Case Study: Century HVAC Distributing

B2B eCommerce site puts helpful tools and real-time information in customers’ hands.

Century HVAC is a privately owned company serving residential and commercial air conditioning contractors, the apartment industry, schools and government entities, and industrial companies throughout the state of Texas.

  • Industry: Distribution
  • Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
  • ERP Vendor: Epicor
  • ERP Product: Prophet 21
  • Number of locations/facilities: 12
  • Approximate number of SKUs on eCommerce site:  4,300
  • B2B eCommerce site:  centuryhvac.com
  • PDF Case StudyInteractive PDF
Century HVAC eCommerce website shown on a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone, and tabletCentury HVAC Distributing company logo

The Challenge: New Opportunity, New eCommerce Site

Century HVAC was transitioning away from its parent company to a standalone enterprise. The change sparked the need to upgrade its B2B eCommerce offerings and launch a state-of-the-art, modern site that reflected the brand and integrated tightly with business software and systems.

“Our goals for the new website project included an intuitive site for customers that also fit our business needs, like displaying certain products for certain customers,” explained Kourtney Miller, sales and business development manager at Century HVAC. “We also wanted more automated workflows for our team and the ability for customers to view in-stock inventory.”

Picture of a busy Century HVAC distribution warehouse where people are processing eCommerce orders
Quote mark icon

Ever since the site launch, we’ve been working with Channel Software because we keep finding things we can integrate and automate.

- Century HVAC Distributing

The Solution: An eCommerce Partner with a Personal Touch

Century HVAC sought out a B2B eCommerce partner that could deliver a site with modern tools and specific features, and that would be committed to Century’s success.

“We didn’t want a website created by one of the big eCommerce providers,” said Daniel Conolly, York region operations manager at Century HVAC. “We looked for a vendor that would treat us as people and build a relationship because that’s how we work with our own customers.”

Century HVAC found its partner in Channel Software. Channel Software’s CSX eCommerce platform is built for modern distributors that want to grow and scale their business. It’s a responsive, flexible, and easy-to-use solution that seamlessly integrates B2B eCommerce with any ERP system. The Channel Software eCommerce platform includes the ability to integrate with punchout-enabled procurement systems.

Results: Information at Customers’ Fingertips

Today, with a beautiful and robust eCommerce site, Century HVAC customers have an easier, faster way to shop for and purchase HVAC products.

Century HVAC Distributing website homepage.

Up-to-date inventory visibility

Century HVAC’s new website is fully integrated with its Epicor Prophet 21 ERP system, allowing customers to view up-to-date inventory information.

“We have many branches, and now customers can check inventory at those locations at the same time so they know where to drive to get their complete order,” said Miller. “Channel Software also gave us the ability to use different product terminology, because sometimes we use different part names than our customers – so those alternate names help customers search and find exactly what they’re looking for. Overall, the ease of use, better descriptions, and search are probably the biggest improvements from a customer standpoint.”

Increased automation and integration

In addition to a robust search function, Century HVAC has linked high-quality product images to give customers a clearer understanding of each product. Channel Software customized specific items to display only for specific customers. New images are automatically updated to the correct product page, without manual intervention.

“Ever since the site launch, we’ve been working with Channel Software because we keep finding things we can integrate and automate,” said Miller. “For example, we’re working on a Punchout catalog now and that will be fantastic when it’s complete because it’ll take pressure off our operating system.”

New customer tools

More than just a shopping and ordering portal, Century HVAC’s B2B eCommerce site gives customers the tools to select shipping methods, pay invoices online, view their rewards program, and add items to a request for quotation (RFQ).

  • Based on a customer’s shipping method selection, the site logic will display available warehouses and notify customers if a product is out at a location.
Shopping cart of the Century HVAC B2B Commerce website
  • Online invoice payments gives customers a fast and convenient way to pay bills.
  • Customers that don’t have an account with Century HVAC can still browse the site and use the “Add to RFQ” button to build out a quote. At the end of their session, the product information can be emailed to them.
Image of four products that have an add to RFQ button to build a quote on the Century HVAC eCommerce website
  • A new rewards page, integrated with the ERP, displays customer rewards and offers from Century HVAC’s loyalty program. This live access gives customers more accurate, updated information. “People who aren’t dealers can still see that we have the rewards page tab, and that actually prompted someone to ask about becoming a dealer!” said Miller.
Image of customer awards functionality and dollar amounts earned in the Century HVAC eCommerce site

“The new tools have given our customers more information, so they contact our employees less,” said Conolly. “In the past, we had employees on call who would have to come in and physically check stock for customers. That information is all available online now.”

Service: “It’s everything we hoped for.”

The Century HVAC team reports that the transition to managing the site on their own has been an easy one. “It was so valuable to redesign a site from the get-go and build it how we wanted it,” said Conolly.

“Channel Software is all about making the site better, taking it above and beyond what we originally proposed,” said Miller. “I can’t speak highly enough about how they’ve worked with us. It’s everything we hoped for.”

A professional woman having a positive discussion with a colleague about the success they are having using the CSX eCommerce software platform for B2B companies

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