Distributor Profile: Royce Henderson, President, Charles D. Jones Company

What does it take to be successful in the HVAC industry?

To Royce Henderson, president of the Charles D. Jones Company, the answer boils down to this: Make it as easy as possible to do business with us.

Sounds simple enough. But behind that statement there’s much more.

“We will have the most technical expert staff in the industry, we will have the products our customers need, and we will stand by the products we sell,” Henderson says.

A wholesale distributor of heating, cooling and refrigeration products, Charles D. Jones Company was founded by Charles Jones in Kansas City in 1939. Jones was one of a handful of people around the country at that time who sensed the need for wholesale-distribution of heating supplies, so he set up shop as a distributor with three employees and a modest inventory.

Jones’ hunch was right. Contractors preferred to buy from one knowledgeable source. The system presented important efficiencies, and the business grew. In 1972 the employee-owned company expanded its operations westward, opening a branch in Denver and soon after expanding throughout Colorado.

Currently, Charles D. Jones Company has 19 branch locations in Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. The company is wholesale only and handles equipment for heating, refrigeration, and air-conditioning installations for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. In all, they represent over 300 manufacturers with over 10,000 line items.

After Royce Henderson graduated from Defiance College in 1975, he took a job with Robertshaw Controls as a trainer. He became a salesman in 1976.

“I was transferred from Salt Lake City to Denver and Charles D. Jones Company was one of my customers,” says Henderson. “One day, I was approached by the president to come to work for Charles D. Jones Company. I liked the company as well as the opportunity and joined Charles D. Jones in April 1978. I recently celebrated 39 years with the company.”

“As I reflect on those years, I have to say that I’ve met some great people across the country and I feel very lucky to have become part of this great company and industry,” he adds.

Charles D. Jones is successful because we have the most technical inside sales staff, locations and inventory to support our customers.
Henderson says that Charles D. Jones Company separates itself from its competitors by having strategic locations across the markets it serves and having highly experienced territory managers.

“We match our people with stocking the best products from every segment of the industry,” Henderson says. “And YELLOW JACKET is one of the best in their category. YELLOW JACKET products are quality products that have a great reputation. Our customers ask for them by name.”

“Customers trust YELLOW JACKET products because they are quality and last a long time,” Henderson adds. “The younger techs see what the more experienced techs are using – and typically, that’s YELLOW JACKET.”

Asked about how HVAC techs should approach their investment in HVAC equipment, Henderson suggests that younger techs buying tools or instruments should “not buy the cheapest products they can find.” Instead, he says, “Leverage the knowledge of our staff. We talk to dozens and dozens of people every day. We know what works and what doesn’t. We can put you on the right tool for the job that is quality and will last. That’s something you will not get from buying tools online.