By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
AVB/Brand Source, the $10 billion home furnishings buying group, has created a new division to support its servicing dealers and provide manufacturers with an alternative to existing national service organizations.
The new division, called Brand Source Service, will be comprised of AVB members that perform their own repairs on major appliance and consumer electronics products, although membership may also be opened to independent servicers.
The creation of the specialized group comes at a time of crisis in the service industry. Retailers, vendors and consumers are facing dwindling repair alternatives as dealers, hamstrung by insufficient service fees, are exiting the service business and fewer workers are drawn to it. As a result, retailers and manufacturers are often forced to outsource their service function to competitors, which confuses their customers and undermines their brands, dealers have told TWICE.
Brand Source plans to address those issues by promoting the profitability of members' service departments through specialized training and other support tools; national promotion of Brand Source Service for in and out-of-warranty service calls; and by encouraging manufacturers to recognize the division as a highly qualified, specialized and efficient national service organization.
Brand Source said the new division would provide manufacturers with an independent service organization that they can rely on to offer fast and efficient service for their customers, which is an especially pressing need for vendors that do not own or operate factory service departments.
AVB projects that membership in the new division will reach 400 dealers and servicers. A director is expected to be named shortly to operate the service group and coordinate its activities.
John White, AVB's general manager of appliances, noted that "With the creation of Brand Source Service we have strategically designed an opportunity to bring profitability back to the independent service department."
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