Wittichen Supply Company

BillTrust Service Levels Restored

Service levels have been restored at BillTrust, and we are seeing invoices flow through their system consistently and in a timely manner.  We apologize for the temporary interruption and any confusion or frustration this situation may have caused.  We understand and value the importance of receiving invoice copies in a timely manner, and we sincerely appreciate your patience while we worked with BillTrust to restore services.  BillTrust has been a valued partner for many years, and we empathize with them as they work diligently to recover from the criminal cyber-attacks perpetrated against them.

As a matter of prudence, we recommend you carefully examine your Wittichen Invoice Statement this month and reconcile the invoices on your statement against the printed Ship Tickets given to you at the time of shipment.  It is possible, unlikely, but possible, that an invoice on your statement slipped through the cracks during the service outage and was not mailed to you.  Reconciling your Invoice Statement against Ship Tickets should eliminate any confusion.  However, if you have any questions regarding an invoice on your statement, our Accounts Receivable Department, at 205-251-8500, will be glad to assist you.

Below is a list of FAQ’s BillTrust released regarding the malware attack. 

  1. What happened?
    On October 17, 2019 Billtrust identified a criminal malware attack that affected several of the services that we offer to our customers.
  2. How did you discover the criminal attack?
    We have a variety of internal monitoring tools that alerted our systems and security teams to the criminal attack.
  3. What kind of malware was it?
    We can now disclose that this incident exhibits characteristics of a ransomware attack. Our standard security and back-up procedures have been and remain instrumental in our ability to execute the ongoing restoration of services. Out of an abundance of caution, we cannot disclose the precise ransomware strains but will do so as soon as prudently possible.
  4. Is federal law enforcement involved?
    We are in active discussions with federal law enforcement.
  5. Have you been using a cybersecurity firm?
    We are engaged with a nationally recognized cybersecurity firm who has been helping with remediation, prevention, and forensic analysis. Out of abundance of caution, we are not disclosing the name of the firm.
  6. What have you done to remediate the problem?
    We have done many things to remediate the problem including rebuilding production servers, deploying additional end point detection software, and adding additional monitoring with our cybersecurity firm.
  7. Was any data compromised?
    There is currently no evidence that any sensitive data has been compromised. We use strong encryption for sensitive data in our systems, and we regularly back up data in preparation for events like this.
  8. Is there a risk that this will affect customer systems?
    There is currently no evidence that customer systems have been affected and confirmation of this is a key element of our forensic investigation.
  9. Has the security incident been fully mitigated?
    We are confident that we have mitigated this security risk but also recognize there is always risk, and we continue to maintain vigilance.
  10. What is the expected time until the services come back online?
    Service restoration began on Friday, October 18 and services continue to come back online. We are doing this in a carefully measured fashion. We will continue to communicate the status and availability of our solutions frequently. Many of our solutions are available and others are in various stages of recovery as described in the table

Thanks again for your business and support!!

BillTrust Service Interruption – Updated 10/21

 

We were notified late yesterday that BillTrust, our third party vendor for customer invoicing and online bill payment, was the subject of a Malware attack. BillTrust is working with federal law enforcement and cyber security firms to investigate and remediate the attack. Currently, all BillTrust services are down, which affects our ability to deliver invoices and present our online billpay portal to you. We apologize for this interruption.

This morning, BillTrust communicated to us that our/your data has not been compromised and they are working around the clock to restore service levels. Due to the volume of data and the need to exercise extreme caution, BillTrust plans to restore services on a measured schedule. As of Friday, October 18th – 8:30AM CST, BillTrust does not have an ETA on the restoration of service.

We appreciate your patience and will keep you updated as we learn more from BillTrust. In the meantime, while BillTrust works to restore service, we are here for you. If you need a copy of an invoice, an account balance, or if you would like to make a payment, we can assist you. Please contact your local branch or our Accounts Receivable Department (205-251-8500) and someone will be glad to help you.

Update from BillTrust:

Friday, Oct. 18 – 12:00 P.M. ET

We continue our efforts to remediate the criminal malware attack impacting our environment. In addition to the points we made earlier today (below), we are now sharing the following additional information:

  • We have successfully deployed forensic software on a majority of our systems.
  • We continue to make progress with the investigation of what happened.
  • We are in regular communication with our cybersecurity partner and the efforts that are underway.
  • We are continuing to leverage our incident response plans to guide our efforts.
  • We do not anticipate having services fully restored before the close of business.

Our earlier communication stated:

  • In conjunction with our cybersecurity partner, we are in the process of deploying additional software to help with mitigation and prevention.
  • We strongly encrypt sensitive data that is at rest in our system.
  • There is currently no evidence that any data has been compromised.
  • We regularly back up our data in preparation for events like this.
  • We continue to make progress in restoring services.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, we plan to restore systems on a measured schedule.

We understand having an ETA is crucial to your business. We hope to have more information in our next update scheduled before 6PM ET.

Update from BillTrust:

Friday, Oct. 18 – 6:00 P.M. ET

Thank you for your patience as we work through this attack.

We have deployed additional security software across our infrastructure and have started to bring systems online. Here are the major product updates:

  • Billtrust Credit (former Credit2B) – up and operational.
  • Billtrust eCommerce (Second Phase) – up and operational.
  • Billtrust Virtual Card Capture – scheduled to be up and running on Saturday, October 19 with a plan to work through the weekend to begin catching up on back log.
  • Billtrust Cash Application – over the next 12-24 hours, we intend to bring Cash Application customers live starting with processing of lockbox and open balance files.
  • Billtrust Billing & Payments – Billing and Payment websites will be turned on this evening followed by FTP connectivity. We expect card payment processing to resume this evening and ACH processing to resume on Monday, October 21 but will update you if anything changes.
  • Billtrust VueBill – please contact your account representative for specific details.

Wittichen Supply is still waiting for communication from BillTrust that they are ready to accept data transmission.  Once we receive word from BillTrust, we will work with them to catch up on our invoicing and bill pay portal data.

Update from Wittichen:

Monday, Oct. 21 – 8:00 A.M. CST

Billtrust systems continue to come back online, and we are in the process of catching up the missing data from the outage.  As of this update, you should be able to access our Online BillPay Portal to view invoices and account payments through 10/16/2019 and make payments online.  We hope to have invoices and payments from the 17th – 20th uploaded to BillTrust soon.  If you need immediate assistance with invoices, account balance, or payments, please contact your local branch or our Accounts Receivable Department and someone will be glad to help you.  Thanks again for your patience while we work through this issue with BillTrust.

 

 

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Mobile App for Quick Price Check and Availability

Dear Valued Wittichen Customer,

We are pleased and excited to announce the arrival of our new Mobile App for Quick Price Checks and Availability!  With our new Mobile App, you will be able to search our inventory for your price and our availability at our any of our 25 locations. You will also be able to add/remove products from your favorites list, build quick job quotes, check our continuing education calendar, and much more!!!
 

How Do I Get Started?

The mobile app is a web-based application that will run on any device or on a desktop browswer. The app does not require a download or installation onto your mobile devices. Simply go to https://mobileapps.wittichen-supply.com to login. If you have a username and password for the legacy customer website, those same credentials will allow you into the mobile app. If you do not have credentials from the legacy customer website, please contact your nearest Wittichen Branch Manager or Outside Salesman to have an account setup for you.
 
mobile-app-login
 

How Do I Search Inventory?

There are 3 ways to search inventory: By Product Groupings, By Product Description Search, and By Favorites. Once you find the product you are looking for, you will land on the product detail screen where you will see your price and a link to view available inventory at all of our 25 locations. It is highly recommended that you add products to your favorite list for quicker searching in the future. Adding and removing favorites is very simple. Below is a quick video on searching by Product Groupings.


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How Do I Build a Quick Quote?

Building a quick quote is very easy. Start by clicking “Build Quick Quote” and follow the on screen wizard to search for products to add to the quote. Each time you add a product, the app will prompt you to enter a quantity. Once you have added all the products, click the “Get Quick Quote Pricing” button to see the extended pricing and quote subtotal before tax.


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Miscellaneous Tips and Information:

  • Add Products to your Favorites List. It will make searching in the future much, much faster and easier.
  • The app is very easy to navigate and figure out. Just follow the prompts on screen.
  • Tap a branch location name to view branch contact info, including phone number.
  • Available inventory quantities are updated multiple times throughout the day.
  • Printing a quick quote is easy from a desktop browser. Just right-click and select print.

 

We are working on a full-scale, content-rich e-Commerce website that is fully integrated with our ERP system, and hope to provide many new features and options for you to do business with us. We appreciate your business! If you have any questions, please contact your local Wittichen branch and someone will be glad to help you.

Thank You!

Wittichen Supply Company

 

Online Customer BillPay Portal

Dear Valued Wittichen Customer,

We are pleased and excited to announce the arrival of our new Online Customer BillPay Portal!  With our Customer BillPay Portal, you will be able to view your invoices and statements, make payments via Credit Card or Bank Account, set your mailing preferences, manage your accounts and much, much more!!!

We trust that you will find the portal easy to use, simple to navigate, and very user-friendly.  However, if you need assistance, we are here for you.  Our Accounting Department can be reached at 205-251-8500.  They are well-trained and ready to assist you should the need arise.

If you are ready to jump right in, then click here, otherwise, please continue reading to learn more about getting started…

 

BillPayLogin

How Do I Get Started?

The first step in the process is to enroll your account and create the first login for the portal.  To enroll, you will need three pieces of information:

Your Account Number
Your Enrollment Token 
This Website Address: http://wittichen-supply.billtrust.com

You will find your Account Number and Enrollment Token printed on every Wittichen invoice and statement printed after August 1st, 2018.  Below is a sample:

token

With your Account Number and Enrollment Token handy, click the “Sign Up Now” button on the login page of the portal.

signupnow

Complete the Sign Up form and click the Sign Up Button at the bottom of the page to submit your information.  Here you will enter your Account Number and Enrollment Token, select your username and password, provide 3 security question answers, and agree to the Subscriber Agreement.  Shortly after clicking the Sign Up Button, you will receive a confirmation email to activate your account.

enrollmentscreen

Activate your account by clicking link in the confirmation email.  TIP: The activation email might go to your junk filter, so be sure to check there if you don’t see it right away.  Upon clicking the link, you will be taken to a confirmation page letting you know enrollment is complete.  Once your account is activated, enrollment is complete and you may login to your account at any time.

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What’s Next After Enrollment?

After enrollment, the next step is to login, get familiar with the portal, setup payment methods (credit card or bank account), and start making payments.

Setup Payment Methods:

  • Go to the Settings Tab
  • Click the “Payment Settings” menu on the left
  • Click “Add Bank Account” or “Add Credit Card” depending on the payment method you would like to create

paymentsettings

  • Fill out the payment settings form.  There are tool tips for each field to help you along the way.

addbankaccount

  • Click Save.  Once you have saved your payment method, you can start to make payments.

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Make Payments:

  • There are several options available:
    • Pay by Invoice
      • In the Open Tab, select the Invoices you want to pay and click “Pay Invoices” button
      • Select your payment method (visa or bank account, depending on what has been setup)
      • Continue through a Review, Authorize, and Confirmation Wizard to make your payment
    • Pay by Statement
      • Use the same method as above, but select the Statement record instead of Invoices
    • Pay by Amount (determined by you)
      • In the Open Tab, click the “Pay Amount” button
      • Select payment method and amount
      • Continue through a Review, Authorize, and Confirmation Wizard to make your payment

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Miscellaneous General Tips:

  • The Total Balance displayed on the Open Tab is the total balance of all invoices in the Open Tab less available discounts
  • Discounts are not available when paying via Credit Card
  • Discounts are calculated on the invoice subtotal, not the invoice total which includes tax and freight
  • To see a copy of the invoice, click the PDF icon
  • To download invoices, select the invoices you wish to download, then click the download button
  • When downloading invoices, you can choose from a list of data file types for popular accounting systems so you can import the invoices
  • Statement files will remain in the Open Tab until moved manually to the Closed Tab (to move select the statement file and click Move To Closed)
  • As invoices are paid, they are moved to the Closed Tab if they are paid in full
  • Invoices that are not paid in full (short pay), will remain in the Open Tab until they are posted in our accounting system and the portal is updated
  • Multiple user accounts are allowed; use the User Management Tab to manage user accounts
  • If you have multiple accounts and would like to see all invoices for all accounts, please contact our Accounting Department for assistance with Account Linking

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How Often is the Portal Updated?

The portal is not connected to our accounting system in real time.  It is updated every night at 1:05AM with an open balance file from our accounting system.  Therefore, each morning, you should see the transactions, and their open balance, as of the end of business the previous day, in our accounting system.  There will typically be a slight delay, 2 to 3 days, between the time you make a payment online and the time the payment is reflected on the portal.  Note: when invoices are paid in full they are automatically moved to the Closed Tab when payment is made online.  However, invoices that are short paid will remain in the Open Tab until the payment is applied in our accounting system, the remaining balance is resolved, and the portal has been updated with a zero balance for the short paid invoice.  At which time, the invoice will be moved to the Closed Tab.

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Is My Account Secure?

Absolutely!  Once your account has been enrolled the enrollment token is no longer valid, and all additional login accounts must be created by you.  No one will be able to use your enrollment token to create a new login after you have enrolled.  Also, your bank account and credit card information is encrypted and stored securely using SSL technology.

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Still Need Assistance?

We hope you find the Customer BillPay Portal to be user-friendly and intuitive.  Once in the portal, there is a FAQ link at the bottom of every page.  It contains a lot of useful information.  However, if you need assistance, we are here to help.  You can reach our Accounting Department at 205-251-8500.

 

 

Thank You!

Wittichen Supply Company

 

In Loving Memory of Carl F. Wittichen

carl-wittichenCarl Ferdinand Wittichen, junior
November 25, 1914 – October 29, 2016

Carl Ferdinand Wittichen, junior, peacefully passed away at bedtime on October 29, 2016, at the age of 101. He lived a long, productive, and happy life. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Ivy Vickery Wittichen.

He will be deeply missed by his three daughters, Judy Anderson (Charles), Vicky Henderson (David), and Linda Israel (Charlie). His legacy is his grandchildren: Powell Owens (Dean), Charles Anderson (Charlann), Ivy Schuster (Josef), David Henderson, Griff Israel (Mims), Whitt Israel (Lucy), Robert Israel (Kathleen), Parker Israel, and Ivy Israel. He was blessed with eight great-grandchildren: Zach and Beth Owens, Mary Carolyn Anderson, Julia Schuster, Annie and Elizabeth Israel, Charlie Israel, and was predeceased by infant grandson Finn Israel. In addition, he was predeceased by his parents, Julia Parker Wittichen and Carl Ferdinand Wittichen, senior.

He was a lifelong resident of Birmingham, Alabama. A graduate of Phillips High School, he first attended Birmingham-Southern College. He graduated from Auburn University in 1935, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. He proudly served his country in World War II as a Major in the Chemical Corps of the United States Army.

Alongside his father, who operated the Wittichen Transfer Company, he began his business career by founding Wittichen Chemical Company. Wittichen Chemical was eventually sold to Thompson-Hayward Chemicals, but not before Mr. Wittichen formed a separate division, Wittichen Supply Company. Wittichen Supply Company, a wholesale distributor to the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry, still operates today. He founded Wittichen Solvents Company, a supplier of booster fluid for jet-propelled airlines, which he sold in 1992. In addition, he served as President of Birmingham Realty Company until 1976. He was a director of Carolina Energies Company and Compass Bank of Birmingham.

He enjoyed an active community life, beginning with the honor of serving in 1948 as the 15th and final King of the Christmas Carnival, a predecessor of the Beaux Arts Krewe. He was President of the Birmingham Kiwanis Club, Board Chairman of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama, President of the Downtown Club, and President of Duffy’s Bend Hunting Club. He was recently honored by the naming of the Wittichen Fountain at Mountain Brook City Hall. He was a member of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Mountain Brook Club, and Birmingham Country Club.

Mr. Wittichen was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed many years of hunting and fishing activities. He especially loved sharing this passion with his family and friends. He took great pride in developing Quail Lake Farm in Springville, Alabama. There he spent countless hours fishing with his wife, and instilling in his grandchildren a love and respect for the outdoors.

He was blessed with wonderful caregivers. His family will be forever grateful to: LaQuetta Barnes, Renee Bellard, Krishun Lyons, Toni Motley, Grace Richardson, Diane Shipp, and Monica Walker. They faithfully ministered to him physically, and most importantly, spiritually, for many days and nights.

There will be a private family graveside on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, followed by a celebration of his life from 3:00-5:00 P.M., at St. Martins-in-the-Pines, 4949 Montevallo Road.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Alabama, P.O. Box 10391, Birmingham, Alabama 35202-0391; or Briarwood Presbyterian Church, 2200 Briarwood Way, Birmingham, Alabama 35243.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the Master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose Master finds him doing so when he returns.” Matthew 24:45-46Well done, good and faithful servant. You are a treasure.

Dothan Branch Burglary, Offering Reward

At approximately 2:20 a.m. on Tuesday, April 12, 4 black males cut through the exterior walls of Wittichen Supply Company at 458 Bic Road in Dothan, Alabama, and stole over $30,000 of Freon 22. These men were in a dark colored late model Nissan Altima and a dark colored late model crew cab Dodge Ram pickup truck. They were there for over an hour, as they cut 5 holes in the building before gaining access. They were also seen watching the building the night before at about the same time. This is the 2nd time in less than a year that this branch has been burglarized, with large amounts of Freon 22 taken both times. Wittichen Supply Company is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved. Please contact Officer Charlie Faulkner of the Dothan Police Department at 334-615-3646 with any information. The demand for Freon 22 is exceeding supply due to government regulations requiring its phase-out, resulting in rapidly increasing cost, and theft. We ask that any HVAC contractors who are approached with deals that are “too good to be true” on this product to please help us catch these thieves.  Click images to enlarge.

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SCAM ALERT

Over the past few days, someone has been posing as David Henderson, Charles Herring, or other Wittichen employees in an effort to obtain cash in some kind of scam scheme. They have tried to charge things to our accounts with local vendors, have tried to get our unsuspecting employees to fax Purchase Orders to Building Material Supply Stores, and have contacted customers saying we are downsizing or closing stores and offering them discounted products for cash. The majority of these calls have come from 334-547-9456. If you get a call from this number, it is bogus. If you receive any kind of suspicious call from someone supposedly with Wittichen Supply Company, please alert the branch manager of your local Wittichen Supply Company branch. There is an ongoing police investigation.

R22 Pricing and Availability Update

To all Wittichen Customers:

What is going on with R22?
Why the sudden price increases?
Why the sudden shortages?
Is this just something the manufacturers have cooked up to try and drive the prices up?

I am sure all of you have asked these questions & more a thousand times over the last few days. I am going to try and answer them & give you some information to help you stay on top of the situation.

On October 17, 2014, the EPA issued their final rule for the phase-out of R22 from 2015 – 2019. This final rule calls for:

  • A whopping 57% reduction in R22 consumption allowances from 2014 to 2015.
  • Declining consumption allowances each year through 2019.
  • Zero consumption allowances starting in 2020.

When word of this hit the streets, it created panic-buying everywhere, and Distributor Inventories (which were low because of the off-season anyway) were quickly depleted. As Distributors scrambled to buy more, Manufacturer’s inventories were also quickly depleted because they were already scaling back production for 2014. All 3 U.S. manufacturers quickly raised prices and limited what distributors could order, in an effort to curtail the panic-buying. This plan, however, backfired, and made matters even worse.

What does all of this mean? There will definitely be much less R22 available in the U. S. in 2015 than there was in 2014, and much less than projected demand calls for. What is available will cost much more than it did this year, and the price is going to continue to rise. But, if we are smart in our management of this situation, we can all get through it together. The absolute worst thing anyone can do is panic-buy MORE R22 than they NEED! Wittichen Supply Company is committed to taking care of our loyal customers by having the R22 you NEED. Over the next 2 – 3 months as we work to secure more R22 and while things settle down some, we might have to limit the amount we will sell you at one time based on your previous purchase history from us. We are only doing this to keep some from buying way more than they actually NEED, so we can have enough to take care of all of you.

There are 4 things YOU can do to help us all get through this:

  1. Buy only what you NEED. Trying to buy more than you NEED is only going to make things worse, and drive the price from manufacturers even higher, as they try to stop this panic-buying.
  2. Recover! Recover! Recover! We need your used, recovered R22. Every pound of recovered gas we can get from you and return to DuPont increases the amount of virgin R22 we can buy, and the more we will have available for you. You enable us to take care of your R22 needs in 2015 and beyond by returning every ounce of recovered R22 to us that you possibly can. Every time you do a unit change-out where you are replacing an old R22 unit, recover the gas and bring it to us.
  3. Let us show you DuPont’s MO99, which is a great alternative to R22 in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Applications. This refrigerant requires no oil change, which makes for an easy retrofit, and performance characteristics are extremely close. MO99 is also now priced well below R22, and that difference will continue to grow. We can supply you with all of the literature you need to show you how easy it is to retrofit an R22 system to MO99. DuPont also has a great video to show you how easy this product is to use. (See below)

  4. Carefully guard your R22 inventory. This stuff is liquid gold, and will walk off if left unattended.

The events of the past few days have created some challenges for our industry. But, we want to assure you that Wittichen Supply Company is working hard behind the scenes to make this as painless as possible for you. With your help in the 4 areas above, we will all be successful in making that happen.

Please take a moment to read this important article from Dupont regarding the EPA’s Final Rule on R-22 for 2015-2019.

Dupont R-22 Article

Thank you so much for your support.

Charles Herring
General Manager

Branch #26 Coming Soon

We are pleased to announce that we will be opening a new branch at 9715 Milton Jones Road Daphne, AL 36526 in the spring of 2015 to better serve our Baldwin County customers across the Bay on the Eastern Shore. Stay tuned for more details!

New Management at our Fort Walton Location

Wittichen Supply Company is proud to announce Steve Ivey as Manager of our Fort Walton Beach, FL branch, replacing Ryan Handley. Steve previously served in an Outside Sales role in our Foley branch. He is energetic, customer service focused, and excited about his new opportunity to serve our Fort Walton customers.