By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Service Net is undergoing explosive growth thanks to the addition of a dozen major new clients in 2005.
The service-management company, based here, creates, markets and administers warranties and service contracts for manufacturers, retailers and distributors of CE, home appliances, PCs, peripherals and other durable goods. Service Net also develops loyalty programs, and it provides service contract underwriting and marketing, customer telephone support and claims processing, and manages and dispatches a network of qualified technicians to service a product when necessary.
Its expanded client roster, which now includes Sirius Satellite Radio, Toshiba, Staples, Sony, Samsung, Micro Center, New Egg, Myer Emco, Asko and Dacor, is adding $20 million to $30 million in new annual revenue this year, Service Net said.
Service Net already serves several Fortune 1,000 companies including CDW, Lennox, Maytag, Philips, PC Connection and Sony.
“Unprecedented growth is the best way to describe business in the past year for Service Net,” said Kevin Callahan, Service Net's CEO.
Also fueling Service Net's growth was its expansion beyond traditional extended-service plans (ESPs) through key partnerships in the warranty management and specialty solutions arenas with Sirius and Asko.
Sirius partnered with Service Net to manage its manufacturer's warranties for all branded products. This allows Sirius to leverage Service Net's infrastructure to provide call-center support, troubleshooting and logistics services for a more efficient customer experience, Service Net said.
Similarly, Asko, a division of the Richardson, Texas-based AM Appliances Group, will look to Service Net to manage the warranty process for its full line of high-end appliances, including dishwashers, washers and dryers. Service Net will handle all in-bound customer service calls and the dispatch of on-site service to Asko's customers.
“Traditional service-contract administration is where we got our start and is one area where we will continue to grow,” Callahan noted. “But the long-term strategic plan is for us to look for new opportunities where we can leverage our core competencies to bring additional business, like managing manufacturer's warranties and servicing high-volume, specialty niche markets.”
In the specialty segment, Service Net entered a partnership early last year with Staples, the leading office-products retailer, to administer its Easy Mobile Tech program, part of the chain's “technology services on demand” initiative. The Easy Mobile Tech program allows customers to purchase computer-related services from networking installation and virus removal to PC setup and notebook repair as needed, by providing both in-store support and nationwide toll-free customer assistance.
Meanwhile, Service Net continues to expand its relationships with key manufacturers and retailers in the area of extended service plan programs by providing additional services to customers on behalf of manufacturers, which frees up vendors to focus on the development and production of goods. Key manufacturer client partnerships for Service Net in 2005 included Toshiba, Samsung, Sony and Dacor.
For Micro Center, the computer specialty retailer, Service Net has rolled out a new line of bronze, silver, gold and platinum service contracts designed to upgrade the manufacturer's warranty with more comprehensive coverage including express replacement, lost and found, and accidental damage from handling. Covered products include notebook computers, portable electronics and peripherals, digital cameras, camcorders and LCD and plasma TVs.
With Service Net's client growth in 2005, came the need for more facilities. In September, the company relocated its in-house training facility to a new 1,600-square-foot training center where employees receive in-depth, hands-on product training. The latest expansion includes occupying 5,500 additional square feet of space on the fourth floor of a newly renovated building near Service Net's headquarters here. The new space houses various business support services and gives Service Net a total of over 52,000 square feet of in Jeffersonville. The company also maintains sales offices in Denver; Hartford, Conn.; and Irvine, Calif., and a Web site at www.servicenet.com.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.