast, Carnevale implemented a “wholesale only” philosophy, which raised a lot of eyebrows at the time. People watched and waited. Would this company whose history dated back to 1881 be undone as a result of its dedication to the wholesale channel of distribution? The answer was decidedly “no.”

Eighteen years later, Bradford White’s sales have increased significantly, far surpassing the growth rate of the water heater industry. In 2006, the company was recognized by J.D. Powers and Associates for ranking highest among water heater and boiler manufacturers in satisfying subcontractors in the first-ever HVAC and Water Heater/Boiler Subcontractor Satisfaction Study. According to the 2009 CLEAReport by Clear Seas Research, 2009 marked the fourth consecutive year Bradford White was the tank water heater brand most purchased and most recommended by plumbing and heating contractors. Today, Bradford White has four subsidiary companies under its corporate umbrella: Bradford White Water Heaters, Bradford White Canada, Niles Steel Tank and Laars Heating Systems. The company is built and positioned to thrive in challenging markets through the breadth of its product lines, the various target markets it pursues and the diversity provided by these subsidiary companies.

“While the strategy at Bradford White may seem simple, the key is execution,” shares Bruce Carnevale, vice president of sales and marketing. “The results of the latest Clear Seas Water Heater Study are very gratifying. Bradford White strives to be the supplier of choice to all levels of customers in the wholesale channel, and our message is clearly reaching our customers. During these challenging economic times, we have chosen to invest in our customers’ success with exciting new products such as the Bradford White ICON System and Accessories, which provide solutions for the homeowner and create entirely new revenue streams for the wholesalers and contractors.”

While the strategy might be simple, the initiatives taken by the company to achieve those goals are advanced. Bradford White is one of the most technologically advanced manufacturers of water heating, space heating, combination heating and water storage products in the world. Achieving excellence is the overriding objective at the expansive Research and Development Laboratory. Here, technology takes a remarkable turn by focusing on the professional installer’s needs for superior performance. Bradford White engineers create products and systems with enhanced quality features that are built to last and to serve the constantly evolving and more sophisticated needs of professional contractors. And to this day, the company’s products remain American-made.

When asked about the commitment to sales through professional wholesalers only, Carnevale answers, “We believe water heaters should be installed by qualified professionals because it is the safest way. This is truer now than ever before because the standard product is more complicated and there is a much more complex product offering that requires the knowledge and talent of the professional installers. Wholesale distributors are uniquely positioned to be able to invest the time and funds to properly train their employees on such a product. They have the ability to develop all-encompassing relationships with their customers. What I mean by that is that they get to know the individual needs of customers, develop a level of trust that comes from established relationships and make an effort to educate the contractor on what separates the best product from all the others. We not only want qualified professionals to install our products, but we want qualified professionals to sell them, too.”

Bradford White believes strongly in the philosophy it set in 1992. In looking at the success it has achieved in the years since, it’s obvious that distributors, contractors and end-users believe in Bradford White as well.

Bradford White is a full line manufacturer of residential, commercial and industrial products for water heating, space heating, combination heating and storage applications, and a 2010 Platinum Level ASA Supplier Partner. For more information, please visitwww.bradfordwhite.comor contact Bradford White at 800.523.2931.