Summit ’22: Pathways to Service Profitability

BrandSource service consultant Paul MacDonald leads his Summit seminar.

ServiceSource’s Paul MacDonald helps make appliance repair profitable

By Rich Lindblom, AVB

Nike launched an ad campaign back in 1989 featuring All-Star Bo Jackson with the tagline “Bo Knows …”

Well, let me tell you: Bo may know sports, but Bo don’t know jack about running an appliance service company. When it comes to running an efficient and profitable service operation, we need a new theme and that should probably be “P-Mac Knows …”

Paul MacDonald, industry veteran and point man for AVB’s ServiceSource program for self-servicing dealers, treats running a service department like a science. In fact, he ought to receive an honorary college degree — a PSD, or Professor of Service Departments, if you will.  No doubt he has forgotten more about running a successful service department than most people knew in the first place, and has a proven track record of success, whether running his own company or helping others become more profitable running theirs.

I arrived at Paul’s Monday morning Summit session on service profitability ahead of the crowd, which would soon fill the room. Clearly service profitability is a topic on a lot of members’ minds these days, and I think Paul delivered the goods once again.

The two key takeaways from the seminar were:

  1. Your service department is not a cost of doing business. It should be a profit center for your company.
  2. To be profitable running a service department, you need to work on increasing your first call complete rate. It is essential to your success. With the average cost of running a service call now over $120 due to pandemic-related inflationary costs, you can’t afford to visit a customer’s home two and three times to fix a single appliance and expect to be profitable.

And I couldn’t agree more.

Paul outlined a 15-point strategic plan detailing ways to increase efficiency and profitability, increase the number of completed calls per day, and increase the number of overall calls per day. And if a member were to implement only a third of his ideas, he or she would be guaranteed to begin making more money on day one.

If you have questions, you can email Paul at

I have three goals in mind with my columns: To motivate, educate and entertain.  If I have achieved at least one of those, then I have done my job. Don’t be shy about letting me know if you agree or disagree for that matter. Write me at

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