BrandSource Service Committee Selects New Chairperson

Newly appointed Committee Chair Cindy Conrod, principal of TC Appliance, is committed to service profitability.

And welcomes two new committee members aboard

By Alan Wolf, YSN

AVB has been actively supporting independent servicing dealers since its inception more than half a century ago.

That effort went into overdrive in 2019 with the creation of the BrandSource National Service Committee. Much has been accomplished in those first 2 ½ years, including the creation of the BrandSource Service Playbook, a comprehensive tactical guide; affiliations with the leading service associations, parts distributors and training schools; and the creation of ServiceSource, an exclusive platform that provides BrandSource’s servicing dealers with dedicated town halls, newsletters, expert advice columns, and digital marketing campaigns.

Now taking the reins of the Service Committee is newly appointed chairperson Cindy Conrod, principal of TC Appliance in Sturgis, Mich. A BrandSource Dealer of the Year, inaugural committee member, and an outspoken advocate for self-servicing dealers, she succeeds founding chairperson Scott Bekins, owner of the West Michigan appliance and electronics business that bears his name.

Joining Conrod on the committee are new appointees Brian Ashworth, owner of M&H Appliance in Mora, Minn., and Dan Burton, principal of Foothill Appliance in Jackson, Calif., who are filling the vacancies left by Bekins and Carmona’s Joe Heslin. With Conrod on point, the six-person panel is looking to take the struggle for service profitability to the next level.

“The BrandSource Service Committee’s number one goal is to make our service departments profitable,” Conrod said. “It is not rocket science!”

To do so, Conrod plans to “strengthen our relationships with the manufacturers and vendors so we can communicate more effectively. We want to give our members valid reasons to make changes, no matter how scary that may seem.”

Service manager involvement will be another key area of committee focus. “The more invested they are, the more likely they will not look elsewhere for employment,” Conrod said.

The new committee chair will also continue to emphasize best practices and education. “We are always trying to find the best practices to make our stores stand out,” she said. “Our industry can be difficult at times but by sharing, member to member, our successes and failures, and understanding the cost of business, we all become better educated and are more likely to make the best decisions for our stores.”

And if knowledge is power, BrandSource service consultant Paul MacDonald, founder of the Expert Service Program, is downright supercharging the members. “P-Mac’s involvement with ServiceSource has been a big step forward in our knowledge and understanding of our industry,” Conrod said. Having run his own 38-tech service business, “He has been in our shoes, so he understands what changes need to be made to have a successful service business.”

The new committee members are equally optimistic about the evolution ahead.

“Looking forward, I see many opportunities for some amazing changes to take place in the service sector of the appliance business,” M&H’s Ashford said. “There is truly strength in numbers and as BrandSource members, we can come together and fight to earn fair rates from manufacturers as well as constantly improve our operations through training and education. The committee members are all very passionate about service and have some great ideas to continue growing this important component of the appliance business.”

Added Foothill’s Burton, “I am grateful to be a part of the Service Committee, as I have a passion for the service industry. I am hoping to bring any expertise I may have to help other dealers become more prosperous in their service businesses, and look forward to fostering relationships with fellow members and vendors to build a better future in this industry for us and our children.”

Alan Wolf is Senior Communications Specialist for AVB/BrandSource, the nation’s leading member-owned merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, furniture, bedding, and consumer tech dealers.