Consumers were already migrating to online shopping when COVID struck. Then, seemingly overnight, transactional websites became a critical lifeline for customers and storeowners.
As any self-servicing dealer knows, it can often feel like an uphill climb when you’re faced with inadequate billing rates, few qualified techs, increasingly complex appliances, and vendor-specific parts that can lead to added and costly truck rolls.
These hurdles have only been compounded by the pandemic, which has triggered parts shortages, increased service calls and heightened safety protocols.
At BrandSource, the nation’s largest member-owned buying group for independent dealers, we feel your pain. That’s because 75 percent of all BrandSource members perform their own appliance repairs, and ensuring the profitability of their service operations has become our mission statement.
To do so, BrandSource embarked on an aggressive, multi-pronged program that began with the creation of a National Service Committee, comprised of eight large and small dealers from across the country. In a prime example of BrandSource’s members helping members ethos, or “M” Factor, the committee members invested over 250 man-hours — the equivalent of $250,000 in consulting fees — to develop effective solutions for their fellow servicers.
The committee began with a member survey to pinpoint servicers’ most pressing pain points, then proceeded to address each one in a series of industry-leading initiatives. These included:
- Joint Planning Meetings with top manufacturers last spring;
- Strategic alliances with national service associations, parts suppliers and training academies last summer; and
- Last fall’s release of an exclusive, 32-page Service Playbook, a comprehensive tactical guide covering everything from recruitment, fleet management and inventory control, to calculating competitive yet profitable billing rates.
More recently, BrandSource brought all its tools and talents together in a virtual Service Day event for dealers, vendors and suppliers. The presentation helped drive the service revolution within our own group while fostering much-needed change throughout the industry.
Looking ahead, BrandSource will continue to leverage the resources of our $20 billion organization on behalf of our servicing members, who generate more than 85 percent of that annual sales volume. That’s why, between our unparalleled merchandising and marketing programs; full slate of regional meetings, national gatherings and product expos; and ongoing service industry initiatives, we can clearly state that BrandSource is at your service!