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Customer Case Study: Slim House Preservation in Alabama

11/24/2020

Watching your margins is a top concern for any small business—but especially for those working with expensive HVAC equipment. In order to stay competitive, the owner of Slim House Preservation LLC, Mussa Nkinda, knew he needed a better option for sourcing the items he needed for repairs and new system installations.

Fortunately, he found Surplus City Liquidators. And by running the numbers for his time and shipping, Mussa was able to figure out a way to save even more money. Now, he’s in a better position to protect his bottom line. He keeps his customers happy, and that in turn leads to more profits and more business from their referrals. Checking with Surplus City first has become a win-win for everyone!

 

About Slim House Preservation

As a small business owner based in Alabama, Mussa keeps busy all year long. With his company Slim House Preservation, he’s working on an average of 5 to 6 new projects at any given time and works hard to get each house in order. From redoing the flooring and roofing, to installing new HVAC systems and making other repairs, Mussa is a truly skilled contractor and business professional. He also services HVAC systems for clients around town, including residential properties and even gas stations and convenience stores. On top of that, managing 20 to 25 rental properties also takes up a lot of his time.

In order to keep his profits on track, Mussa pays close attention to his expenses. But as anyone in the HVAC industry knows, the cost of maintaining multiple heating and cooling systems can go up fast. Getting these products for as cheap as possible—without compromising on quality—is crucial for his success.

“Most of the time, it’s a price issue,” says Mussa. He explains that that he doesn’t have as much capital as other, larger companies, so growing his business “depends on saving every dollar.”

The fact that most of his HVAC projects require an entire system replacement makes this focus on cost even more important. “It’s very infrequent that it’s just a part that broke down,” says Mussa. And when it comes to new systems, he needs to get them fast. Being able to save a significant amount of money on these full units is how he’s been able to gain more customers year over year. The secret? He’s made Surplus City his go-to supplier.

 

Benefits of Checking with Surplus City First

Since 2017, Mussa has been contacting Surplus City to find great HVAC equipment at low prices. These days, he says he’s able to compete with “the big guys” because his competitors think he has “very deep pockets.”

For example, while another company might quote customers $6K for a project, Mussa can come in and confidently say he can finish the job for $4K. Plus, he’s able to reassure his customers that he won’t keep them waiting. Since he’s able to source HVAC products more quickly than his competition, customers don’t have to wait around for days, a week, or more.

Browsing the Surplus City stock gives Mussa a unique edge. The fact that he’s built a relationship with the service members in the warehouses makes finding the parts he needs even easier.

“The team is friendly and knowledgeable,” says Mussa. “They’re very familiar with the inventory, and can tell me very quickly, ‘We have a truck coming in—give me at least an hour or two and I can find out if the item is here.” Making a quick call when he can’t find what he needs online helps ensure he’s keeping his costs as low as possible. Sometimes he’ll even stock up on specific parts or HVAC units in advance because he knows a lot of his customers will be interested in them down the road.

 

HVAC Equipment Orders: Delivery vs Pick-up

Occasionally Mussa will buy his parts and HVAC equipment direct from a wholesaler online. But since he’s motivated to meet his customers’ needs ASAP, dealing with Surplus City first tends to be his best option. Right now he has a large pickup truck and a trailer. Rather than wait for a delivery to come to him, he’s decided to pick up most of the items on his list himself.

“I’m a business man. Whenever other companies have problems, they might buy online,” says Mussa. “But for me, if I have nothing else to do, I can drive 16 hours.”

Mussa is usually able to predict trends with his customers, which helps protect his margins. One order might mean getting 4 HVAC systems in the pipeline because he knows he’ll need them on-hand sooner than later. Lately, he’s been selling a lot of heat pumps. Being in the south, a lot of people are moving to heat pumps because they save money and have a lower investment with the install.

Shipping costs can be expensive. Plus, the timelines aren’t always ideal. That’s why Mussa has decided to personally make the trip. He’ll browse the Surplus City inventory in the evening, and then confirm his order with the team in the morning. If he has a day or two free, then he can leave at night to drive up to Indianapolis and be back to his place in Alabama by 3 pm.

While this routine won’t work for everyone, it’s allowed Mussa to really maximize the savings he gets with Surplus City—all while boosting customer satisfaction. Delivering a tight turnaround for their most pressing projects is always appreciated.

 

Boosting Profits with Happy Customers

Mussa has been able to grow his company because he consistently proves to his customers that he’s able to get them what they need with quality equipment, low prices, and speedy service. 

“The competition is very high to stay in business,” he says. Knowing how to retain customers is key. “If you help them today, you know that you’re going to get all the other business after that. And when you deal with one customer, it could lead to 5 after that.”

Getting his HVAC compressors, coils, and other parts or whole units cheaper allows him to save money. And giving his customers the benefit of replacing parts that are 10 years old before installing a brand-new system works to gain his customers’ trust and confidence. Establishing a partnership with Surplus City has played a big role in that success and continues to help keep his company well-funded for future growth.

 

Surplus City’s staff is always happy to speak with new customers. Have inventory questions? Need help finding a part or piece of equipment that isn’t currently in-stock? There’s a good chance the team will be able to identify an alternative! Please call to learn more: (800) 428-4339 so you can get your work done on-time and on- or under-budget!