The supply chain in the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Piping (PHCP) and the Industrial Pipe, Valves and Fittings (PVF) industries include manufacturing, distribution and independent manufacturing representatives. Each cater to the needs of skilled tradespeople and end users and offer fulfilling, exciting and stable career opportunities.

The products made and sold in these industries are used in both residential and commercial facilities – from the faucets, pipe and water heaters in your home to the large heating and cooling systems and controls for large commercial buildings.  Given this, it’s easy to see how the PHCP/PVF industry plays a critical role in the daily lives of everyone.


PHCP/PVF distribution is the activity of both selling and delivering products and services from the manufacturer to the customer.  As businesses become more global and customer expectations constantly evolve, it becomes important to improve distribution to ensure that customers, manufacturers and all members of the distribution channel are satisfied. Ultimately, distributors must provide the necessary products and services when and where the customer needs them.

There are many different roles within distribution and that list is expanding with the growth of technology, analytics, e-commerce and more.  Traditional roles include warehouse workers, supply chain professionals, truck drivers, procurement and inside and outside salespeople.

Although distribution as a concept is relatively simple, in practice distribution management may involve a diverse range of complex activities and disciplines including detailed logistics, transportation, warehousing, storage and inventory management, kitchen and bath showroom management, IT and sales.

Career Opportunities

The Manufacturing in the PHCP/PVF industry is made up of companies engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products. In short, manufacturers make the products that distributors sell.  The manufacturing companies within the PHCP/PVF supply industry design, develop and produce millions of products, almost all of which we use in one way or another every day.

The manufacturing sector leverages amazing technologies and skill sets including research and development, computer aided design, robotics, injection molding as well as supply chain management and transportation logistics.

Manufacturers also engage in building the brand for their products to further drive preference among contractors and consumers.

Career Opportunities
Independent Manufacturer Representatives

Independent manufacturer representatives are agents who work on behalf of manufacturers to either serve as a manufacturer’s sales force or augment its direct sales team.  Typically, manufacturer reps as they’re commonly referred to, represent multiple manufacturer lines and work closely with distributors to market and sell the lines they represent in the marketplace.

Manufacturers may use their own in-house sales team, independent manufacturer reps or a combination of both to sell their products.

Often, manufacturer reps work with engineers, architects, and builders to get the products they represent specified in the plans of a given project, then rely on distributors to deliver and support those products.

Career Opportunities
Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Piping (PHCP)

The plumbing, heating, cooling and piping (PHCP) industry is integral in modern industrial systems.  The industry is comprised of plumbing systems that protect the nation’s safety and health, heating and cooling systems to increase safety, productivity, human health and comfort, and piping that tie all of these systems together.

The PHCP industry is an essential part of an industrialized society and helps support the transportation of everything from the steam in nuclear power plants and oil in refineries to the gasoline used in automobiles and water supplied inside buildings.

Career Opportunities
Industrial Pipe, Valves and Fittings (PVF)

Pipe, valves, and fittings are the parts that allow materials to flow from one place to another.  PVF plays an essential role in our everyday life including our drinking water, gas for cars and more. Depending on the application, pipe, valves, and fittings come in various shapes and sizes and can be made from metals and non-metals.

Pipe, valves, and fittings each have their own function.  Pipe is used to carry or transfer substances like liquids, gases, or small solids. Valves are mechanical devices used to regulate, control, or direct the flow and pressure of substances within a piping system. Finally, pipe fittings are pieces that connect pipe sections together and help change the direction of piping. They also adapt pipes to different shapes and sizes and help regulate and measure fluid flow.

The leading PHCP/PVF distributors, manufacturers and independent sales representatives are members of the American Supply Association or ASA, the industry’s national trade association that provides its members education, advocacy, business intelligence and networking.

Career Opportunities