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Brand Source, HES Bow New Programs

Dallas – Brand Source, the $4 billion buying organization, and its specialty A/V offshoot, Home Entertainment Source (HES), announced a series of new programs and initiatives at the groups’ spring summit and buy fair held this week at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel, here.

Topping the list of new Brand Source dealer offerings is a cross-dock program that allows members to place smaller white-goods orders direct with vendors, freight prepaid, using the group’s 18-month-old OMS online ordering system and HES’ three national warehouses.

According to executive director Bob Lawrence, multiple orders will be shipped to a cross dock, where they’ll be split into smaller orders and sent to their respective dealers. The system, unique to Brand Source, will give members a competitive advantage by lowering costs, reducing handling and damage, and increasing turns without increasing inventory exposure, he said.

“The dealer will be getting all of the advantages of truckload buying, including expedient delivery, but with small quantity orders,” Lawrence told TWICE.

Meanwhile, HES announced that it will begin emulating Brand Source’s national branding program by offering HES-branded store signage, price tags, point-of-sale materials and cobranded vendor advertising beginning with Samsung. HES’ general manager Jim Ristow said the program was inspired by a Brand Source survey of 100 member dealers showing that those who utilize the group’s cobranding program have realized significant sales increases while revenues were flat to down for those that don’t.

Dealer response to HES’ new cobranding program — as well as HES itself — was enthusiastic. Indeed, member attendance was up 40 percent over last year’s inaugural HES summit, and suppliers occupied twice the show space on the buying floor.

Lawrence added that the combined groups’ CE business was up tenfold in 2004 thanks to HES’ Expert Warehouse program, while Brand Source gained 2 percent of market share in white goods last year.