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September 2018

Jennifer's Warranty Tips

Download the complete slide deck from Jennifer's class at the Appliance Service Training Institute (ASTI). Inside you'll find valuable information about:
  • Training your team how to read serial numbers for the manufacture date.
  • Replacement part warranty information by manufacturer.
  • Cosmetic warranty guide.
  • Claiming mileage and oversize freight.
  • Checks and balances.
  • And much more.
Download Jennifer's Warranty Guide


By:  Fred Holbrook, Sloan Appliance Service

A Peer Group is not an exclusive club (except for limitations on size), a social club, and should not be considered to be a forum to unite to negotiate with manufacturers and warranty companies to gain rate increases.  A Peer Group can collaborate and share costs on some projects such as marketing and recruiting, for example.

 USA Peer Groups are limited to principals (business owners) only.  Members cannot participate in competing markets.  In fact, non-compete and confidentially agreements are signed at the first Peer Group meeting to ensure that all information shared is confidential.  Peer Groups are limited in size to a number small enough for all to participate.  Usually, 10-12 members is the maximum number of members to achieve full participation. Peer Groups select a rotating, designated leader for each meeting.  All members contribute to setting the meeting agenda.  And as stated previously, what is shared within the group does not go outside the group.  Members must be assured that they can share information without reservation.   It does take time to build this kind of trust with any group.  

Typically, Peer Group meetings are conducted on a Friday, allowing for Thursday travel.  This also allows for the Peer Group to dine together on the night prior to the meeting.  In fact, some Peer Groups conduct 2-day meetings.   Being a member is somewhat of a financial investment in travel.  However, the real investment is in time away from your business.  The value gained from attending Peer Group meets has far exceeded the costs of time and travel.

A sample agenda for a Peer Group meeting would be:
·         Update on what’s happening in each business since last meeting
·         Successful projects that have worked well
·         Continuing challenges and frustrations
·         Accountability for goals set at previous meetings
·         Comparison of P&L percentages in a common format
·         New projects (marketing campaigns, recruiting technicians, etc.)
·         Next meeting location, leader, hotel, etc.,
USA attempts to form at least one new Peer Group each year.  The Peer Group formed at the 2018 ASTI had its first meeting in Dallas, TX in May with 12 new members.   This Group will conduct its second meeting on August 3 in Minneapolis. 
My initial experience with USA Peer Groups was at my first ASTI in 2011.  It is unmistakably THE best thing I have taken away from USA and one of the best things I have done to improve my business.  The core members of this Peer Group have been together now for over seven years and the level of trust between us is extremely high.  
We have visited and reviewed each other’s businesses at least once over the years.  The way the Peer Group’s member business accomplishes a task may not fit exactly in my business.  However, viewing my Peer Group member’s process has sparked many great ideas on how to improve my business processes.   It is impossible to measure the positive impact gained from just observing how another company achieves simple tasks. 

I use my Peer Group as a “quasi” Board of Directors for my business.  Many times, I have encountered an issue for the first time and need advice or for someone just to listen.  Almost always, someone in my Peer Group has encountered the issue I am experiencing and offers sound advice on how to handle the situation. I strongly recommend that any service business owner consider joining a United Servicers Peer Group.  You will thank yourself later.

Complete a profile at or call (800) 683-2558 for more information.

Wolseley Canada Inc. Acquires James Electric Motor Services Ltd.

Keith Strachan, General Manager, Wolseley Canada Western Region has announced the acquisition of James Electric Motor Services Ltd., a Western Canada company specializing in motor repair and maintenance.

With the acquisition, all 64 James Electric employees will join Wolseley. James Electric President, Rick James, will also join Wolseley and continue in his current role to ensure continued delivery of exceptional service, pump and motor repair and maintenance expertise and James Electric’s broad range of inventory.


How to Get Great Techs

By: Glade Ross, President and CEO, Rossware

There is a great impediment against bringing into this industry the very high quality people that it needs, to fill the many positions that are going begging for high-level and effective appliance technicians.  The specific impediment is a particular and gross misperception, within the general public, as to what kind of job it is, and what is the kind of person that’s needed to excel in it. 

Face it: most job seekers that have such a high IQ, ambition and drive as is needed to be a great tech would never, at least typically and on their own, think it’s an occupation in which they’d have interest.  They tend to wrongly assume that the job is beneath them.  Thus, if seeking employment and seeing an ad for an appliance tech position, they simply skip right past, without ever considering it. 

How do you get to these people? 

Back when I still ran an appliance repair business (instead of a company that produces industry leading software), I found a very effective solution.  I did not advertise the position as being for an appliance tech.  Instead, I ran an ad similar to the following:

Seeking person with high intelligence (will be tested for minimum IQ 120), self-motivated, happy to be out and about interacting with people and seeing the sun, learning new things, developing and exercising new skills, encountering regular challenges, enjoying a high degree of independence, and not being stuck in an office.  It’s neither a sales position nor marketing.  It does not involve travel or irregular hours.  Pay is dependent on performance, and typically ranges from $60K to 120K.  If this seems fitting to you, it’s likely you are not a person who would have normally considered this occupation; however, it’s only because you’d have wrongly thought the position is too lowly for you (i.e., it is actually a much more lofty position than most people tend to assume).  Training is provided. 

Once applicants self-selected on basis of the above description and contacted us, we were then able to name the position (appliance repairman), and more fully explain why it’s truly a fantastic occupation, that indeed offers the described virtues, and more.  You’d not believe how much higher was the quality of persons that submitted resumes and came in for interviews — based on this kind of ad, as opposed to directly advertising for an appliance tech.  Almost invariably, we found that the right people became even more interested after learning details. 

Of course, you’re not typically acquiring experienced techs via this kind of ad.  Regardless, it’s possible this is not really a bad thing.  In all my years running an appliance repair company, I never managed (though I did repeatedly try) to happily fill positions with experienced techs.    Ultimately, all my great techs were trained from scratch. 

With warm regards, 

Glade Ross
President and CEO

(360) 427-6000

Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your USA Membership?
Become a USA Approved Member. United Servicers Association Approved Members are eligible to receive a 15% discount on all parts purchased from their Sub-Zero authorized parts distributor. Plus, your approved membership makes you eligible to process warranty parts through Service Bench during the 6 to 12 year extended parts warranty period.
Start Saving 15% on Parts | Apply Now
Join a USA Peer Group
Peer groups (often referred to as Mastermind Groups) offer a combination of brainstorming, education, and peer accountability to help you grow and run your business.

Membership in a Mastermind group can cost $500+ / month! Did you know that USA Members can join a Mastermind group for $100? Fill out this form and we'll connect you with other like-minded owners.

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