This Summer’s Air Conditioner Shortages Should Have Consumers Thinking About Their Winter Heating Needs Now

There has been much talk in the media about the global semiconductor shortage, which has upended supply and caused havoc across several industries, including the consumer electronics and automotive sectors, where the impact has been most egregious. (As an aside, if you have been considering selling your used car, there has never been a better time to cash in.) But semiconductors are not the only materials in short supply. Resins, epoxies, and plastics used in the manufacturing of air conditioners, furnaces, and other home comfort and home renovation products are all in short supply, with the potential to negatively impact countless Canadians this year.


Global supply chain shortages for many products have been impacting industries since the start of the pandemic in 2020, caused by pandemic-related and economic issues in transportation, labor shortages, materials, rising demand, and shifting consumer spending patterns.


During COVID, people spent more time at home and disposable income that might have traditionally been reserved for vacations and entertainment have instead been invested in home improvements. A recent survey found that more than half of Canadians renovated their home last year for personal/non-ROI purposes. This has caused a sharp increase in demand for home improvement products. At Simply Group, we have seen this through the delay in projects from our dealer network, who are facing a steady logjam in securing the products and materials needed to complete these projects.


Coming into the summer, the increased demand in projects, coupled with the shortage of materials in the manufacturing industry, resulted in massive delays. If you are putting in a pool, waiting 16 weeks for a liner might be an enormous hassle and a huge letdown as enjoying that pool might have to wait until next summer. But waiting months for a new air conditioner amid a continental heat wave is an entirely different scenario, and one to which many Canadians can, unfortunately, attest.


There is an important lesson to be learned from the trends we have seen this past year. Traditional consumer behaviour must change when it comes to home heating and cooling, and homeowners must be more proactive in assessing their current equipment. To be certain, repairing or replacing heating and cooling units can be expensive, but it is much more financially feasible before an emergency than when you are faced with a unit that breaks down in the middle of the season, when demand is at its peak and supply at its low point. People pay more and often settle for cheaper, less efficient products.


Working from home, for those of us who have had the luxury to do so, has been life-altering. But the fatigue for many is palpable, and the impact that this is starting to have on our highly valued culture and employee satisfaction cannot be underestimated. When we do officially return to the office, we will adopt a flexible approach and safeguard that work for our team members. These will include hoteling stations instead of designated workspaces, rotating schedules, and anchor days in the office. Through their passion, dedication, and productivity, our team members have earned the right to choose how they will make the return to office work for them.


Historically, demand for HVAC equipment increases sharply as the seasons change. This demand will be exacerbated in today’s environment. In Canada, living through a summer without a working air conditioner is uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst. Living through a week of winter without a working furnace is simply unimaginable. Now is the time for people to bring in an expert to make sure their winter equipment is ready to handle what is to come. And if their equipment is not ready, this is the time to get ahead of the demand.


Dr. Andrew Bowgen Chief Risk Officer

Joining Simply Group’s executive team in 2018, Andrew Bowgen, PhD, brings an exceptionally analytical eye—he holds a PhD in Comparative Physiology from the University of Cambridge—along with years of leadership experience from some of Canada’s top financial institutions. As Simply Group’s Chief Risk Officer, Andrew has played a critical role in the company’s strategic growth by effectively identifying, evaluating, and managing risk factors and opportunities. He is also responsible for laying the groundwork for Simply Group’s strong risk management framework and cultivating a sound risk culture across the organization. Before joining Simply Group, Andrew served as Director of Risk Strategy at Flexiti Financial, where he was responsible for mitigating exposure and building an environment of risk awareness across the organization. He also previously worked as a Senior Credit Risk Manager at Scotiabank and spent five years as a Senior Credit Risk Manager overseeing risk governance at JPMorgan Chase.

Joseph Krimker Co-founder, EVP, Strategic Partnerships and Business Development

As co-founder and Executive Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Joseph Krimker has played a critical role in building Simply Group to the entity it is today. After graduating from the Schulich School of Business in 2013, with a wealth of entrepreneurial experiences throughout his youth, Joseph joined his brother, Lawrence, to start Simply Green Home Services™. Due in part to Joseph’s incredible success in sales, the company exceeded $30 million in annual revenue in just the first three years of business. Today, Joseph is responsible for identifying new avenues of strategic growth for Simply Group, as well as maximizing the company’s operating performance.

Joseph proudly maintains a “lead by example” leadership style, while subscribing to a “servant leadership” philosophy. A true salesperson at heart, he is well known for his competitive nature, infectious positive energy, and a warm and empathetic personality. Having grown up with a single, immigrant mother in a Toronto co-operative housing complex, Joseph believes in continually giving back to the communities we operate in and conducting business with a high degree of humility and integrity.

Jerome Peeters Chief Operating Officer

Jerome Peeters is an accomplished business executive with over 22 years of Financial Industry experience leading business operations and transformation in various B2B and B2C organizations. With his entrepreneurial vision and disciplined data-driven approach, Jerome continuously propels growth and energizes organizations to drive results in changing environments. Prior to joining Simply Group in 2019, he was the Chief Operating Officer at Flexiti Financial, where he led the strategy and operational growth of the FinTech company. Jerome also previously served as Vice President of Operations and Client Services at Laurentian Bank and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience for Sears Canada. Prior to this, Jerome played a pivotal role in the growth of President’s Choice Financial as Senior Director of Marketing and Change Management for this award-winning brand.

Lawrence Krimker Chief Executive Officer

Lawrence Krimker has become one of North America’s most accomplished business leaders. As Chief Executive Officer of Simply Group, he has managed to revolutionize the residential and commercial energy sector, successfully disrupting and transforming an industry that had grown complacent. Through strategic acquisitions, innovative business tactics, and the creation of a specialty financing model that has made high-efficiency energy appliances more affordable for homeowners and businesses, Lawrence has amassed over $1.45 billion in assets for his companies and has helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians reduce their carbon footprint.

Simply Group was born from Lawrence’s vision to change the way Canadians think about home comfort. In seven short years, the company, which started as Simply Green Home Services, successfully expanded into the financing and lending sector, making Simply Group one of Canada’s largest non-bank suppliers of consumer credit. Lawrence continues to push the company forward with a strong focus on innovation and an unwavering commitment to building mutually beneficial relationships with its dealer network, OEMs, and consumers. With his strong leadership, vision, and passion, Simply Group has been celebrated as being Great Place to Work-Certified™ for six years in a row.

Lawrence’s ambition, drive, and strong work ethic hail from his humble beginnings. The son of a single mother—an immigrant to Canada who relied on multiple jobs and subsidized housing to make ends meet—Lawrence grew up seeing the value of these qualities firsthand. He started his first business at only 16 years old while still in high school. He then attended the Schulich School of Business on a full scholarship and in his spare time, he launched a window-cleaning business that went on to gross $2 million in sales with over 34,000 customers, 80 employees, and operations in three locations. After profitably selling the company and graduating at the top of his class, Lawrence went on to launch Simply Green Home Services in 2013.

Raymond Tam Chief Treasury Officer

Raymond Tam is a seasoned finance professional with over 15 years of experience in strategic planning, financial governance, merger and acquisition execution, and business analysis across a spectrum of businesses, including entrepreneurial start-ups, mid-sized businesses, and large established corporations. In his current role at Simply Group, Raymond manages all lender relationships, as well as overseeing the treasury and securitization functions across the organization. Before this, he headed the Merger and Acquisition team at Simply Group, where he was responsible for leading the due diligence efforts on the company’s portfolio and business acquisitions, the most recent being SNAP Financial Group and Dealnet Capital Corp.

Prior to joining Simply Group, Raymond helped to launch a private label consumer financing technology start-up; he was responsible for the development of the company’s accounting and financial operations. Raymond also spent five years as the Divisional Chief Financial Officer for Sears Financial Services, the credit card-issuing arm of Sears Canada. Raymond holds his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Schulich School of Business.