The Multi-Million Partnership Kickoff


The value of strategic partnership can be difficult to pin down: partnerships happen over time and deliver more than just simple, transactional sales. Their value often comes in the form of better business intelligence that leads to insightful, revenue-driving strategy, rather than an easily summed number. But every now and then, the ROI of partnership comes with a clear, immediate dollar sign, one that signals the impact a strong partner can have on business opportunity.

 On paper, it might have been hard to see why Thomas Lynott, vice president of estimating for Poole & Kent, should meet with Wayne Garrett, senior director of commercial sales, and John Geoghegan, Southeast general manager for the Carrier Corporation.  In fact, it might have been easy to argue that there was no point in having a meeting at all for two simple reasons: Poole & Kent already had two strongly established partnerships in HVAC and Carrier had minimal presence in the Baltimore area.

 “JCI/York and Trane are very strong in our market, and that’s because they package a lot of their equipment¾air handling with controls and services¾all in one. If you’ve got a big job, you need a single source. To work with Carrier, you’d have to get separate chiller prices, write additional purchase orders, and if there are issues, like equipment that won’t talk to each other or work together, you have no single source of responsibility to help you work it out,” explains Lynott. For that reason, Carrier simply wasn’t an option for most of Poole & Kent’s projects.

 Regardless, Lynott believes in learning everything he can about technology that could help his clients. Lynott met with Garrett and Geoghegan at MechanicalXchange 2017 and learned about some key differentiators that could make a significant impact on client energy goals.

 “From an energy perspective, [Carrier] chillers are incredible,” says Lynott. “Carrier does some interesting things that make their chillers extremely efficient¾smooth bore technology on the condenser tubes that allow proper lift of the refrigerant and better water distribution, for example. They’re just amazing chillers.”

 Just a few months after MechanicalXchange 2017, Lynott had the chance to see those chillers in action. “We have a $120 million project for Johns Hopkins Hospital, renovating the central plant, a phased, four-year project. We put it out for bid, and John called me. He said, ‘I’d love to bid the job, but I don’t know if we have a shot.’”

 Lynott thought they did have a shot. Based on what he had learned about Carrier chillers at MechanicalXchange, he wanted to see what Carrier could put together for their project. “This project required millions of dollars in standalone chillers, not packaged equipment, so it had the potential to be a good fit. I went to North Carolina to visit their plant. I met their people, and they showed me their equipment.”

 It turned out Carrier was the perfect fit for Johns Hopkins. Carrier won the $12 million project and put partnership roots down in an untapped market, and Johns Hopkins got super-efficient chillers and increased energy savings. Poole & Kent came out with a partner that could help them advance their own company goals and their client’s at the same time.

 “With Carrier, we got increased efficiency, the best product, and a good price. That’s a company you want as a partner, and that’s truly what came from the conversation we had at MechanicalXchange.”