Manufacturer Training Sessions Kept Members Ahead of the Technology Curve

Lynn and Teresa Parrish of Kitchen’s Inc. at the GE Appliance session.

By Alan Wolf

Members and vendors hit the ground running on the first day of BrandSource’s 2019 Convention & Expo with a full slate of product training sessions by Bosch, Electrolux, GE Appliance, LG Electronics, Samsung, Serta, SquareTrade and Whirlpool.

For GE Appliance, the all-day lineup included classes on “How to Win Mass Premium and Ultra Premium”; “New Product Introductions & Industry Innovations” covering refrigeration, cooking, laundry and dishwashers; “Connected Appliances & Kitchen Hub”; and a segment on GE Appliance’s NewFi Mobile, a wireless diagnostic module that can help service technicians more accurately diagnose performance problems.

Members Lynn and Teresa Parrish of Kitchen’s Inc. considered the GE trainings time well spent. “I thought it was very interesting,” Teresa told YourSourceNews. “They provided a heads-up of what to expect and presented some things to be aware of in the marketplace.”

Teresa also lauded the manufacturer for its responsiveness and strong management team. “It feels like the left hand knows what the right hand is doing,” she said. “And GE truly listens,” she added, taking to heart the needs and concerns of BrandSource dealers.

At the Whirlpool brand product training the accent was on smart appliances, where representatives addressed the need for connectivity in today’s white goods. Their emphasis was focused on having dealers stress to consumers that fluid, over-the-air software updates will ensure that the smart product the customer purchases today will continue to get better over time. Members were also urged to keep their floor models connected to the Internet in order to highlight features and other digital benefits.

John Gunnip of Spenard Builders Supply inspects Whirlpool’s new Cast Iron Black finish for the kitchen.

“It was a good meeting,” said John Gunnip of Spenard Builders Supply. “I got a chance to learn more about smart appliances. I haven’t done a lot with them yet, but younger-generation customers are coming in asking for them.”

At the Electrolux session, Bo Hoddick, Senior Director of Buying Groups, Distribution and Sales, spoke of a reenergized company that underwent “a personnel reset three years ago” after losing its way, and that is currently committing $5 billion to North American production in Tennessee, North and South Carolina and Juarez, Mexico.

Moreover, the manufacturer is addressing dealer concerns over margin erosion with its protected Frigidaire Professional line, which provides 25 points of margin and is available to independent dealers only. Hoddick also promised greater product availability due to improved production efficiencies stemming from the capital investments and a reduction in SKUs.

YSN is published by BrandSource parent company AVB Inc.